Thursday, September 30, 2010

2010 Chess Olympiad (Part 16)

Let's take a look at the performance of ASEAN nations and its top players.

IM Mas is the top player for the Malaysian team. He started well by getting a draw against 2700-club player, GM Adams from England. The chess world noticed the feat since the ratings gap is quite big which is more than 300. And in the third round, he made an upset again by beating higher-rated GM from Lithuania. The match is also an upset for Malaysia after managed a draw against much higher-rated Lithuania.

In the fifth round, Malaysian performance is not that good. Malaysia lost to a lower-seeded opponent Bolivia. Even Mas escaped with a draw against lower-rated opponent and IM Mok succumbed to a defeat. Most probably it was the effect that all the Malaysian players were not rested then. Fatigue had taken its toll to our chess players. In the eighth round, when Malaysia decided to rest Mas Malaysia narrowly won over Sri Lanka by half point. Hopefully, IM Mas can play much better after being rested and the others will excel too. GO MALAYSIA GO!

In GiLoCatur's opinion, Vietnam is the strongest team among the ASEAN nations for two reasons. First, its average ratings (2587) and seeding (27th) is the highest. Second, it has two 2600-rated players in GM Liem and GM Son.

From GiLoCatur's observation, GM Liem does not perform superbly. He managed just a draw and two defeats against three 2700-rated opponents. Meanwhile, he drew twice to opponents with lower-rated including one 2500-rated player. But his performance ratings is not that bad either.

Fatigue seems affecting young players like GM Truong Son. He had performed well up to the fourth round. But in the fifth round, he was defeated by Georgian player with 2598 ELO ratings. Once again he lose to 2500-rated opponent in the 8th round.

Both the Vietnam top players are not being rested so far. For sure, Vietnam faced much stronger opponents than its other ASEAN counterparts. It upsets Azerbaijan in the third round, but it just managed draw against lower-seeded opponents in the 7th and 8th rounds.

GM Wesley So is the top board player for the Philippines. He is among the only three ASEAN players with 2600-ratings. He was rested in the 7th round. He has not yet lost a single game, but he only won one and drew the other six rounds even to 2400 and 2500 rated opponents. Considering his strength and ELO ratings, he should had won such games. The upset that Philippines encountered is in the third round when just managed to draw with much lower-seeded Scotland.

GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia is the only 2500-rated player in his team. He plays all the eight round without a loss. Quite an impressive performance. But he has too many draws, 5 to be exact. Besides his 5.5/8 score, IM Halay Taufik (or Taufik Halay, tak sure mana satu) also has impressive performance thus far after scoring 5/7 points.

Indonesia has played to its strength thus far. It won over lower-seeded opponents. Just to add that, Indonesia upsets Israel, the 11th seed, by having a draw. In round 7, Indonesia also managed to draw with higher-rated Latvia.

Singapore top player, GM Zhang Zhong, also has quite impressive performance. He lose only once to the giant killer, GM Jobava Baadur who had defeated Magnus Carlsen, and has many draws. Managed to draw with higher-rated teams, Moldova and Egypt, are among the best results for Singapore.

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