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Round 1 of Batumi 43rd Olympiad

Round 1 of Batumi 43rd Olympiad

A splendid opening ceremony but a deceiving result

No one can deny it. The high class opening ceremony of the Batumi Olympiad was the talk of the chess circle and TVs as well. Watching live the ceremony, I was curious and eager awaiting the withdraw scene of color of the first board of the highest team in each section. And I wasn’t disappointed, as the pearls idea was a very imaginative one.

As always, the round 1 pairing is awaited by all teams alike, being strong, modest, ambitious, or new comers. For our concern, Lebanon will have Black on first board against no other than Netherlands! With an Elo average of 2671, and headed by Anish Giri (2780), I can imagine the Lebanese players’ faces. Knowing that they will try to do their best, I didn’t expect that they will lose in the first time control. They used to do much better in previous Olympiad, and I was hoping that they will clinch a half point or more. May be they lack of practice form the Lebanese side, as well as psychological factors contributed to this clean result.

I will not indulge in the analysis of each game of the team but will limit my comments on something that I catches my attention.

The reason I mentioned (psychology) is that I noticed something strange and common between the 4 Lebanese players: Fadi spent 20mins and 31seconds on move 5, and 20 minutes 47 seconds on move 11. Amr spent 25 minutes 32 seconds on move 10. Tony spent 19 minutes 13 seconds on move 11, and Mahdi 16 minutes 18 seconds on move 10. Do you see what I mean? By coincidence, a critical moment arose in each of their game on move 10 or 11, and the chosen move, that evaporated a huge time on the Lebanese players’ clocks, led to a clear advantage to their opponents, if not more! I hope this info will be helpful for the team players in their forthcoming rounds preparation.

Putting this round behind us, let’s thing positive, raise the spirit of the team and wish them good luck in the next round.

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