Chess Olympiad, day twelve: Chinese Women Take Commanding Lead

ISTANBUL, November 8: The Chinese Women virtually ended any speculation about who is going to win the woman's half of the World Chess Olympiad, by wiping out the team from the Czech Republic by 3-0, while the only serious rival, the Republic of Georgian, lost to Ukraine 2-1.

China entered the round with a half point lead but ended the round with a 2.5 point lead over Georgia, and Georgia in turn has a 1.5 point lead over third place Netherlands, so the top two places are virtually determined, with the only contest remaining for third place.

China has dominated the event, not only by failing to lose a match, but even by failing to lose a single game. China's record thus far after 33 games is 19 wins, 14 draws and no losses!
Zhu Chen
Zhu Chen

On the men's side, Russia increased her lead by defeating Ukraine 2.5 to 1.5, while Germany fell further back by losing his match with Bulgaria by 2.5 to 1.5. However, unlike the women's section, the men's section is by no means over. There are many teams not far behind who have the strength possibly to overtake Russia.

I asked Peter Svidler, who plays third board for Russia, why he plays on third board when only one player on the team is rated higher than he is. Svidler is rated 2695, while second board Alexander Morozevich is rated 2734. Top board, Alexander Khalifman, is only rated 2658.

Svidler replied, "The World Champion plays first board. This is always the rule. After that, we go by rating."

Svidler denied that there has been any pressure from FIDE or others to put the "official" FIDE world champion on top board.

A stir was created by the fact that on the men's top three boards, two women were playing. They both powered their teams to victories. Judit Polgar of Hungary, age 24, produced perhaps the best game of the round by her endgame win against Anastasian of Armenia. Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria, age 21, drew with Bischoff of Germany.
Xu Yuhua
Xu Yuhua

Not only are they strong chess players but they are beautiful. This Olympiad is exceptional for the large number of beautiful young girls playing on the women's side. Most of them are teenagers, who have displaced the previous generation of female chess players who were known not only for their strength but for their width.

When a chess magazine publisher here at the Olympiad asked me for ideas to improve the circulation of his magazine, I recommended that he take photographs of 36 of the girls here. This will give him cover stories for the next three years of his magazine.

In the USA, Irina Krush, age 16, is by far the strongest female chess player in America, plus she was the US Woman's Chess Champion and the heroin of the Kasparov vs. The Rest of the World Match. She is beautiful and has an attractive and charming personality. Yet, her photo has never graced the cover of Chess Life magazine. What are those lunkheads thinking about?

Back in the 1960s, a moderately attractive woman named Lisa Lane made international news when she fell in love during a woman's interzonal chess championship. By contrast, there are now a large number of young women who are more attractive and could beat Lisa Lane at chess blindfolded, but nobody pays any attention to them (except for me).

Tim Redman, the new USCF President, who is admittedly not a connoisseur of fine women, wants to increase interest in chess by awarding two rating points for every game played. He ignores this more obvious way to increase interest in chess.

Wang Lei
Wang Lei

The Dutch team is down to four players. The original team was supposed to consist of Loek van Wely, Jeroen Piket, Jan Timman, Sergei Tiviakov, Paul van der Sterren, and Frisco Nijboer. However, Timman dropped out just before the event. There have been speculations as to why, such as the suggestion that he was afraid of drug tests (which as it turns out were never done) or that he objected to playing on board three. It is also said that his wife or son are ill.

In his place, Dennis de Vreugt was entered as a last minute substitute. However, de Vreugt is not in that class and has played no games.

After five rounds, Sergei Tiviakov became ill and has played no games since. Now, he has returned to Holland. Dennis de Vreugt has returned to Holland as well, leaving the Dutch team with only four players and no backup.

Steve Doyle, the last member of the US Delegation, arrived today. Don Schultz, former USCF President, is expected to arrive tomorrow.

The old and new Philippines Chess Federations were asked to sit down and try to negotiate a settlement, which they did, but the negotiations went nowhere and broke down quickly.

The President of the new Philippines Chess Federation is Bobby Ang of Intenet Fame. It was Bobby Ang who facilitated the live Bobby Fischer radio broadcasts last year.

The USCF delegation has been instructed to vote in favor of the old Philippines Chess Federation at the General Assembly meetings, on the grounds that the removal of the old federation was improper and illegal.

The youngest player in the Olympiad is 10-year-old Yang Liu of Singapore. Her score thus far is two wins and four losses. (She is a very small ten-year-old by the way.)

Thailand, which always plays in these Olympiads, did not come this year. The reason was that they failed to register on time. Participants in this Olympiad were expected to register two months in advance. Thailand failed to do this.

On the other hand, four teams which did register in advance did not show up but were paired in the first round, nevertheless. These were Nicaragua, Nigeria, Mauritania, and Djibouti. Belarus was given a forfeit win against Nicaragua, Bangladesh was given a forfeit win against Djibouti, Ecuador was given a forfeit win against Mauritania. Argentina showed up late and was not paired for the first round.

A player from Tajikistan showed up expecting to play, only to find out that the rest of his team had not made it to the Olympiad. Tajikistan has been expelled from FIDE for non-payment of dues.

