I was back in Turkey in time to re-use my visa from the team competition, this time for the Olympiad, held not far from the airport. The hotel and meals were quite good compared to recent editions, although the state of the hotel internet was a problem that was never fully resolved. The teams in the WOW hotels were lucky to be able to walk to the venue although there were limited facilities around and those who had to bus it to the chess might have had a more interesting location.
The playing hall was quite decent from a player’s point of view although the temporary toilets which were brought in for the event were at first insufficient in number and none too pleasant. I was shocked to see only 3 VIP rooms and would hope that a minimum of 1 room per esteemed guest would be the bare minimum in the future.
Spectators had it rougher; there were very limited possibilities to view the games outside the hall. If you stashed your phone and ventured into the playing area it was only possible to see the first 10 boards in each section. Even making out the scores in other matches was impossible as the boards showing results were not large. Spectators have had a raw deal at Olympiads for too many years now and for such a showpiece event it needs to improve.
Plenty has been written about arbiters at this event but it seems to me that fewer are required as with the incremental time control there is little for them to do, and many of them seemed incapable of resolving simple problems like three fold repetition or dealing with a faulty clock. The ludicrous Zero Tolerance was made even more ridiculous by the rounds routinely starting over 5 minutes late.
Another area of concern is the excessive charging for hotels; and other dubious money making measures such as charging for press passes which were also in evidence. Of course the ever increasing size of the event, whilst great for the game, doesn’t make it easy for organizers to balance the budget, but making it too expensive to attend is counterproductive from everyone’s point of view as people simply choose not to come.
Moving onto the chess, the team lost a good opportunity to build on a good start with slip ups in rounds 8 and 9, this missed opportunity against the Philippines was irksome:
[pgn initialply=54 height=350]
[Event "Istanbul ol (Men) 40th"]
[Site "Istanbul"]
[Date "2012.09.05"]
[Round "8.1"]
[White "Adams, Michael"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2722"]
[BlackElo "2652"]
[Annotator "Blog"]
[PlyCount "101"]
[EventDate "2012.08.28"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "TUN"]
[Source "Chessbase"]
[SourceDate "2012.09.13"]
[WhiteTeam "England"]
[BlackTeam "Philippines"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "ENG"]
[BlackTeamCountry "PHI"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. c3 Nd7 7. Nh4 Be4 8. Nd2
Ng6 9. Nhf3 Bf5 10. Nf1 Be4 11. Ng3 Bxf3 12. Bxf3 Nh4 13. O-O Nxf3+ 14. Qxf3 c5
15. Nh5 Rc8 (15… g6 16. Nf6+ Nxf6 17. Bg5 {is unpleasant so Black has some
problems.}) 16. Qg3 g6 17. Bg5 Be7 18. Ng7+ Kf8 19. Bh6 Kg8 20. Nh5 Bf8 21. Be3
h6 22. Nf4 Kh7 23. h4 Be7 ({I thought} 23… h5 {keeping things closed on the
kingside had to be played.}) 24. h5 g5 25. Ne2 cxd4 26. Nxd4 Rf8 27. f4 gxf4
28. Bxf4 $2 ({Here I missed the key tactical idea} 28. Rxf4 Bg5 (28… Qe8 29.
Raf1 Bg5 30. Rg4 Bxe3+ 31. Qxe3) 29. Nf3 $1 {when Black is in severe
difficulties. e.g} ({I thought the attack burnt out after} 29. Raf1 Bxf4 30.
Qxf4 Qg5) 29… Nc5 30. Rf1 Ne4 31. Rxe4 dxe4 32. Nxg5+ hxg5 33. Bxg5) 28…
Bg5 29. Rae1 Nc5 30. Re3 Ne4 31. Qe1 Qe7 32. Ref3 f5 33. exf6 Bxf6 34. Qe2 Bg7
35. Be3 Rxf3 36. Qxf3 Rf8 37. Qg4 Rxf1+ 38. Kxf1 Qf7+ 39. Kg1 Bxd4 40. Bxd4 a6
41. c4 Nd6 42. cxd5 exd5 43. Bc3 Ne4 44. Bd4 Nd6 45. a3 Nf5 46. Be5 ({A silly
slip after} 46. Qf4 Qe6 47. Be5 Kg8 48. g4 Ne7 49. Kf2 Nc6 50. Bf6 Kf7 51. Bc3+
Kg8 {White still has reasonable practical chances to squeeze something out of
the ending.}) 46… Ng7 47. Bxg7 Qxg7 48. Qf5+ Kh8 49. Qc8+ Kh7 50. Qf5+ Kh8
51. Qc8+ 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

This game was followed by an abysmal loss to Le Quang regrettably the 2 key matches which cost the team,. Several of my team-mates were also having a frustrating time, although Nigel Short carried the team with an excellent performance.
I am very grateful to a number of individuals who generously donated money to help fund the team, and I was happy to demonstrate the game below at a small gathering with them after the Olympiad. There are a lot of computer lines but the power of the machine in these types of position is rather humbling.
