Tromso Olympiad 2014 – Round 5

Today we lost the match against Croatia. I was black against GM Palac and got a comfortable position after the opening, then even a more pleasant one, but there was no way to progress. It was the first game to finish in a moment when it seemed that we can win the match!

Palac-Colovic, draw

Nedev on 1 was outprepared in a sharp Najdorf, but it wasn’t fatal. After some inaccuracies by his opponent he got a good position, only to spoil it with several mistakes. At that point Mitkov was winning on board 3 against Kozul and Bogdanovski on 4 had a good position. But then Bogdanovski allowed an intrusion on the queenside and couldn’t create enough counterplay in the centre. So we lost the match (and even though Mitkov is still playing, it’s not clear that he can win anymore, but that’s irrelevant for the final outcome), I’d say a bit unfortunately.

On the other boards, the surprise was the draw between Russia and Bulgaria. Kramnik beat Topalov with white (in 2014, whoever plays white wins) but Karjakin made a very uncharacteristic mistake (20 b5) and from a clearly better position got a worse one which he couldn’t hold.

20 b5?? c5, instead 20 c5! with an attack

Carlsen played Smyslov’s 5…Na6 in the Slav against Aronian and got a solid, but passive position. It didn’t bother him much to hold it even though he was certainly suffering.

Radjabov blundered and lost to Perunovic, and Azerbaijan drew with Serbia.

Ivanchuk continued his suicidal mission and instead of pressing for a win against Kasimdzhanov, he blundered to lose again.

25 Rc7 is the only move and Ivanchuk’s 25 Nc6?? loses after 25…Rc5!

Tomorrow is the first free day and tonight is the infamous Bermuda party. I’m definitely looking forward to both!

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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