The press room here at the Olympiad in Istanbul was shocked by the news from America that Bush may have been elected. They say that they cannot understand how a man so obviously lacking in knowledge, qualifications, capability or experience could be elected president of the American people.

Results for round 11 were: Russia beat Ukraine 2.5 to 1.5, Bulgaria beat Germany 2.5 to 1.5, Hungary beat Armenia 2.5 to 1.5, Bosnia drew Israel 2-2, Netherlands beat Poland 2.5 to 1.5, USA beat Philippines 2.5 to 1.5, England beat Greece 2.5 to 1.5, Denmark drew China 2-2, Brazil beat India 2.5 to 1.5, Slovakia beat Kazakhstan 2.5 to 1.5, France beat Switzerland 2.5 to 1.5, Romania beat Canada 3-1, Kyrgyzstan beat Uzbekistan 3-1, Georgia beat Estonia 2.5 to 1.5, Latvia beat Spain 2.5 to 1.5.

Standings after 11 rounds were:

Russia first with 30.5, followed by Germany with 29, Ukraine with 28.5, Hungary, Bulgaria and Armenia with 28, USA and Netherlands with 27, England, Israel, Bosnia, Brazil, Slovakia and Romania with 26.5, China, Poland, Cuba, Sweden, France, Denmark and Kyrgyzstan with 26, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Greece, Yugoslavia, India, Latvia and Philippines with 25.5, Switzerland and Italy with 25. Spain, Uzbekistan, Estonia, Canada, Mongolia with 24.5.

On the women's side, results were:

China beat Czech Republic 3-0, Georgia lost to Ukraine 1-2, Yugoslavia beat Russia 2-1, Netherlands beat Spain 2-1, Armenia beat Bulgaria 2-1, Romania beat Vietnam 2.5 to .5, Hungary beat Slovakia 2.5 to .5, Germany beat Austria 3-0, Cuba drew England 1.5 to 1.5, Poland beat Bosnia 2.5 to .5, USA beat Greece 2-1, Kazakhstan beat Slovenia .5, Switzerland drew Moldova 1.5 to 1.5, India beat Latvia 2-1.

Standings after 11 rounds were:

China leads with 26, followed by Georgia with 23.5, Netherlands with 22, Russia, Ukraine and Yugoslavia with 21, Hungary, Germany and Romania with 20.5, Armenia with 20, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan and Spain with 19.5, England, Cuba and USA with 19, Vietnam, Belarus, India and Australia with 18.5, Moldova, Slovakia, Greece, Sweden and Switzerland with 18.

Sam Sloan

[Event "34th Chess Olympiad (men)"]
[Site "Istanbul"]
[Date "2000.11.08"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Polgar, J."]
[Black "Anastasian, A."]
[WhiteElo "2656"]
[BlackElo "2558"]
[WhiteCountry "HUN"]
[BlackCountry "ARM"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Remark "4746"]
[PresId "0000111033"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 d6 7. Bxc6+ bxc6 
8. d4 exd4 9. Nxd4 Bd7 10. b3 O-O 11. Bb2 g6 12. Qf3 Nh5 13. e5 d5 14. Nd2 a5 
15. c4 c5 16. Ne2 d4 17. Nc1 Ra6 18. Nd3 Bc6 19. Qg4 a4 20. Ne4 Bxe4 
21. Qxe4 Qa8 22. Qg4 Qc8 23. Qxc8 Rxc8 24. Ba3 Ra5 25. Reb1 g5 26. g3 axb3 
27. axb3 Rb8 28. Kf1 f6 29. Ke2 Kf7 30. Kd2 Ke6 31. exf6 Bd6 32. Kc2 Rba8 
33. Bb2 Rxa1 34. Bxa1 Nxf6 35. Re1+ Kf5 36. f3 h5 37. b4 Ra2+ 38. Bb2 Nd7 
39. b5 Ne5 40. Nxe5 Bxe5 41. Kb3 Ra8 42. g4+ Kf6 43. Bc1 Bd6 44. h3 Rh8 
45. Kc2 hxg4 46. hxg4 Rh3 47. Rf1 Be7 48. Kd3 Ke6 49. Re1+ Kd6 50. Ke4 Rh6 
51. Rf1 Re6+ 52. Kd3 Rh6 53. f4 Rh4 54. Ke4 Ke6 55. f5+ Kf7 56. Rg1 Rh6 
57. Bd2 Ke8 58. Be1 Rh2 59. Bg3 Re2+ 60. Kd5 Kd7 61. Re1 Rxe1 62. Bxe1 Bd6 
63. Bd2 Bf4 64. Bxf4 gxf4 65. Ke4 Ke7 66. Kxf4 Kf7 67. g5 Ke7 68. f6+ Ke6 
69. Ke4 Kd7 70. f7 Ke7 71. g6 Kf8 72. Kf5 Ke7 73. Kg5 

I am now in Istanbul, where the World Chess Olympiad is taking place. I am issuing daily press reports on the developments in the Olympiad. Here are my daily press reports so far:
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