Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Olympiad 2010 review

"The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things...". So goes the line from Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland".

"Let's start at the very beginning/ a very good place to start" from Do-Re-Mi (the song from "The Sound of Music"). The selection of the mens team was rather haphazard and roundly critized by all. How did two chess officials appoint themselves into the team? What has the selection committee got to say about this?

And the board order. Khai Boon on third board? I think Greg would have put him on first board if Mas and Mok were agreeable. That's not to say it is a bad idea, a few teams actually used this strategy. We probably could have obtained a better placing if we followed this strategy.

Ok, never mind, what is done is done. Important thing is to give a good account of themselves. First round against England, it is a foregone conclusion. Someone thinks that Mas should have played on against Michael Adams. Hannah Montana goes "Say what?".

A missed chance against Lithuania in the third round. This could have been the highlight of our performance if only Mok had figured out the win. Instead the highlight turned out to be a lost match against the Bolivian team.

Halfway through the tournament, it became obvious that a lack of a real reserve player was a considerable handicap.

Individual performance

Mas performance was pretty par for the course. He scored 5.5/10 including five grandmaster opponents. There were some anxious moments in the last round when he lost due to his mobile alarm. Mobile phones nowadays double as PDA as well and shutting down the phone does not shut down the PDA functions as Mas found.

There was an interview with a phone designer once and according to him, studies showed that 99% of phone users have no need to shut off their phone completely. Unfortunately chess players fall into the 1% that does. Lately (at the Malaysian Chess Festival), I started taking out the battery from my mobile for peace of mind.

Mok scored 6/11 and normally one should be satisfied with this score on board two. However there were too many lowly rated players in his list of opponents. Both he and Peter are the biggest losers in rating points.

Khai Boon first olympiad will be memorable for the wrong reason. He scored 3/9 and started his meltdown from round seven. It was a wise move to rest him in the last two rounds.

Peter Long did much better than I expected, given that he had not played at this level for a number of years. He contributed 5.5/11, a 50% score , easily his best performance at an olympiad. Except for the first round, he played some solid openings and obtained good middle-game positions that he could play.

Gregory Lau played three games, winning two and losing one. He contributed a point in the match that mattered most, the final round. Strangely, he was the only one beside Mas who actually gained rating points.

It looks like we will never better our best olympiad , 1986 Dubai. Never. The best team we ever put together, 2006 Turin with Mas, Mok, Yee Weng, Jonathan and Anas, we still managed only 80th position. The reason is that every country is improving and we are stagnating.


Jimmy Liew said...

To reply to Raymond (see

Chess Ninja is correct. I'm just using reverse psychology. Prove me wrong, Malaysia.

Rationality said...

My advice: Don't reply. Ignore it. It has obviously turned personal for him. This, I can tell you by the tone of his writing. Stop wasting your time looking there.

mtheory said...

looks like malaysian chess in a sori state of affairs if this is happening.

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