[pgn initialply=44 height=350]
[Event "40th Olympiad Open"]
[Site "Istanbul TUR"]
[Date "2012.09.07"]
[Round "10.1"]
[White "Adams, Michael"]
[Black "Rodriguez Vila, Andres"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C05"]
[WhiteElo "2722"]
[BlackElo "2536"]
[Annotator "Blog"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2012.08.28"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2010.03.20"]
[WhiteTeam "England"]
[BlackTeam "Uruguay"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "ENG"]
[BlackTeamCountry "URU"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. c3 c5 6. f4 Nc6 7. Ndf3 cxd4 8. cxd4
Qb6 9. a3 Be7 10. b4 f5 {This idea locking the kingside is quite tricky.
Standard development gives Black good play on the queenside so White should
open lines on the other side of the board.However it’s not clear how to effect
this but I had seen an interesting way how to achieve this indicated in Viktor
Moskalenko’s fine book “The Flexible French”.} 11. Nh3 O-O (11… Qd8 {keeping
options to take the king to the queenside might have been wiser.}) 12. Rg1 Qd8
13. Bd3 ({I was tempted by} 13. Ra2 Nb6 14. g4 {but rejected it as} Bh4+ (14…
Bd7 15. Rag2 {looks good.}) 15. Ke2 Be7 16. Ke1 {seems to be an unusual
repetition.}) 13… Nb6 14. g4 Bd7 15. Ra2 {The key idea, White doubles rooks
in a very efficient manner and Black’s king is caught in the firing line.} Be8
(15… Rc8 16. gxf5 exf5 17. Rag2 g6 18. Nhg5 {looks strong.}) 16. Rag2 Bg6 ({
It looks horrible to play} 16… g6 {when White has a couple of good options}
17. gxf5 (17. Nhg5 $5 Bxg5 18. Nxg5 Qe7 19. h4 Rc8 (19… Nxd4 20. Be3)) 17…
exf5 18. Nhg5 Bxg5 19. Nxg5 Qe7 20. h4 Nxd4 21. Be3 Ne6 22. Nxe6 Qxe6 23. h5)
17. Nhg5 ({The computer indicates} 17. gxf5 exf5 18. b5 Na5 19. Nhg5 {creates
an immediate problem} Bxg5 (19… Qe8 20. Ne6) (19… Qd7 20. e6 Qd6 21. Nxh7
Qxe6+ 22. Ne5 Bxh7 23. Rxg7+ Kh8 24. Qh5) 20. Rxg5 {which I didn’t see
planning the very nasty Nh4.}) 17… Bxg5 ({Necessary as} 17… Qd7 $2 {allows
an immediate breakthrough.} 18. gxf5 exf5 19. Nxh7 Bxh7 20. Rxg7+ Kh8 21. Rxh7+
Kxh7 22. Ng5+ Bxg5 23. Qh5+ Bh6 24. Rg6 Qg7 25. Bxf5) 18. Nxg5 Qe7 19. h4 Kh8 (
19… h6 20. Nxe6 Qxe6 21. gxf5 Bxf5 22. Rxg7+ Kh8 23. R7g6 Bxg6 24. Rxg6 Qh3
25. Qh5 Qh1+ 26. Kd2 {wins.}) 20. h5 Be8 21. Be3 ({I was pleased to find a
plan to exploit the absence of Black’s dark squared bishop but here the
computer is in it’s element and points out} 21. gxf5 $1 exf5 22. Nxh7 $1 (22.
Nf3 {was also interesting.} Bxh5 (22… Rf7) 23. Rxg7 Rf7 (23… Qxg7 24. Rxg7
Kxg7 25. Kf2 {I thought Black might be able to consolidate here but he doesn’t
have enough time.} Bg4 (25… Kh8 26. Qg1 Bxf3 27. Kxf3 Rf7 28. Be3 Rg8 29. Qh1
) 26. Qh1) 24. Rxf7 Qxf7 25. Ng5 Qe8 26. Qd2) 22… Qh4+ (22… Kxh7 23. Rxg7+
Qxg7 24. Bxf5+ Rxf5 25. Rxg7+ Kxg7 26. Qg4+) 23. Kf1 Kxh7 (23… Bxh5 24. Nxf8
Rxf8 25. Be2) 24. Rxg7+ Kh8 25. Qf3 Qh2 (25… Bxh5 26. Qg2 {Threatening
Rg7-h7+} Bg4 27. Rxg4 Qxg4 28. Qh1+) 26. Bxf5 Rxf5 (26… Qxg1+ 27. Rxg1 Nxd4
28. Qc3 Nxf5 29. e6+) 27. Rg8+ Kh7 28. Qg4) 21… Bd7 (21… Nc4 22. Bxc4 dxc4
23. d5 exd5 (23… Nxe5 24. d6 Nd3+ 25. Qxd3 Qxg5 26. Qc3 Qf6 27. Bd4) 24. Bc5
{is rather awkward.}) 22. Bf2 ({Here} 22. gxf5 exf5 23. Nxh7 Kxh7 {is less
convincing.}) 22… Nc4 (22… a5 {is too slow Black must try and generate
some play fast} 23. gxf5 exf5 24. Nf3 Rf7 25. Bh4 Qf8 26. Rxg7 Rxg7 27. Bf6)
23. Nf3 $2 ({A more serious slip allowing my opponent a chance to get back
into the game.The computer again shows the most efficient way:} 23. Nxh7 $1
Kxh7 (23… Nb2 24. Nxf8) (23… Nxb4 24. Nxf8) 24. gxf5 exf5 25. h6 $1 {I
underestimated this} (25. Qg4 Kh8) 25… g6 (25… gxh6 26. Qh5 {with an
overwhelming attack.} Qf7 (26… Rf7 27. Qxh6+ Kxh6 28. Rh2+) (26… Be8 27.
