Tromso Olympiad 2014 – Round 9 – Refusing to Play

I shoudn’t even have played today. I was tired and it would have been my 5th game in a row, 4th with black and a third black in a row, so I was expecting to rest (as the captain said). However…

Something is rotten in the state of the Macedonian chess organisation (federation, players, captain…) when the captain doesn’t select the team (others tell him whom to select) and players come to the greatest chess event of the year with their own selfish agenda which doesn’t include playing chess at all. They can even refuse to play, because they have “other things to do”! What other more important things can a player have than to play for his country with honour and dignity? Or perhaps personal gain is more important? And the capain is powerless to do anything to alter that, simply going by the road of lesser resistance and hoping for the best. But the best never happens when you have no principles, when others tell you what to do, when your word means nothing.

All those things, principles, your own word, are something I deem in high regard. And of course it had to be me who had to pay the price for the rotten behaviour of the others. I lost because somebody refused to play and nobody could prevent him. If representing your own country means nothing to these people, it’s quite obvious they should not even think of coming anywhere near the national team. And yet here they are.

The game itself was interesting, the critical moment came on move 28.

28…Qa4? I underestimated his combined attack after Bh3, Rc7 and Qg2

There were many mistakes in mutual time trouble and I even could have saved myself, but alas, I didn’t. It’s a pity that such a good tournament gets spoiled by external factors that I had no control of.

At least we won the match. But the honourable feeling of representing my country has effectively been killed.

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