Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ermacora Diary - Round 9

I got here just after Round 9 got under way. I always have a bit of trouble finding out the table of the teams I'm interested in. Blame the organisers who keep changing the location of the noticeboard. Anyhow I've managed to take some photos which I'm about to send to you. Cathy and Ian are in the corner near me, Ian with a runny nose. Not far away is Phil Viner picking at the Italian keyboard of the Chinese PC. I had a surprise visit yesterday from Leonid Sandler who is the captain of the Women's team. Today I took a photo of the PNG team of which Cathy is the captain, with Shaun Press as a player (he was born in PNG).

I don't easily meet the players because I am not staying in the Olympic Village. They enter the Oval by a back entrance and come directly inside the cordoned off playing area. In fact they are like the Roman gladiators who emerged from underground tunnels into the arena, or here in modern Italy the soccer team who do the same!
Cathy reminded me that I could enter the playing area as a photographer in the first quarter hour of play. As it is, from outside the cordoned area, my photos tend to favour the last boards!

I was asking why Smerdon was not playing today. It's all a matter of GM norms strategies, or tactics. He would have had black today against a stronger player. We want him to have good winning chances! Norms at the Olympiad carry an extra bonus too.

Still windy today and much cooler, a relief from yesterday's heat. The horizon has cleared and the Alps, a spectacular chain of mountains, line the horizon, some still with snow.

In the game of Italian politics, Turin the reddest city in Italy has just re-elected a socialist-communist mayor by a large margin. Only Milan and Sicily have supported the right wing parties. The big avenue near the Olympic village is name Corso Unione Sovietica!

With the Chess Olympiad coming to an end, Italians and Australians will very soon turn their attention to World Cup soccer in Germany.

- Larry Ermacora

For the next couple of weeks, during the Olympiad, we will feature a guest blogger - Larry Ermacora. He will be providing reports all the way from Torino after having been officially accredited by Olympiad officials as a journo for this blog.

Larry is a well known personality in Australian chess circles. He was an administrator in both Western Australia and New South Wales. And, in 1990, he was awarded the highly coveted Koshnitsky medal.


Goran said...

Livorno is the reddest city in Italy ;)

With another draw Smerdon earns "short" GM norm (9 games). Wohl, after 6 games, is performing 2580! But he hasnt played any GM. These two have any norms yet?

The Closet Grandmaster said...

Goran -

We are informed by Jason Lyons, himself an ex-captain for the Aussie women's crew, that only Smerdon holds a norm.


ggrayggray said...

I believe that olympiad norms are actually worth 20 games, therefore if David was the get a GM norm, he would have his norm criteria satisfied and 'only' needs a 2500 fide rating to get the GM title.

Also, if Zhao was the get a GM norm, it would be 20 games also and then he would be chasing 'just' one further GM norm plus the 2500 fide rating.

Hence why so much is placed on norm opportunities.

Wohl most likely will not get a GM norm as he wont have met 3 GM opponents in the tournament.