Friday, August 13, 2010

It isn't all Brilliancies, you Know

In the 1976 Haifa Olympiad there were many very interesting games between strong players. But, as Shlomo Kandelshein (author) and Yedael Stepak (analyst) note in their very good book, The Haifa 1976 Chess Olympiad, the level of the "rabbits", the players from countries with no chess tradition, left much to be desired.

They give (p. 34) the following game, played in the second round between Brain G. Campbell (British Virgin Islands) and Maurice Kennefick (Ireland). Stepak's annotations are justifiably derisory.

Campell, B. G. -- Kennefick, M.
Haifa Olympiad, 2nd rd., 26/10/1976
Annotations: Yedael Stepak.

About the level of the countries which were ranked near the bottom in the Olympaid we can learn from the following amusing game. Does the first player deserve an Israeli 5th rank [American "D" level player- A.P.]?

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3

why not 3. ... Bg5 ?

3. ... g6 4. Bf4 Bg7 5. Nb5??

A tyro's move.   

 5. ... Na6 6. Qd2?? Ne4 7. Qe3 c6 8. Nc3 Qa5 9. 0-0-0 Nb4 10. a3?

Allows a piquant finish.

10. ... Nxc3 11. Bd6

Pretty good relative to White's level, but even this is too late.

11. ... Nba2+ 12. Kd2 Ne4+ 13. Qd3 Qb5+ 14. c4 Qxc4#

Today, due to computers and improved training, such games -- even among weak contestants and teams -- are rarely seen in the Olympiad.

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