The Euro saw a photofinish with the lowest-rated of four co-champions taking the title. Vladimir Potkin's 2653 Elo made him seed no:43. But the Russian GM made a blistering start and had a 2820+ performance to ensure the best tie-break.
His final score of 8.5 points from 11 was equalled by Wojtaszek, Judit Polgar and Moiseenko. The top 23 go into the World Cup. This is the first time a woman has been the European co-champion and it's a great comeback for Polgar who took time off baby no:2.
We've received some more detail on the French cheating affair. Apparently the culprits confessed when confronted with overwhelming evidence. Some 200 coded SMS were sent during play by IM Marzolo to GM Feller, from a phone lent to Marzolo by a French Federation official, who accessed the records when she paid the (international roaming) bill.
Yes that was stupid of Marzolo. It was even more stupider for Olympiad security to let thousands of players and spectators wander around the arena with live mobiles during the play. Plus, games were being transmitted live with no delay. Another act of idiocy.
The Euro zone is stretched to include Israel and most of the former Soviet Republics but iut does exclude strong players from elsewhere. Two of them, Anand and his second Rustam Kasimdzhanov, played a promotional match in Uzbekistan.
Anand beat Kasim 3.5-0.5 in four rapids (25mins plus 10 secs increment) but it was much closer than the scoreline. Kasim is a strong rapid player and knows Anand's quirks inside-out. The world champion, probably the best rapid player in history, was dead-lost in at least two games.
The Diagram, Black to Play (White: Judit Polgar Vs Black: Iordachescu, Euro 2011) comes just after white has played 15. c4 committing to assault. The game continued 15...a6 16.cxd5! Axb5 17. Rc1 Qb8 18.dxe6 fxe6 19.Qb3 Nf8? Here the engines find 19...Rc4!! 20.Qxb5 Rxc1 21.Rxc1 Rf8 which seems the only defence. Black saw the losing 19...0-0? 20.Qxe6+ Rf7 21.Rxc8+ Qxc8 22.Rc1 Qb8 23.Qb3! and e6 is unstoppable. But he headed into something almost as bad.
White played 20.Qxb5+ Kf7 21.Rxc8 Qxc8 22.Rc1 Qb8 23.g4 Nh6 24.Qb4 Kg8 25.Bxh6 gxh6 26.Qe7 Qe8 27.Qxb7 Qa4. In effect, white is ahead on material — the Rh8 is dead and she just exchanged queens and went technical.
After 28.b4 Be8 29.Qe7 Qd7 30.Rc7 Qxe7 31.Rxe7 Bc6 32.Nd4 Bd5 33.b5 Ng6 34.Rc7 Nxe5 35.f4 Nf7 36.f5! exf5 37.Nxf5 Be6 38.b6 Bxf5 39.gxf5 Kg7 40.b7 Rb8 41.a4 Kf6 42.a5 Nd6 43.a6 Kxf5 44.a7 Rg8+ 45.Kf2 Nxb7 46.Rxb7 Ra8 , the rook ending is dead-winning. The game concluded 47.Ke3 Ke5 48.Rxh7 Rc8 49.Kd3 Kd5 50.Rxh6 Kc5 51.Ra6 Ra8 52.h4 Kb5 53.Ra1 Kb6 54.Ke4 (1-0).
[Devangshu Datta is an internationally-rated chess and correspondence chess player]