Canberra Times Chess Column for November 19

When 17-year-old Laura Moylan returns home to a hero's welcome tomorrow,
silver medal from the Istanbul Chess Olympiad in hand, spare a thought for
Darryl Johansen.
Johansen's excellent performance on board 2 of the Australian open team was
overshadowed by Moylan's sensational 8/9 result, yet the Melbourne GM
missed his first medal in 10 Olympiads, by the narrowest of margins.
At the Lucerne Olympiad in 1982 Robert Jamieson tied with the young GM
Garry Kasparov and the two shared the bronze medal for second board.
Had the same rules been in force in 2000, Johansen would have shared bronze
with another rising star, Alexander Morozevich. However in recent years the
world body FIDE has introduced a tie-breaking procedure for medals, one
which heavily favours the top teams. On tie-break Johansen, 41, was
relegated to fourth place, a repeat of his near-miss in the 1990 Novi Sad
Johansen provided the only stand-out performance in a remarkably solid
Australian open team. Australia lost only 4 of their 14 matches and their
defeat of the highly fancied Croatian team in the final round pushed the
team up to a final position of 33rd amongst the 125 competing countries,
equal with chess power-houses such as the Netherlands and Latvia.
Of course even this result appeared modest compared with the achievement of
the Australian women's team. Inspired by Moylan, our women's team so
overachieved that they received a special award for the best performance by
a middle-ranking team. The only problem now is - what can the women's team
do for an encore in Bled 2002?

Istanbul Olympiad 2000
White: B.Gelfand
Black: A.Shirov
Opening: King's Indian Defence

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 c6?

7...Ng4 is more reliable.

8.d5 cxd5 9.cxd5 Ng4 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bh4 h5 12.Nd2 Na6 13.Nc4 Nh6 14.f3 Nf7

Compared to the main line, White has two extra tempi. Normally White must
spend time playing c4-c5x6 but here Black has done the hard work for him
and voluntarily opened the c file.

15...Bd7 16.a4 Qb8 17.Nb5 Rc8 18.Bf2 Bh6 19.Qb3 Nc5 20.Qa3 a6

The ensuing complications would not work out well but passivity would be
slow death.

21.Nbxd6! Nxd6 22.Nb6! Bf8 23.b4!

Shirov was hoping for 23.Bxc5 Nc4! when Black is fine.

23...Ncxe4 24.fxe4 Be8 25.Qf3 Be7 26.Nxa8 Qxa8 27.Bc5 Qb8 28.a5?!

28.Qh3! Bf7 29.Bxd6! wins more quickly.

28...Qc7 29.Rac1 Qd7 30.Bd3 Kg7 31.Qe3 Bf7 32.Bb6 Rxc1 33.Rxc1 Qa4 34.Bc5
g5 35.Qf2 Qd7 36.Qc2 h4 37.h3 Bg6 38.Bb6 Kh6 39.Qc7 Qe8 40.Bc5 Qf8 41.Rf1

The time control reached, there is no reason to continue the struggle.

2000 Istanbul Olympiad (126 teams, 14 rounds)
Leading final scores:
1.Russia 38/56; 2.Germany 37; 3eq.Ukraine, Hungary 35.5; 5.Israel 34.5...
=33. Australia 31.

Australian individual scores:
Board 1 Rogers(N) 6.5/11; Board 2 Johansen(V) 7.5/10; Board 3 Wohl(N) 4/9;
Board 4 West(V) 3.5/8; Board 5 Zhao Zong Yuan 6/10; Board 6 Sandler 3.5/8.

2000 Women's Olympiad
Leading final scores:
1.China 32/42; 2.Georgia 31; 3.Russia 28.5; 4.Ukraine 27... =21.Australia

Australian individual scores:
Board 1 Berezina-Feldman(NSW) 6/12; Board 2 Phan-Koshnitsky(SA) 6/12; Board
3 Dekic(NSW) 2.5/9; Board 4 Moylan(ACT) 8/9