Tromso Olympiad 2014 – Round 3 – The Russians

Well, it could have been better. The anticipated match ended in a 0-4 loss for us, but even though we didn’t last long, judging from the positions we should have gotten at least something.

In my game with Svidler, a Najdorf with 6 h3 (via a Scheveningen move-order), he introduced a very interesting new concept in a well-known position – 11 Nce2 with the idea to defend the knight with c3, thus eliminating all black’s counterplay on the queenside.

with the idea of c3

In truth, I understimated this concept. If black wants to achieve good play he needs to do something urgently. I continued with the normal moves like 0-0 and Qc7 but ended up in a passive position without counterplay.

13…Re8 with the idea of Bf8, defending against Qd2,f5 and Bh6

I decided to secure my kingside first, but when the moves ran out I was again faced with the problem of finding a plan. I was burning a lot of time and with nothing constructive to do I jumped at the first opportunity to push …d5, but it wasn’t very good. I realised, however, that if I didn’t do it, then he’d just pile up on the kingside and mate me.

18…d5?!, not good, but what to do?

He played the remaining of the game well, never allowing me any chance.

One of the things I regret in my career is that I never got the chance to play these guys on a regular basis. In those rare occassions that I play them I always have the feeling that if only I had more practice playing them I’d be so much more successful not only in the games against them, but also my level of play would be much higher. You can’t expect to shine in the one game you get to play every 3 or 4 years (or even more rarely).

In view of the above-said, now I hope we continue playing well so we get more chances and play teams like France, Ukraine, USA, Armenia, China, Azerbaijan… Now that would be great!

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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  • Aug 4,2014 at 11:13 pm

    Thanks, life goes on! I'll post a bit more on the match with the Russians tomorrow. Stay tuned!

  • Anonymous
    Aug 4,2014 at 9:14 pm

    No regrets, keep on fighting. Good luck for the next rounds. Will continue to follow your blog entries for sure. Thanks.

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