Monday, September 19, 2016

[yjjuwafv] Carlsen Olympiad

With Norway's (seeded 12th) surprise high finish (5th) in the recent chess Olympiad, it's fun to speculate how it could have done even better if GM Magnus Carlsen had won more games, not that he played especially poorly.  Because he is undisputed world champion and the highest rated player (2857), we can always argue Carlsen should have won more games.

The games in which Carlsen could have done half a game point better (he had no losses) and the half point would have mattered for Norway's match points were

Round 3 draw with black against GM Constantin Lupulescu (2618) of Romania

Round 6 draw with white against GM Julio Catalino Sadorra (2560) of Philippines, arguably one of the bigger upsets of the event

Round 11 draw with black against GM P. Harikrishna (2752) of India.

Norway finished tied with India in match points, but worse in tiebreaks.  One more match point in any of these games would have vaulted them over India to 4th place.  Two more match points would have tied them in match points with Russia (3rd place) with unknown tiebreaks.

Of course, a different result in any of the rounds would have affected the Swiss pairings of subsequent rounds.

Of course, speculations about how Carlsen could have played better improving Norway's finish ought to be paired with how all the other players could have played worse.

The Chess Results website, despite choosing the language to be English, still uses German abbreviation for colors: s (schwarz = black) and w (weiss = white), which happen to common surnames.

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