Monday, January 30, 2006

Australian Olympiad Team - 2006

A week ago, Dr Kevn Bonham, Selection Coordinator for the Australian Olympiad Squads, annnounced the names of applicants. These are the following for both men's and women's.

Open team:

Nick Speck, GM Ian Rogers, IM Zong-Yuan Zhao, FM Igor Goldenberg, IM Alex Wohl, IM Gary Lane, FM George Xie, IM David Smerdon, IM Stephen Solomon, IM John-Paul Wallace

Women's team:

WIM Ngan Koshnitsky, WFM Angela Song, WIM Arianne Caoili, WIM Anastasia Sorokina, IM/WGM Irina Berezina, WIM Biljana Dekic, WIM Laura Moylan

Now of course everyone will have a say in who should go. And so, it is only correct that I should have mine. For the men's side my picks are Rogers, Smerdon, Zhao, Lane, Speck and Xie. That's right - no Daryl Johansen, no second grandmaster.

For the women's I would choose Berezina, Sorokina, Caoili and Moylan.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You didn't provide any reasons as to why you'd leave GM DJ out of the squad. I agree with you by the way and I wonder of your reason matches mine - he just doesn't win enough games...seems to settle for a draw rather than take risks.

The Closet Grandmaster said...

There are those who'll crucify anyone who does not select DJ. They argue that we need another GM on the team. Well so what if he's a GM? He's prone to draws as you say. While very solid, it is my view that i) give the hungry young turks as much opportunities as possible and ii) adopt a policy of "blooding" the up-and-coming. For the latter I have in mind Xie, especially.

We always bemoan the lack of norm tourneys in this country. Why not exploit the Olympiad when you'll be near guaranteed GM/IM opposition? Let's be realistic: we're never gonna win the thing anyway, so I say use the event for our optimum practical use.

Kevin Bonham said...

Although your report implies it, I just want to make it clear that GM Johansen is an applicant, having had a (marginally) late application accepted on the grounds that he was simply not aware of the deadline.

Also without commenting on the merits or otherwise of particular candidates, selectors are required to pick the team on current playing strength. Other considerations are not relevant and those who think they should be should take that up with the ACF rather than arguing it as a basis for making one selection or another under the current rules. I cannot see the rule being changed as selections are contentious enough as it is.