2012 Chess Olympiad: Round #10

Top Boards (Open)

China 2½-1½ United States
Argentina 1½-2½ Russian Federation
Netherlands 1-3 Armenia
Azerbaijan 1½-2½ Ukraine
Czech Republic 1-3 Poland

Full Results

Onischuk was unable to hold the match for the USA. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

Fortunes turned again as the unpredictable Olympiad entered its penultimate round. Marquee matchups promised fighting chess… and that is exactly what happened. China-USA pitted two of the brightest stars in chess in Wang Hao and Hikaru Nakamura. That game tipped and turned, but ending in a draw. Actually Akobian-Bu was the first to finish and after the Wang-Nakamura draw, Wang was seen in the lobby in a very happy mood. Why? Because his compatriots were better in both games! Kamsky was struggling against Wang Yue and Onischuk was a pawn down against the relentless Ding Liren.

Kamsky was finally able to find a hold in the position while Onischuk was seemingly holding his position as well. Then disaster struck. Onischuk blundered with 55…Rh1?? allowing white to gain two connected pass pawns and in ten moves he was resigning! This resulted in Nakamura tweeting,

The cruel and harsh reality of playing in a team chess event is that you are only as good as your teammates.

Retribution was swift and many felt that Nakamura’s comments were poor in taste with one round remaining. Nakamura responded saying he was making a general comment about the dynamics of team events. Nevertheless, medal hopes are most likely dashed for the USA as China, Armenia and Russia are joint first at 17 points.

Russia beat Argentina as Dmitry Jakovenko was able to save an ending against GM Sandro Mareco. Argentina was out-rated by 100 points on each board and had been playing above their level the entire tournament… however they were to be denied this time. Armenia walloped the Netherlands 3-1 and Aronian and Akopian scored for Armenia. The matchups in the finale are: Ukraine-China, Hungary-Armenia, Russia-Germany.

Top Boards (Woman)

China 2-2 Kazakhstan
Armenia 0½-3½ Russian Federation
Ukraine 2½-1½ Poland
Azerbaijan 1½-2½ France
India 3½-0½ Israel

Full Results

China has been in the position to win the gold the entire tournament, but those dreams were nearly quashed when they had difficulties with the tough Kazakhstani team. On board four, Ding Yixin overlooked a simple skewer netting the clear exchange with 23.Be5. Ding played on, but Davletbayeva’s nice 52.Rf2! ended the affair.

Kazakhstan was able to stop the Chinese freight train.
Photos by Daaim Shabazz.

Russia blasted Armenia to put them in joint first although China would have the edge in tiebreaks. The Ukraine stayed in contention beating Poland 2½-1½. France and India, both missing top players, won (Azerbaijan and Israel) to continue their quest for medals. They will face each other in the last round. Russia will face Kazakhstan and China faces Bulgaria in the finale. Both are virtually a lock for a medal… only the color is in doubt.


  1. African Diaspora Spotlight


    Israel Tekeste Weldegebriel, Ruth Leykun Eshete,
    Azeb Asmelash Berhe, Azeb Menassie Zeleke

    Sabrina Chevannes (England)

    Sabrina Chevannes (England)

    Sierra Leone

    Sierra Leone (L-R): Thomas Winston, Ansumana Kamara, Ronald Lwebuga
    Photos by Daaim Shabazz.

  2. Guys come-on! Surely there is nothing wrong with celebrating Kenny Solomon’s achievement of GM status, albeit Elect! Wanna know why we are jubilant? In the African-Culture we largely celebrate eagerly expected pregnancies at earliest conception sign! Not showing delight & happiness of something good coming or arrived is straying away from our norm! And it’s down-right rude & curseful! Maybe try celebrating winning the lottery only after the money is in your hands! Odd right?
    Once the GM-Norms as based on RP are attained, in particular at Olympiads, it is a foregone conclussion that the player will be GM. Or sorry -ELECT, to help those with muted jubilation!
    Refer to the link below, it says :”New title=GM”. Maybe the OC is African (:-)
    Oh! Its Unofficial!!!
    Come-on! Go ahead and celebrate as well!

