Baku Chess Olympiad Report 13 by Dr Lyndon Bouah

The organisers are taking the anti cheating procedures very seriously. When Watu’s game ended yesterday he was kindly requested to accompany the arbiter to the screening room where he was searched with a metal detector. The instrument even checked his ears! He was then requested to fetch his SA Tracksuit as well. They also checked his shoes. Watu to his credit took this all in good spirits and went with the test. Nothing fazes the Lion of Africa!

So he was randomly selected from the more than 2000 players here!

The various FIDE Commission meetings started as well. Eldo Smart and Winston Dalpat are sharing duties to attend all the meetings. Yesterday they attended the Qualifications meeting, the Trainers meeting and Disability meeting. Each meeting lasts two hours and must be attended as important announcements are made. They have much to share with the chess community and we look forward to their reports. One aspect that all trainers and managers must note that is that no trainer will be allowed at events if not FIDE certified. This means you must be a paid up FIDE Trainer. I paid up my FIDE trainer membership and received my licence which is valid for four years. If you do not renew then you will not be eligible to be considered for FIDE events.

Eldo started a campaign to allow Delegates onto the floor as they only allowed delegates into the visitors and spectator areas.  After vigorous lobbying he succeeded to obtain access. So he won the earlier debate I referred to in one of my previous posts. Well done sir.

Calvin and I popped down to to mall yesterday before lunch as I wanted to buy a flag as I collect flags and who should we bump into but Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin. And of course neither of us had a phone or camera with us to take a pic! In his absence the Ukraine beat Russia.

Things are hotting up in the race for continental honours. The race is important because the best performing African country obtains the right to participate in the World Team Championship which will happen in May next year. So the results of yesterday are :

1. Algeria 1 vs UAE 3

2. Egypt 2.5 vs Ecuador 1.5. Grandmaster Adly lost to an IM on board two which doesn’t happen often.

3. SA 3 vs Austria 1

4. Finland 4 Tunisia 0

5. Ethiopia 0 Zambia 4.

6. Japan 3 São Tomé 3

7. Pakistan 3 South Sudan 1

8. Madagascar 2.5 vs Morocco  1.5

9. Ivory Coast 1 Uruguay 3

10. Angola 0.5 vs Dominican Republic 3.5

11. Kuwait 1 Zimbabwe 3

12. Jamaica 2.5 Nigeria 1.5

13. Honduras 1.5 Mozambique 2.5

14. Mauritius 1 Hong Kong 3

15. Libya 2.5 Barbados 1.5

16. Surinam 4 Mauritania 0

17. Namibia 2 Malawi 2

18. Liechtenstein 0.5 Sudan 3.5

19. Guyana o Ghana ;

20. Lesotho 1 Brunei 3

21. Tanzania 0 Botswana 4

22. San Marino 3 Togo 1

23. Congo 1 Aruba 3

24. Uganda 3 Maldives 1

25. Palau 2.5 Gambia -.5

Some en passant observations

The win against Austria will reverberate for some time to come.

Zambia is led by Andrew Kayonde who came second in the African Championship in Uganda last month.

I am glad to see so many African countries now participating. Many results are still heavy but with experience they should get better.

In the Women section

Georgia beat Egypt 4-0

South Korea lost 0.5 to Algeria 3.5

Zambia lost 4-0 to Turkmenistan

SA beat Malawi 4-0

Iccd beat Morocco 4-0

Nepal drew with Botswana 2-2

El Salvador 4 Tunisia 0

Angola 1.5 against Syria 2.5

Zimbabwe beat Mozambique 2.5 to 1.5

Pakistani beat Lesotho 2.5 to 1.5

Qatar beat Ethiopia 3.5 to 0.5

Sudan 0 Surinam 4

Honduras 0.5 Uganda 3,5

Ghana 1 Namibia 3

Other interesting quirks

1. Players are not allowed to bring watches, electronic devices or pens in the venue.

2. Once you are in the hall you cannot leave the venue and return.

3. Cameras can only be utilised by captains.

When is it proper to resign ?

I saw a few games yesterday where the player played on a queen down or plays on a piece down for only one pawn. I knowing is embarrassing at this level to finish within thirty minutes of the start but I wonder if it is not more embarrassing to play on when you don’t have a hope at all?

I pondered these questions as each session that we play lasts about five hours for me as captain. I brought an academic book with me. Every day I read about thirty pages while watching the games. Most captains bring a novel with. No chess book is allowed but any other reading material is allowed. In the first hour I normally do a round to see where the top games are and who is playing. I then make some coffee and settle in to see if the opening preparation has worked for our players.

Then as time goes by I normally start getting worried although my players are never as they run short of time. They are all consummate professions and with ease make moves on the clock with ten seconds remaining and the moves are accurate as well!

I am off to lunch now as we are playing the Phillippines in the open section and Nicaragua in the women’s section.


Reporting live from Baku, Azerbaijan

Dr Lyndon Bouah

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