FCO 2014 R10: Ukraine tell Russians where to go

"You know what Magnus, I've heard that Bird's Defence is supposed to pretty sound, especially with 5... Nf6. Why don't you play that today?" "Erm... ok then." Photo by David Llada and used here with permission

Erna: “You know what Magnus, I’ve heard that Bird’s Defence is supposed to pretty sound, especially with 5… Nf6. Why don’t you play that today?”
Magnus: “Erm… ok then.”
Photo by David Llada and used here with permission

Open Section highlights

What a truly splendid round 10 it was in Tromso! There were surprises, twists, drama and intrigue. As I was watching Chess24’s excellent coverage I therefore have spent much of the afternoon witnessing the World Champion have a terribly bad day at the office. The Norwegian President Erna Solberg was the guest of honour at the Olympiad and she made Magnus’ first move for him. By the end of the round the poor fellow must have wished she’d made the rest of the moves for him too because he was soundly thrashed by Croatia’s Ivan Saric. In the commentary room Lawrence Trent and Jan Gustafsson seemed to think that Magnus had been a little ‘too experimental’ with his opening play. I’ll say! I’ve been playing Bird’s Variation of the Spanish for only a few years and even I know that what Magnus was up to in the early stages was total bobbins.

Elsewhere in the Open the Chinese were busy putting themselves in the box seat for overall victory by seeing off a talented and dangerous French side. The key game was on board 3 were the sensational Yu Yangyi took down Laurent Fressinet who we guess lost on purpose so that he could sympathise with his boss. Further down the order Poland were busy beating Bulgaria to set up a final round showdown with the leaders. The prospect of this encounter is made even more mouthwatering when you realise that two of the stars of the Open section, the aforementioned Yu Yangyi and Poland’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda both play on board 3 and are neck-and-neck for the Gold medal on that board!

If that wasn’t enough they are also both in contention to win our FCO 2014 Most Valuable Player award for the Open section. Here’s a table showing the top 5 with a round to go…


PositionPlayerFCO points scoredFCO times picked
1EST - SEEMAN Tarvo (2398)352
2CHN - YU Yangyi (2670)
3TJK - AMONATOV Farrukh (2590)
4USA - SHANKLAND Samuel L (2632)3222
5POL - DUDA Jan-Krzysztof (2580)323
This table shows the top 5 FCO points scorers from the Open section in Tromso

It must be said that the odds on favourite for the award going into the final round is actually Estonia’s Tarvo Seeman as he currently has the same number of FCO points as Duda but, crucially, he will probably play Black in the final round against Syria whilst Duda will be playing White on the top table as mentioned above.

Women’s Section highlights

Ukraine's board 3 Anna Ushenina makes her feelings for the opposition very clear indeed. Photo by David Llada and used here with permission

Ukraine’s board 3 Anna Ushenina makes her feelings for the opposition very clear indeed. Photo by David Llada and used here with permission

In the Women’s section too there was no shortage of excitement. The headline grabbing match up was the grudge clash between the unbeaten Russians and a talented Ukrainian team that would have been even stronger has they not lost Kateryna Lagno to the Russian Federation in the run up to the Olympiad. One of our FCO teams called themselves ‘From Russia Without Topalov’. Very droll but we’d like to suggest that ‘From Russia with Lagno’ would have been even more apposite! Anyway, the match was very tight and the Ukrainians seemed possibly slightly better prepared than their opponents into he opening phase of the match. This seemed to limit Russia’s chance to claim another win and when Nataliya Zhukova  finally beat Olga Girya on board 4 it even turned into a defeat for the Russians.

This gave the Chinese ladies an opportunity to catch up if they could beat the much lower rated Spain. However, the Spanish pulled off one of the best results of the tournament to hold a draw and that now means Russia will ‘only’ have to face Bulgaria in round 11 whilst the Chinese and the Ukrainians meet each other in a match that is a ‘must win’ for both of them.

