Istanbul World Chess Olympiad, day eight: Ivanchuk beats Leko

ISTANBUL, November 4: What matters now is not who wins, but who wins by what score.

For example, the Netherlands and Switzerland entered this round fairly far down in the standings, but the Netherlands beat Georgia by 3 1/2 to 1/2 and Switzerland, playing without Korchnoi, beat Chile by 4-0, so now the Netherlands is tied with Switzerland, along with Slovakia and Armenia, for third place.

In the eighth round, Germany tied Slovakia on first board with 2-2. All four games were draws. Russia tied Israel with 2-2. All four games were also draws. Ukraine drew Hungary 2-2, but all four games were not draws. Ivanchuk of Ukraine beat Leko of Hungary in a long game, while Portisch of Hungary won to even the score.

On board four, Armenia beat Denmark 3-1, to put Armenia into a tie for third place.

Other results were: Croatia drew England 2-2, Philippines beat China 2 1/2 to 1 1/2, USA drew Yugoslavia 2-2, with Seirawan beating Damljanovic on board one but DeFirmian losing to Kovacevic on board four. Bulgaria beat India 2 1/2 to 1 1/2, although it looked like the young Indian player Krishnan Sasikiran (2573), aged 19, was going to score an upset win against Topalov. The Indian reached the famous two knights against pawn endgame, but as Topalov's a-pawn was advanced to the sixth rank, it was too far forward for Sasikiran to win.

Sasikiran finally took the pawn and kept playing, even though the endgame of two knights against a bare king is a known easy draw.

The longest and hardest fought match was Kazakstan vs. Uzbekistan, which ended 2-2 late at night. Also, Romania beat Iceland 2 1/2 to 1 1/2, Czech Republic beat France 2 1/2 to 1 1/2, Poland beat Latvia 3-1, Turkey A beat Myanmar 3-1, and Azerbiajan beat Ireland 3-1.

Standings are: Germany leads with 20.5. Next is Russia with 19.5. Then, Slovakia, Armenia, Netherlands and Switzerland are tied with 19. Ukraine, Israel and Hungary are tied with 18.5. Philippines and Bulgaria have 18. England, Yugoslavia, Croatia, USA and Romania have 17.5.

On the women's side, China wiped out Moldova 3-0 to go into a clear lead, because Maya Chiburdanidze, the top board for Georgia, lost to Peng Zhaoqin, the famous Chinese defector, who now lives in the Netherlands. Georgia won the other two games to beat Holland 2-1. Ukraine drew Greece 1 1/2 to 1 1/2. Vietnam beat England, with Trong beating Hunt on board one. Hungary drew Russia 1 1/2 to 1 1/2. Armenia beat Yugoslavia 2-1. Czech Republic beat Israel 2 1/2 to 1/2.

Down on board 18, the USA women beat Mexico 2 1/2 to 1/2.

After eight rounds, China leads with 16.5, followed by Georgia with 15.5, Vietnam with 14.5, Netherlands, Ukraine, Greece and Czech Republic with 14, England and Armenia with 13.5.

Bad news for America: At a meeting of the Titles and Ratings Committee, the committee members were strongly of the opinion that the so-called "Marshall Chess Club System" is not valid for title norm purposes. Kevin O'Connell, Chairman of the Committee, told me that the Marshall System is not, never has been and probably never will be valid for title norm purposes.

William Kelleher, the USCF delegate to FIDE, appeared at the Committee meeting and argued long and hard for acceptance of the norms obtained at a tournament in the Marshall Chess Club last June, to no avail.

What this means is that the grandmaster norms obtained by Barcenilla of the Philippines, Zugic of Canada and Gustafsson of Germany will not count. Barcenilla has made three norms and has a grandmaster title application pending.

It is significant that none of the norms in question were earned by Americans. This may help a compromise proposal, which is that those three norms be recognized and, in return, the Americans promise never to do it again. This proposal will be discussed tomorrow.

What happened this year at the Marshall Chess Club was that there were two groups of title-norm seekers of six players each. Each group of six players played a complete round-robin against each other. The top two in each section then played four games against grandmasters. The grandmasters only played those four games, whereas the two qualifiers from each section played the full nine games required for title norm purposes.

