Australia's performance in the first half of the ongoing Istanbul Olympiad
has been patchy, to say the least, but with illness striking down virtually
the entire team.
In the Open Olympiad, Australia, seeded 39th in a field of 126, has won
three of its first six matches, but unfortunately a humiliating 0-4 loss to
the Ukraine was the stand-out result.
A loss to the sixth seed would normally not be a disgrace but to be
white-washed in a match that Australia stood to win after three hours play
was extremely disappointing.
The best performer for Australia in the Open team has been Melbourne's
Darryl Johansen who has managed an undefeated 3/4 despite playing one game
when suffering severe food poisoning.
Australia's performance in the Women's Olympiad has been equally
inconsistent, respectable showings against top teams undone by a loss to
lowly ranked Mexico in round six.
Olympiad debutante Laura Moylan, has been the star to date, the ACT
player's 3/4 including a win over 16th seeded Netherlands. Moylan was
embroiled in controversy prior to the Olympiad, with one unsuccessful
Olympiad applicant claiming that the 17-year-old had taken 'her' place in
the team but Moylan has already more than justified the selectors' faith in
With eight round remaining, a mid-field position in both Olympiads is no
disaster but an ability to put 7 healthy players in front of a board every
day during the tough run home would be a decided asset.
The following game, played on top board in the Spain-Netherlands match, is
one of the most remarkable of the Olympiad so far, with the entire contest
taking less than an hour to finish.
Istanbul Olympiad 2000
Black: L.Van Wely
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 e5 8.Nf5 g6
9.g5 gxf5 10.exf5 d5 11.Qf3 d4 12.0-0-0 Nbd7 13.Bd2 Qc7 14.gxf6 dxc3
15.Bxc3 Qc6 16.Qg3!! (Diagram)
If you have tried in vain to understand the previous moves - all played at
top speed by Shirov and Van Wely, incidentally, do not despair, as this is
one of the most bizarre and complicated lines in modern chess, trusted only
by Alexey Shirov.
In an earlier game between these same two players, Shirov first introduced
the extra sacrifice 16.Qg3 and won brilliantly when Van Wely did not take
When showing this game in a lecture during his recent Sydney visit, Shirov
claimed that by not taking the rook, Van Wely showed that he had 'no
Maybe Shirov was provoking Van Wely, for this time the Dutchman took up the
challenge, with disastrous consequences.
16...Qxh1 17.Bg2 Bh6+ 18.Bd2 Bxd2+ 19.Kxd2 Qxg2 20.Qxg2 a5
So far, analysis by a German magazine, claiming Black is fine. Not true,
Otherwise 22.fe5 kills.
22.Qg7 Rf8 23.Re1+ Kd8 24.Re7 Kc7
There is no defence, since on 24...Re8, 25.Qxf7 Nxf6 26.Rxe8+ Nxe8 27.f6 is
Henk Doel lost his final game to hand outright first place in the Griffin
Trophy tournament to Sherwin Rafizedah.
Leading final scores:
1. Rafizedah 5.5/7;
2eq. Doel, Rout, DeNoskowski 4.5.
The ACT Junior Lightning (5 minute chess) Championship begins today at 1pm
at the Southside Chess Centre, Kambah. Details 62581070.
Those interested in slightly slower games can try the ACT Rapid
Championship at the Canberra Chess Club, Griffin Centre, Civic on November
8. Details 62766379.