      1. That is not what I meant clearly, and the “Instant” meant on the basis of what I presuposed and looked into carefully for Solomon. I have been aware of this “loop-hole” to GM title/glory for many years. I chose not to elaborate all the terms & conditions, but highlight the RP as it is obviously paramount. The double-norm rule and the fact that Kenny Solomon had to await 2500 Elo casp hinge around RP. I will apologise readily if this caused any misinformation or “rumours”! But that won’t dampen my exultation that Kenny, by making it this way, has shuttered the ceiling of ignorence and help put a Spot-light on a “gate-way” for many low-key federartions to take this event purposeful! I could accept some responsibility indeed on your blgo-sphere but can you believe some in the RSA federation attacked me personally claiming there was no chance for Kenny and I am misleading the chess team!!!

  3. what he earned is the norm, not the title yet – he needs to breach the 2500 barrier, it’s just a matter of time, he plays at that level, with the ratings he gained from this olympiad – its only apt to forecast that a Grandmaster mightl be donning the colors for RSA at board 1 in Norway 2012… FM Steel might follow suit prior to that, this guy is GM strength, had he played more fide rated tournaments, he could have already prefixed his name with a GM…. in 2010, he started with 5/7 after round 8, he got 3 rounds to score 2 more and the 20-game GM norm, but unfortunately, after “only” a draw against a 2200 player, he loses his last round game – and “only” took the 20 game IM-norm as consolation….. look at his FIDE profile – youll see how little was his exposure in international play and yet was able to get the norm (and now the full IM title) and such rating… 2415 in live chess rating – and its apt for RSA to celebrate!!!

  4. That is correct and that is what the article is stating that he earned two norms. The rumour was being spread that he was getting the TITLE because he had a single 2600 performance. You cannot get the GM title outright in a single tournament unless it is the World Junior, World Senior or final 16 in World Championship. For an IM title you can earn it outright by a single performance.

    1. Daaim, titles in chess are received “outright” if it is at the end of a process. It can culminate at an Olympiad, right? i.e. If a player came to play with 2 GM norms and having been beyond 2500 Elo, he stands to bag the title with a Norm RP.

      1. @jackie on behalf of Dr. Thats NOT “outright” coz you have stated a lot of pre-smthn smthingz… Anyway a good learning experience anyhow, @DR Shabzz when u find time look into the other boys next door Farai Mandizha and Rodwell Makoto anything special they got from Turkey, a Norm?? Thanks in advance.

      2. In this sense, “outright” means getting the GM title immediately in one single tournament… as you can with winning the World Junior (with or without a previous title). This is one of three ways to get it outright (regardless of the norms previously earned… zero, one or two). The impression you were giving in your earlier statements was that Kenny had earned the title because he got a 2600 performance. You were even calculating the TPR at various points to measure to see if he had maintained it. Fortunately, Kenny has only gotten his three GM norms but is still technically an IM. We cannot use the “GM” designation officially until he gets the 2-5 and is the title conferred at one of the FIDE sessions… all have different time frames. Let’s hope he will get it in good time.

        1. Sorry! Bad choice of word. Still the opportunity Kenny benefits from was not commonly known. For instance I urged IM (Elect) Mandizha to travel and aim for it and he gave me the impression that he was not aware of it and did not believe such a chance existed! Hope he and many are aware now!Thanks for laying it out elaborately! Take care!

  5. Many errors in this article. They confused performance ratings with ELO ratings. Can we see why one has to be precise about these things? It is not the performance rating that must reach 2500, but the actual ELO rating. Very confusing comments are attributed to Anant Dole who is quoted as saying the highest ELO rating is 2880 (Kasparov has the record at 2851). They even say Kenny has joined the likes of Fischer and Kasparov, who were highest GMs and World Champions. Kenny still has to get the 2500 ELO requirement and there is no instant confirmation to be made as implied by the Sports Minister. Knowing Kenny and his humility, he is probably embarrassed to read this.

    Link: https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/cape-man-is-sa-s-first-chess-grandmaster-1.1380191

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