27th Chess Mitropa Cup: Olbia 2008

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Basic data

27th Chess Mitropa Cup
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 25th May - 3rd June 2008
City: Olbia, Italy
Venue: Archaeologic Museum
Tournament Director: Mr. Giuseppe Sini (ITA)
Chief Arbiter: N/A
Teams participating: 10
Players participating: 49 (incl. 16GMs, 21 IMs and 6 FMs)
Games played: 144
Competition format: Four board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Match points; 2. Game points
Time control: 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, 30 seconds increment after each move starting from move 1.
Website: http://www.federscacchi.it/mitropa/
Downloadable game file: 08mitropa.zip

Tournament review

It was back in 1997 when the fixed set of 10 Central European federations agreed to participate in the annual Mitropa Cup. Since then only two exceptions were made. Hungary sent women's team in 1998 (and they didn't come last) and Austria failed to arrived in 2006. The 2008 edition drew all expected sides with Italian GM Caruana at 2620 being highest rated player ever to appear in Mitropa Cup. Other notable players were GM Lenić of Slovenia and German GM of Georgian descent Baramidze. Germany were top seeded at 2541 while the host team were second (2533) ahead of Slovenia (2525).

Italy took early win with two match victories, but they lost badly to Hungary on day three to give way to Croatia who beat Germany 3-1. The Croats and the Czech Republic maintained shared lead after fourth round. Germany were surprisinlgy at rock bottom. IM Arik Braun took off with disastrous 0/5! Round six was a doomsday for the leaders. Croatia lost badly to France 3½-½ and the Czech Rep. surrendered to Italy. Hungary, who won fourth consecutive match, went into the lead. While Hungary only drew with Switzerland 2-2 in round 7 they were cought up by victorous Croatia again. The two Croatia and Hungary won their penultimate matches by 2½-1½ vs Slovenia and Slovakia respectively. It was all up to the last day. Croatia were in lead because of game point record superior by 0.5. Croatia notched up priceless 2½-1½ victory over Switzerland while Hungary desperately struggled vs Czech Republic, but they never looked like taking satisfactory 3½-½ win anyway. The well-deserved 2½-1½ win secured bronze medals for the Czechs. Italy castled long in rounds seven to nine 0-0-0 to finish down in sixth. Defending champions France finished in miserable 8th.

Best individual result came from Italian prodigy GM Caruana who performed at shy-high 2810 scoring 7½/9. Other notable results were scored by IM Borišek (Slovenia) on board 2 and IM Neubauer, who came very close to scoring a GM norm (2600 performance with 2601 being the treshold).

Best board results

bd name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Caruana, Fabiano Italy ITA 9 83.3
2. IM Borišek, Jure Slovenia SLO 9 72.2
3. FM Fodor, Tamás Hungary HUN 9 61.1
4. IM Dorić, Darko Croatia CRO 6 9 66.7

Interesting games

Fabiano was in exceptionally well shaped in Olbia. Here pair of white Bishops X-rayed rival's back ranks.
Caruana, Fabiano (ITA) - Hába, Petr (CZE) 1 - 0

A stylish Blitzkrieg convincingly won by Baumegger.
Baumegger, Siegfried (AUT) - Benitah, Yohan (FRA) 1 - 0

White showed true patience of a saint. Did Black really have drawing chances?
Vitoux, Colomban (FRA) - Dorić, Darko (CRO) 1 - 0

Good old-fashioned Kings' Gambit always deserves a cap.
sima (CZE) - Godena, Michele (ITA) ½ - ½