Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Fantasy Chess Olympiad - Final summary

As now seems customary with many of my ventures into the realm of fantasy sports, the Fantasy Chess Olympiad, which had started so well for me, finished with a whimper rather than a bang.
Although the final results have yet to be published, I finished with 249 points, which should put me around 50th place, which is disappointing after starting in the top 10 in the early rounds.
My team's individual scores were as follows:

Nakamura, Hikaru 21
Bruzon Batista, Lazaro 29
Grischuk, Alexander 27
Volokytin, Andriy 22
Stellwagen, Daniel 15
Muzychuk, Anna 21
Zhao, Xue 30
Dembo, Yelena 28
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 26
Batsiashvili, Nino 22
Obviously there were some good selections (Bruzon, Grischuk, Zhao, Dembo & Kosteniuk), combined with some poor selections (Nakamura, Volokytin, Stellwagen, Muzychuk & Batsiashvili), which made for an overall reasonable team, but one that could have been much better. In particular, my board 5s were poor selections - although Stellwagen has lot of potential, he started slowly & with Giri missing the first few rounds  he was bound to sit out a number of games in the later part of the Olympiad (and in fact didn't play the last 4 rounds!). I think the key to selecting a good board 5 (essentially 'the reserve'), is to find a team that has a decent squad, but with someone who is out-of-form in the team above them. In hindsight, Aussies Max Illingworth & Biljana Dekic would have been excellent board 5 selections, although it may have been difficult to know this at the start of the tournament.
I also came up short in the best name competition, with the winner being Isolated Puns, which I thought was a bit too cheesy to be the best ... but my name also suffered from a similar cheesiness factor.
Oh well ... maybe next time!

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