Bxf5+) 27. Rg6) 26. Rxg6 Kh8 (26… Rf7 27. Rg7+ Kh8 28. Qh5 Raf8 29. Qg6) (
26… Nb2 27. Qe2 (27. Rg7+ Qxg7 28. hxg7 Nxd1 29. gxf8=N+ Rxf8 30. Kxd1) 27…
Nxd3+ 28. Qxd3 Kh8 29. Rg7 Qe6 30. Qg3 Qxh6 31. Rg5 Ne7 32. Rh5) 27. Rg7 Qe8
28. Qf3 (28. Bxc4 dxc4 29. d5) 28… Ne7 (28… Nxa3 29. Qg3 Rf7 30. Qg6) (
28… Be6 29. Bxc4 dxc4 30. d5) 29. Bh4) ({It’s easy to excuse not working
that out but less clever to fail to find the sensible continuation was} 23.
gxf5 {opening up my rooks} exf5 (23… Nb2 24. Qb3 Nxd3+ 25. Qxd3 Rxf5 26. Nf3)
24. Nf3 Nb2 25. Qb1 Nxd3+ 26. Qxd3 Nxb4 27. axb4 Qxb4+ 28. Nd2 Rac8 {which is
much better for White than the variation below.}) 23… Nxb4 $2 ({Black misses
a chance to get good counterplay with} 23… Nb2 $1 24. Qb3 Nxd3+ 25. Qxd3 Nxb4
$1 26. axb4 (26. Qb3 Nc2+ 27. Qxc2 Qxa3) 26… Qxb4+ 27. Nd2 Rac8 (27… Bb5
28. Qb1) 28. Qb1 Qa3) 24. Bh4 $1 Nxd3+ (24… Ba4 25. Bxe7 Bxd1 26. axb4 Bxf3
27. Bxf8 Rxf8 (27… Bxg2 28. Bxg7+ Kxg7 29. gxf5 exf5 30. Rxg2+) 28. Ra2 {is
good for White.}) 25. Qxd3 Qf7 ({There is no perpetual after} 25… Qxa3 26.
Qxa3 Nxa3 27. gxf5 Rfc8 (27… Rac8 28. Rxg7 Rc1+ 29. Kf2 Rc2+ 30. Nd2 $1 Rxd2+
31. Ke1 Ra2 32. Rg8+ Rxg8 33. Bf6+ Rg7 34. Rxg7) 28. Rxg7 Rc1+ 29. Kf2 Rc2+ 30.
Nd2 $1 Rxd2+ 31. Ke1 Rh2 32. Rg8+ Rxg8 33. Bf6+ Rg7 34. Rxg7) 26. gxf5 exf5 27.
Rxg7 ({I chose the simple finish although there were alternatives like} 27. h6
g6 28. Bf6+ Kg8 29. Ng5 Qe8 30. Nxh7 Kxh7 31. Rxg6 Rxf6 32. Rxf6 Kh8 (32… Qh5
33. Qg3 Qg4 34. Qxg4 fxg4 35. Rf7+) 33. Qg3 Qe7 34. Qg7+ Qxg7 35. hxg7+ Kg8 36.
Rh6 Kf7 37. g8=Q+ Rxg8 38. Rf6+) (27. Qe2) 27… Qxg7 28. Rxg7 Kxg7 29. Bf6+ ({
Again I played the forcing option} 29. Qe2 {was also good.}) 29… Rxf6 (29…
Kh6 30. Nh4 {is deadly}) 30. exf6+ Kxf6 31. Ne5 Nxe5 (31… Be6 32. Qg3 Rg8 33.
Qh4+ {is fatal.}) 32. dxe5+ Ke6 33. Qg3 {Black can’t resist seriously as there
are too many holes in his position.} Rf8 34. Qg7 Rf7 35. Qh6+ Ke7 36. Qd6+ Kd8
(36… Ke8 37. Qb8+ Ke7 38. Qxb7 {is also easy.}) 37. Qxd5 ({Not} 37. e6 $2 Re7
) 37… Re7 38. Qxb7 Bc8 39. Qd5+ Rd7 40. Qg8+ Kc7 41. Qf8 {Black resigned.
White’s King has serenely watched developments from his starting square in
total safety. Perhaps this castling malarkey is over rated.} 1-0 [/pgn]

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