This year, Becerra of Cuba dropped out at the last minute, so Grandmaster Wojtkiewicz of Poland had to be flown in from Germany 12 hours before his first game. Wojtkiewicz only played two games, which is why Mikko Markkula of Finland, another committee member, considers the results to be suspicious.

I took a lot of photos today at the start of this round. I should have a lot of really beautiful photos of some of the women players, if they come out tomorrow.

I got a lot of e-mail yesterday in response to my article yesterday about drug testing. I asked Boris Kutin, organizer of the 2002 Olympiad in Bled, Slovenia, whether he is prepared to have testing done for that Olympiad. He replied that there is no budget for this and FIDE has yet to pass any regulations about this. Testing cannot be done without regulations, of course. Kutin said that he is in favor of drug testing in principle but more has to be done ion this issue for the testing to go forward.

Of the 15 former Soviet Republics, 14 are playing in this Olympiad. The only former Soviet Republic which did not send a team in Tajikistan.

Tim Redman, President of the United States Chess Federation, arrived in Istanbul today and attended some committee meetings. William Kelleher, the USCF delegate, has been here since October 28. Jim Eade, Steve Doyle and Don Schultz have not arrived yet.

Here are some more games. However, be forewarned: The sensory board system is still not entirely reliable, so if the moves do not seem reasonable, they probably never happened. Someone wrote me about the games I posted two days ago: "... even completely drunk they wouldn't play like this!"

Sam Sloan

[Event "34th Chess Olympiad (men)"]
[Site "Istanbul"]
[Date "2000.11.04"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Seirawan, Y."]
[Black "Damljanovic, B."]
[WhiteElo "2647"]
[BlackElo "2559"]
[WhiteCountry "USA"]
[BlackCountry "YUG"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Remark "2855"]
[PresId "0000107071"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qb3 c5 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. Qxc3 d6 
8. e3 O-O 9. Be2 Nbd7 10. O-O Bb7 11. b4 Rc8 12. Bb2 Qe7 13. dxc5 bxc5 
14. b5 Rfd8 15. a4 Nf8 16. Nd2 e5 17. Bf3 Bxf3 18. Nxf3 Ng6 19. Rfd1 Ne4 
20. Qc2 f5 21. Nd2 Nxd2 22. Qxd2 Qe6 23. Qd5 Qxd5 24. Rxd5 Ne7 25. Rd2 Kf7 
26. Rad1 Ke6 27. f4 exf4 28. exf4 g6 29. Bg7 Rd7 30. Bh6 Re8 31. Re2+ Kf7 
32. Rde1 Rc8 33. Bg5 Ng8 34. Rd2 Re8 35. Re5 h6 36. Bh4 Rxe5 37. fxe5 g5 
38. Bf2 Ke6 39. exd6 Rxd6 40. Re2+ Kd7 41. Re1 Rd2 42. Bxc5 Ra2 43. Rd1+ Ke6 
44. Rd6+ Ke5 45. Rd8 Nf6 46. Bd4+ Ke6 47. c5 Ne4 48. c6 Rc2 49. Kf1 f4 
50. Bxa7 g4 51. b6 f3 52. gxf3 gxf3 53. Re8+ Kd5 54. Rxe4 Kxe4 55. b7 Rc1+ 
56. Kf2 

