Chess Olympiad, day five: Indian upset draw with Hungary

ISTANBUL, November 1: In an astounding victory, the young Indian team tied Hungary today. This was an even greater accomplishment than the Indian victory over the USA yesterday, because the Hungarian is much higher rated and much stronger than the American team.

Abhijit Kunte (2538), who yesterday defeated American grandmaster Kaidanov (2619), today defeated an even stronger grandmaster, Zoltan Almasi (2668) of Hungary. The two bottom boards agreed to draws and it looked like India might win the match outright, but Peter Leko (2748) of Hungary, the number five rated player in the world, finally defeated the 19-year-old Indian prodigy Krishnan Sasikiran (2573) in a complex struggle.

In the top match, Germany defeated Israel by 3-1, so Germany remains in a surprising first place. In the second match, Russia virtually wiped out Brazil by 3 1/2 - 1/2. In the third match, Ukraine beat Switzerland by 2 1/2 - 1 1/2, with Ivanchuk of Ukraine defeating Korchnoi of Switzerland on top board.

Victor Korchnoi and his Wife
Victor Korchnoi and his Wife

The USA team finally found a team it could beat, and won against Mongolia 3 1/2 - 1/2. Yermolinsky on bottom board gave a fairly easy draw to Genden Altanoch of Mongolia (2281) (punishment?) while the other three Americans won without difficulty.

Myanmar again failed to prove their ratings and lost to Slovakia by 4-0.

After five rounds, Germany leads with 16 1/2, followed by Russia with 15 1/2, Slovakia with 15 and Ukraine with 14 1/2.

On the woman's side, the Georgian team was back on top board because of the draw between China and the Netherlands yesterday. Maia Chiburdanidze of Georgia lost to Alisa Maric (2435) of Yugoslavia, but the other two Georgian women won, so Georgia won by 2-1.

In the second match, China virtually wiped out Kazakhstan by 2 1/2 - 1/2. The Netherlands beat Moldova by 2-1. Now, Georgia and China are tied for first with 12 followed by the Netherlands with 11 1/2.

Anita Gara of Hungary (2324) (d/o/b 04.03.83) is reputed to be the most beautiful girl in this Olympiad. However, I have not gotten a good close look at her yet, so I cannot express an opinion on this important topic. I will keep you posted.

Anyway, she won her game today, defeating Bayanmonh Anhchimeg (2147) of Mongolia, which is the important thing right now. (Both players are 17 years old. Guess which one I would prefer.)

Idiot Factor
Prior to the Olympiad, it was announced that all the games would be carried live over the Internet.

A sensory board system was developed. The only problem is that nobody had tested it to see if it worked.

Of course, it did not work.

Why they thought they could do this so easily is a mystery. Many companies, including Novag Computer, spent years of effort and thousands of dollars trying to develop a sensory board system with practical use in competitive chess tournaments, without success.

With regard to the data entry of chess games, FIDE Commerce, instead of using a well established system such as ChessBase or Chess Assistant, decided to develop their own system. Surprise! That does not work either.

The end result is that while games from the Olympiad are appearing on the web site at and many of the games are correct, most of them are wrong. This makes the data worthless, because nobody dares to publish a game where there is great likelihood that the game is wrong.

Several people have written me asking for games from this event. I will try my best, but I have to hope that the entry of games improves.


Several people wrote my about my statement yesterday which follows: "The Dutch Woman's team consists of one girl from China, one from Hungary, one for Surinam and one from Romania. All of them are married to Dutch men and three of them have Dutch children."

It was pointed out to me that the player from Surinam, Linda Jap Tjoen San, was born and raised in Holland and her first language is Dutch, so she is really a Dutch girl, although her father was from Surinam.

In addition, Tea Lanchava is not from Romania. She is from the Republic of Georgia.

However, it is correct that three of the team members have Dutch babies. Someone sent me a picture of two of them playing each other in a chess tournament while both of them were pregnant. The only member of the Dutch woman's team that does not have a baby is Linda Jap Tjoen San, and she is also the only one who was born in Holland.

I must say that the Dutch men show fine taste in women.

Regarding my statement yesterday that Mikko Markkula of Finland, who is chairman of the FIDE Qualifications Commission, said that the John Collins International Chess Tournament which was held at the Marshall Chess Club in New York City last June has been declared invalid, he corrected me and explained today that this matter has not yet been finally decided. It is on the agenda for the FIDE meetings which will start in two days, and he feels that the event should be declared invalid for FIDE title norm purposes.

One of his objections is that the grandmasters only play three or four games and are paid to play those games, win or lose. Therefore, they have no incentive to win and have only a few rating points to lose. This makes it easy for the norm-seekers to score points against them for title norm purposes.

Regarding the objections by Mikko Markkula of Finland to multiple re-entries in Goichberg title-norm tournaments, Bill Goichberg wrote me and said: "Please tell Mikko that since July 1998, no Continental Chess Association tournament has allowed re-entry in the top section."

New Visitors

Scheduled to arrive tomorrow is one of the most despicable group of persons ever to walk the face of this earth: The chess politicians.

Although a scattered few were spotted in the playing hall today, most of them will not come there, because few of them play chess, although most of them do know the legal moves of chess.

However, chess politicians are necessary. Without chess politicians, there would be no World Chess Olympiad, for example.

The meetings start on Friday, November 3. This year, the top item on the agenda will be the FIDE Commerce deal. The good thing about this deal is that it will save the national chess federations money, because the federations will not be burdened with the bookkeeping and accounting costs of keeping track of the money. The money will go directly into the bank accounts of the chess politicians, all of whom will receive shares in this deal.

For example, when Hoogovens, a steel factory in Holland decides to sponsor a major chess tournament, as it does every year, it will not need to pay money to the organizers of the tournament. Instead, it will pay FIDE Commerce. Hoogovens will no longer need to worry about where the money is going, because it will know where the money is going.

Also, when the organizers want to pay the prize money to the players, they will not need to be troubled by this, as they will simply pay the money to FIDE Commerce. The organizers, too, will know where the money is going.

The only dispute which is likely to arise concerns the need of the chess politicians to know how quickly they will get their money and when. Also, the chess politicians from the USA will likely complain that they are entitled to a bigger cut of the deal, whereas the chess politicians from Rwanda for example will say that all chess politicians should be treated equally and be given equal shares.

It is rumored that Mr. Tarasov, who is reputed to be a member of the Russian Mafia, is not really a factor because he is only a minority holder and is merely the front man for Mr. Big, who has yet to be identified.

As for me, Steve Doyle has announced on the Internet that he will donate his shares in the FIDE Commerce deal to me, Sam Sloan, so that fully satisfies me in that regard.

Sam Sloan

I am now in Istanbul, where the World Chess Olympiad is taking place. I am issuing daily press reports on the developments in the Olympiad. Here are my daily press reports so far:
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