Last day of the Olympiad, last chance to get rid of potential excess baggage before flying home: @ChessNinja:” I’ve got a few Kasparov shirts, bags, & books left if anyone in Tromso still needs some parting swag. Losing Sale! Everything Must Go!”
Last round in Tromsø. Time flies when you are having fun. It is in the nature of things that events like the Chess Olympiad come to an end. Today, an impressive career came to an end. In yesterday’s edition of your favourite Twitter blog several tweets popped up claiming that Judit Polgar would retire. However, there was no confirmation of this news by the “retiring queen” herself. Today however, Judit confirmed her retirement in a tweet:
@GMJuditPolgar: “It’s been an amazing 25 years! Huge thanks everyone, especially my wonderful family for supporting this long journey!”
@PattyLlaneza: “I hope Hou Yifan retires from women’s chess to make up for Judit Polgar’s retirement from competitive chess.”
@Kasparov63: “Welcome to the retiree club, I am afraid it’s a lot more work than playing chess. Soon you’ll want to play again to rest!”
A somewhat mysterious tweet popped up late last night by @bbalgabaev: “93-58 for Batumi”. What does that mean, Gunnar Bjornsson? @skaksambamd: “Chess Olympiad 2018 will be in Batumi, Georgia”.
Olympiad photographer David Llada, who cannot be praised enough for the beautiful chess players portraits he made during the event, was not very happy with the result: @lladini: “South Africa sounded a much more tempting option, definitely.” Well, maybe his pals Tarjei and Lennart could cheer him up later: @lladini: “ I was going to stay in for a change, but Tarjei and Lennart are texting me from the bar around the corner. So difficult to say no!” Any news about the Olympiad 2020? “Chinese delegate said that they are going to prepare a bid for a Chess Olympiad 2020″, tweeted @bbalgabaev.
I certainly do not want to continue the “bad chess news day” like yesterday but again, I found some depressing tweets:
@chess24.com: “Hearing that some federations at the Olympiad have refused to pay their players the daily allowance given by the organisers…” followed by this tweet: “Uganda and Seychelles mentioned, with Ugandan players apparently in tears – also Burundi, though they had issues with disappearing players”.
The top rated games in this last round, calculated by @Megalovic: “R11 high combined Elo Mamedyarov-Nakamura 5530 Kramnik-MVL 5528 Aronian-Navara 5521 Bacrot-Grischuk 5515 Dominguez-Adams 5500″.
Last rounds in an Olympiad are always nerve-wracking affairs. It is not only about the fight for the medals in the team events, but many individual players have to chance to win individual medals and have the perhaps once-in-a-lifetime-chance to score IM or GM results. Add the starting time of 11:00 AM, which is three hours earlier than previous rounds, checking out of the hotels, packing suitcases, do last-minute souvenir shopping and 1000 other things that need to be arranged, and you get a tense atmosphere in which anything can happen.
Gold for China!
However, on the top boards, the Russian women and the Chinese men had no trouble to clinch home the gold medal. Lets have a look at the winners of the open section first:
@EuropeEchecs: “1st China 2nd Hungary 3rd India, it’s official”
@SuneBergHansen:” Impressive performance by China, Big congratulations for a fantastic performance – only one individual loss in 44 games”.
@Ginger-GM: “Congratulations China! Brilliant result, also netted me a sweet £400 smackaroonies :)))”
@OlimpiuUrcan:” On a large board, just below a Carlsen photo marked with an “X,” Chinese strategists tick off a new milestone: winning the Men’s Olympia”.
@2700chess: “Young Chinese Team (20 y.o. Yu Yangyi 2699.8; 21 y.o. Ding Liren 2753.9, etc) wins the World Chess Olympiad 2014!”
@DanielRensch: “Really happy for China for winning them. They (as a nation) are really doing great things for chess.”
Gold for Russia!
Here are a few tweets about the impressive performance of the Russian women:
@EuropeEchecs: “Tournoi féminin: “1er Russie 2e Chine 3e Ukraine”
@pogonina: “Guess I will be getting a telegram soon! 🙂 “Putin congratulates Russian women’s team with 2014 Chess Olympiad gold”.
“Natalia Pogonina, Alexandra Kosteniu, Sergei Rublevsky, Valya Gunina, Olga Girya, Kateryna Lagno” (picture via @ChessNews).
@SergeyKarjakin: “3 gold medals in Olympiads in a row! Great result of our women team!”
Great team results for China and Russia, but what about the best score on board one? @MarkTWIC: “The prestigious gold medal for top board performance goes to Veselin Topalov. Silver to Adams and Bronze to Giri”.
I guess that some players will be happy that the Olympiad is over:
@GMHikaru: “Tragic blunder on move 40 to lose a drawn ending….oh well.”
His USA teammate, Sam Shankland had a slightly better result: @GMShanky: “The best result of my life was finished with the only real disappointment of the event. 9.0/10, personal gold medal, 2646, but no World Team”.
@GMGawain: “Sorry team mates and England fans. Somehow the chess didn’t gel at all this time. At least I know there’s still lots to work on.”
@hansenchess: “Saved my worst chess for the final four games of the Olympiad. pity…..” @GMGawain:”I hear you. At least it’s over”
@gueorgss :“After a promising start,a total collapse (with the exception of Topalov) of the Bulgarian male chess-team in the last rounds”
@2700chess: “The biggest rating losers among top players are Kamsky (-24.7), Peter Svidler (-18.8), and Nigel Short (-18.8).”
Of course, there were some upbeat tweets as well:
@AnishGiri: “Only 12th place for us, but a clear first when it comes to the tea(m)spirit!! Bronze on board 1 for me is pleasant though!”
More to come…..
An neverending number of tweets from India suddenly popped up on my Tweetdeck after it became clear that India miraculously won the bronze medal in the open section. Not only in my timeline, obviously…
@GMJtis:“I am now realizing how many Indian tweeters I follow after the Carlsen-Anand match – timeline full of celebration.”
In the next episode of “The Olympiad in Tweets” I will select more tweets about India, individual performances, the closing ceremony and the usual left-overs.
I have to end this episode today with some sad tweets:
@FabianoCaruana: “If what I’ve heard is correct, someone died during the round today.Puts the chess results in perspective. Condolences to the team and family”.
@GMHikaru: “Really sad to hear that one of the players from Seychelles apparently died during the last round of the Olympiad today.”
@ChessVibes: “Closing ceremony started with a minute of silence as it was confirmed that the player of the Seychelles died. Terribly sad.”