[Event "34th Chess Olympiad (men)"]
[Site "Istanbul"]
[Date "2000.11.04"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Ivanchuk, V."]
[Black "Leko, P."]
[WhiteElo "2719"]
[BlackElo "2743"]
[WhiteCountry "UKR"]
[BlackCountry "HUN"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Remark "2839"]
[PresId "0000107031"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 d5 5. cxd5 cxd5 6. Nf3 Bg7 7. O-O O-O 
8. Nc3 e6 9. b3 Nc6 10. e3 b6 11. Ba3 Re8 12. Qd3 a5 13. Rfc1 Ba6 14. Qd1 Rc8 
15. Bf1 Bb7 16. Na4 Ne4 17. Bb5 Bf8 18. Bxf8 Rxf8 19. Qe2 Nb8 20. Rxc8 Bxc8 
21. Rc1 Nd6 22. Bd3 Bd7 23. Ne5 Be8 24. Qg4 Bxa4 25. bxa4 Nd7 26. Nf3 Qb8 
27. Qh4 Re8 28. Rc6 f6 29. Qg4 Kg7 30. h4 Nf8 31. Qf4 Rd8 32. g4 Ne8 
33. Qxb8 Rxb8 34. g5 h6 35. Kg2 hxg5 36. hxg5 Kf7 37. gxf6 Kxf6 38. Ne5 Rb7 
39. Rc8 Ke7 40. Bxg6 Nd6 41. Rc6 Nd7 42. Bd3 Nb8 43. Ng6+ Kd7 44. Rc1 Kd8 
45. Nf4 Re7 46. Bb5 Nf5 47. Kf3 Ng7 48. a3 Rf7 49. Kg4 Nd7 50. Kg5 Nf8 
51. Rc6 Rb7 52. Ba6 Ra7 53. Rc8+ Ke7 54. Bb5 Kf7 55. Bd3 Rb7 56. Ng6 Nh7+ 
57. Kf4 Nh5+ 58. Ke5 Ng5 59. Rh8 Nf3+ 60. Kd6 Nf6 61. Kc6 

[Event "34th Chess Olympiad (men)"]
[Site "Istanbul"]
[Date "2000.11.04"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Shirov, A."]
[Black "Fedorov, A."]
[WhiteElo "2746"]
[BlackElo "2646"]
[WhiteCountry "ESP"]
[BlackCountry "BLR"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Remark "2887"]
[PresId "0000107151"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. N1c3 a6 7. Na3 b5 
8. Nd5 Nce7 9. c4 Nxd5 10. exd5 bxc4 11. Nxc4 Nf6 12. Be3 Rb8 13. Be2 Be7 
14. a4 Qd7 15. O-O Bb7 16. Ba7 Rd8 17. Nb6 Qf5 18. Rc1 e4 19. Rc7 Bxd5 
20. Bxa6 Be6 21. Qc2 h5 22. Rd1 Ng4 23. h3 Ne5 24. Nc8 Bxc8 25. Bxc8 Qg6 
26. Bb7 f5 27. a5 Bf6 28. Bd5 

[Event "34th Chess Olympiad (women)"]
[Site "Istanbul"]
[Date "2000.11.04"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Peng, Z."]
[Black "Chiburdanidze, M."]
[WhiteElo "2403"]
[BlackElo "2545"]
[WhiteCountry "NED"]
[BlackCountry "GEO"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Remark "3086"]
[PresId "0000107021"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Bg2 Bb7 
8. O-O O-O 9. Nc3 d5 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Rc1 Re8 12. Bf4 Na6 13. Ne5 Qc8 
14. Nd3 Qd7 15. Qc2 Nb4 16. Nxb4 Bxb4 17. Be5 Be7 18. Rfd1 Rad8 19. Qd3 a6 
20. Rc2 h6 21. Qd2 Rc8 22. h3 Ne4 23. Nxe4 dxe4 24. Qc1 Bd8 25. h4 f6 
26. Bf4 g5 27. Be3 Bd5 28. Kh2 Kg7 29. Bh3 Be6 30. Bxe6 Rxe6 31. hxg5 hxg5 
32. Kg2 Re8 33. Rh1 Be7 34. Qd2 Rh8 35. Rcc1 Qd5 36. Qc3 Rxh1 37. Rxh1 b5 
38. Rc1 c6 39. Qa5 Qd7 40. Qxa6 Rh8 41. Rh1 Rxh1 42. Kxh1 f5 43. d5 Qxd5 
44. Qb7 Kf8 45. a4 f4 46. gxf4 Qf5 47. Qb8+ Kf7 48. fxg5 Bxg5 49. Qc7+ Kf8 
50. Bxg5 Qxg5 51. a5 Qh5+ 52. Kg2 Qxe2 53. Qf4+ Kg7 54. a6 Qa2 55. Qc7+ 

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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