Friday, August 15, 2014

Tromsø, An Olympiad of Surprises

It was dramatic in the lead up and it was dramatic until the very end. So many surprises, upsets and twists. That was the Tromsø Olympiad. I almost regret not pulling the trigger on a summer vacation in Tromsø.

The event was an historic one, too. For the first time, the Chinese men won gold! If you didn't think that this was a big deal for them, just have a gander at this photograph in Susan Polgar's tweet. Beautiful!

Of course, well done to the Aussies. Over on Chess Chat, Kevo reports that both teams finished way above their seedings.

As for this Smirnov kid, well, he wasn't even my pick for a spot in the team as I was thinking he'd be a bit too inexperienced. But sheesh, was I wrong?! You know, I actually remember him turning up to Hyde Park, in Sydney, many years ago, sitting around while his father (now an IM) played blitz. There was absolutely no sign, then, that the kid would himself actually end up being this good! If he keeps up, the selectors will have to put him on board one for Baku.

To close, let me briefly extend condolences to the Seychelles team. Last night, one of their members suffered a medical emergency during play and later passed away. A terribly sad ending. And this morning, Norwegian journo Tarjei Svensen just tweeted that yet another player passed away, too. No further details yet of this second incident.

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