Monday, 18 December 2017

Russia Gold, India Silver, Iran Bronze.

Russia was invincible in the first eight rounds of this competition and had in fact already won Gold before the final round had started. As it happened they needed the gap as they lost their last match to the India Red team 2.5-1.5

India Green finished a close second, also losing only one match but also drawing one.

Iran also just had one loss but drew two matches.

One surprise for me at least was the brevity of the closing ceremony. The dignitaries kept their speeches short, there was no cultural entertainment and the prizegiving ceremony seemed rather rushed. I have played in quite a number of tournaments in India, starting in 1992 in Calicut, Kerela, and have never experienced this. I'm certainly not complaining, am just a little befuddled.

The Russian team did have the edge in the coaching department with GM Kobalia, centre top row in the blue shirt, a truly world class player and a nice guy actually. In Norway, some years ago I had the pleasure of playing him and would have earned a GM norm with a win but that dream ended quickly as I was unsurprisingly totally outclassed.

The India Green team had the hopes of a nation resting on its very young shoulders and they came close. At least one of their players still has 5 years in this age category so I expect Gold could very well come their way soon.

Iran has dominated this competition of late and was the defending champion. With such depth of talent, they could very well become a contender in the Chess Olympics soon. They also only lost one match but drew two. There was daylight between these three teams and the rest of the field. 

Full results here

A final picture of the medalists and dignitaries.

The Australian team standing for the Russian national anthem.

This was my first outing as coach of an Australian national team and it was a thoroughly pleasant experience. All players really gave their best and although the result could have been better, spirits remained high. Nerves could have played a role in some games and more experience at this level will surely pay dividends. They have the talent, now they need support from Government and chess administration.

The only frustration was watching and not being able to play any games myself but since I am a tad over 16 that couldn't be helped. Luckily a GM Open is beginning in Bhopal in a few days and I'll
hopefully be able to use some of the things I have learned from helping the team prepare.

Hasta la Bhopal :-)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks mate for the news.. and good luck for Bhopal!