To round off my coverage of the chess Olympiad in Tromsø, which saw a total of 313 teams in the open and women’s sections, thus making it the greatest chess gathering on earth, here are a number of notable and brilliant conclusions from the approximately 6,000 games played in this mega competition.
Michael Adams was the star of the English team, scoring a highly impressive 6½/9 on top board against powerful opposition. This result gave him the silver medal for his performance, behind only Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria. The following win demonstrates the dangers of defending passively in an inferior endgame.
Adams-Ivanisevic: Tromsø Olympiad 2014
43 Kc3 Rg6 44 Kb4 Kd6 45 Ka5 Bb5 46 Bxc4 Bxc4 47 Rxc4 Kc7 Black is becoming too passive. The active plan 47 … Rg1 48 Rd3+ Kc7 49 Rdc3 e4 offered every chance of a successful defence. 48 b4 Rd1 49 b5 Rd5 50 a4 Kd7 51 Rec3 cxb5 52 axb5 White has made great progress on the queenside while Black has failed to generate any counterplay at all. 52 … Rd1 53 Rc7+ Ke8 54 Rc8+ Ke7 55 R3c7+ Kf6 Now White wins easily. A better try was 55 … Ke6 56 Rc6+ Kd7 57 Rxg6 Kxc8 58 Rxg7 e4. 56 Rc6+ Kf5 57 Rxg6 Kxg6 58 Rc4 Rd5 59 Kb4 Kf5 60 b6 Rd8 61 g4+ Kg5 62 Kb5 Kh4 63 b7 Rb8 64 Kb6 g5 65 Kc7 Rf8 66 b8Q Rxb8 67 Kxb8 Kg3 68 Kc7 Kf3 69 Kd6 e4 70 Ke5 Black resigns
David Howell performed very well for England, his only loss coming in the following game, when his opponent manoeuvred well with his powerful rooks.
Howell-Sedlak; Tromsø Olympiad 2014
43 … Rg6! 44 Kh2 R1g2+ 45 Kh3 45 Kh1 R2g4 and mates 45 … R2g5 46 Kh4 f6 and 47 … Rh6 mate follows.
Yu Yanghi was the leading performer in the winning Chinese team. Here he finishes instructively in an endgame.
Almasi-Yu Yangyi: Tromsø Olympiad 2014
81 … Qe5+ 82 Qe3 After 82 Qxe5 fxe5 the black king can hold up White’s connected pawns while the Black split pawns will defeat the white king. 82 … Qxe3+ 83 Kxe3 f5 84 h5 a4 85 Kf4 a3 White resigns