We’ve also updated our Most Valuable Player award contenders for the Women’s section. Again there are only really five in the running now with a round to go. Peru’s Deysi Cori closed the gap to leader Pia Cramling of Swedan once again by winning with Black today. Latvia’s Katrina Skinke also won with Black to retain an outside chance of catching these first two should they both slip up. Assuming Cramling plays in the final round (as I’m sure she will)  then she’ll need to win to be assured of becoming our very first Women’s section “People’s Champion”. Below is the trunkated table.

FCO MVP: Women

PositionPlayerFCO points scoredFCO times picked
1SWE - CRAMLING Pia (2491)
2PER - CORI T. Deysi (2414)3524
3SWE - FRISK Ellinor (2184)347
4BLR - ZIAZIULKINA Nastassia330
5LAT - SKINKE Katrina (2217)324
This table shows the top 5 FCO points scorers in the Women's section at Tromso

Right ho! On to the really serious business. The issues we had with round 9 data yesterday (a random series of umlauts in the Chess-Results data that had not previously appeared as I understand it) meant that we did not write a report yesterday. Lets make up for that by ensuring that we mention the winners and losers in both round 9 and 10 today.

FCO 2014 Round 10 results

In round 9 our leaders ‘I Bribed Kirsan…’ stretchedtheir lead to 10 points over their nearest rivals. However, they had a bit of a hiccup today as they made their second lowest score of the competition – 21 for a total of 257/64% – and this allowed the gap to close up again. ‘Red Star Cox Green’ are now just 5 points behind them and this means everything is still up for grabs. It still looks likely that the end of competition predictions will decide the winners. Third place is currently held by the leaders’ sibling ‘Kirsan Bribed Me…’ who have 250 points but there’s a whole clutch of players still within reach of them including 4th placed ‘Tenth Beer Gambit’ who scored a massive 31 points in round 10.

In fact, if Carlsen had won his game ‘Tenth Beer…’ would have bagged the day’s high score prize. Instead, that honour went to ‘Schaapjes’ of the Netherlands who had Fabiano Caruana on their top board and his win with Black saw them up to 32 points. They win the prize of a Chess King training product. The round 9 winners were ‘Balfarg Rovers’ who scored 28 and tied with no fewer than four other teams in the process but then scored 22 points today (more than the other four) to secure their Chess King product on a tie-break.

View results

Week2Sprint Round 5 results

When we left you last after round 3 you’ll remember that ‘It’s a Sprint, Not a Marathon’ held the lead. They have now significantly grown this lead from 2 points to 12 in the last two rounds and stand on 135 (68%) overall. Their scoring remains remarkably consistent (24 in round 4 was their lowest) and it’s hard to see them not being at the top of the table come the end of the competition on Thursday. If one of the two 2nd-3rd placed teams can close the gap in the final round then they might stand an outside chance of snatching victory with the predictions. United Arab Emirates team ‘Olsen Brothers’ are in that tie with Croatia’s ‘trying to win a funny name prize, please vote :-)’

Round 5 high scorers were ‘SmoothAsAHedgehog’ who scored 31 points and win a years V.I.P membership to Chesslive.com. The round 4 winners were Denmark’s ‘Knightmare4U’ who shared a score of 29 with Turkey’s ‘Steamrollers’ on Monday but out scored them 19-16 today to grab the booty. You’ll also remember that we had a tie for this prize in round 3. That was won in round 4 by ‘PROF’S TEAM’ who are also fro Turkey

It’s probably worth mentioning that if we get a tie for the high score prize/s in round 11 then we’ll break it using the highest overall score prior to adding the predictions results.

View results

Best Team Name poll

The last thing to do today is to draw your attention to the launch of our ‘Best Team Name’ poll. We’ve shortlisted 10 of our favourites for you to choose from. Anyone who votes will also get entered into a prize draw to get another chance to win so why not take a look at the shortlist and cast your vote. We can guarantee a fair and transparent election process!

Vote now






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