Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Russian Decline

The once mighty Russia finished 14th place in the men's section of the recently concluded European Chess Teams Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. This poor result was only partly salved by the 3rd placing of the Russian women, led by Kosteniuk.

During the tournament, the Russian men suffered loses to France (1.5 - 2.5) in round 3, Netherlands (1 - 3) in round 6 and Hungary (1.5 - 2.5) in the seventh round. What led to this miserable performance? In an interview with Kommersant, Russian Chess Federation head, Alexander Bakh had no clear answers.

I can only say that it is hardy a matter of coach’s miscounts or blunders in training. Miscounts occur only when the first place slips through your fingers because of some circumstances. But when the team ends up 14th – that’s another thing.

Former World Champion Boris Spassky had a different take: short of money.

The English lingo report is available here.

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