Today was the big day as far as the non-chess portion of this Olympiad was concerned ... the election of the FIDE President was decided today while round 9 was underway a short distance away in Tromso ... and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov won the vote over Garry Kasparov 110-61. I decided to stop by the Expo area before the round started & it was very different ... completely deserted!
I was again on board 18 today, which had the clash between Croatia & Belgium. Croatia had the advantage in rating on all boards & for once, the rating favourites came out on top fairly convincingly, with a 3-1 win.
For me the clear highlight & Game of the Round was watching Zdenko Kozul up close demolish young FM Thibaut Vandenbussche. Unlike some of the spectacular tactical games Kozul has produced over his career, today he simply outplayed Vandenbussche & squeezed him positionally, gaining space, improving his pieces & removing any opportunity for his opponent to get some counterplay. Indeed the final position is a triumph of this strategy - black is already two pawns down & is faced with the alternatives of an immediate checkmate, or blocking with a piece (leaving it pinned) as well as taking away the final safe square of another piece! A fantastic game to play through!
Did you know ... young Belgians Bart Michiels & Tanguy Ringoir warm up for their games by doing tactical exercises from a chess book before their games
Tactical Targets in Chess Volume 2
Did you know ... Englishman Matthew Sadler likes to meditate before his chess games. He has been photographed on more than one occasion in the pose below before his games
A quick trip to the Expo area after my match was finished revealed something else about the Kasparov booth ...
The Aussies had a mixed day, with the Open team having a narrow 2.5-1,5 win over Portugal, while the Women's team had a narrow 1.5-2.5 loss to Kyrgyzstan. Tomorrow the Open team face Tajikistan, while the Woman face neighbours New Zealand.