USA Team
17th ICCF Olympiad
Final Round

Start Date: 10.09.2009


All Player Profiles

1GM Jason Bokar 2574 Profile Games
2 SIM Michael Millstone 2473 Profile Games
3 SIM Ken Reinhart 2452 Profile Games
4 IM Keith Rodriguez 2401 Profile Games
5 IM Robert Rizzo 2369 Profile Games
6IM Corky Schakel 2359 Profile Games
CaptainIA J. Franklin Campbell Profile --

27 - 44

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Preliminary Round Web Page
Team Standings (Excel file for download from Bob Rizzo) 24.October.2011

News Updates

24.October.2011: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says:

Teammates -
We are all complete except for Ken's one game. We have caught Croatia and have them beat on tie-breaks if we finish tied (unless they use head-to-head as a first tie-breaker). They have one game remaining also. Congratuations to Germany for the gold and Spain for the silver. With only 16 games unfinished in the tournament there are several teams still capable of geting the bronze. Our team will finish slightly above its expectancy but no where near the one hundred points plus or so we would have needed for a medal. Jason earned a SIM Norm while Mike and Ken earned IM norms. My performance was good enough for an IM norm but because the average of the board was fractions below 2501, it did not merit category 11. I guess it is nobody's fault but mine for not maintaining a high enough rating in the first place. At least I can take away from this tournament that I drew the number one player (Papenin 2741) on the ICCF 2011/4 list! Thanks for the opportunity to play with a great group of guys and the best team captain ever.

- Bob

Ken Reinhart responds: "Sorry guys my game is lost. One cheap and desperate trick left and then I am done. Tried WAY too hard to win an even position as Black and paid the price as per usual."

Corky Schakel responds: "Let me also thank you all for the camaraderie and just plain fun of playing with such a great group of teammates.  Ken, you at least lost a game trying to win, much better than getting steamrolled from the get-go!  Special thanks to Bob for all his work keeping us posted on the progress of the event, and to Franklin for the TC job and of course the website.  Cork"

Franklin Campbell responds: "Thanks to the entire team for taking on this challenge. It's been a real educational experience for all of us. The preliminary round was a resounding success thanks to the intensity of this team and all the hard work. What a thrill to get our team picture on the cover of Chess Life! I'm still planning to get that framed. We were a bit overmatched in the Final round, but the team made a fantastic effort and scored a result worthy of pride. This was cc competition at its very best, and the team performed very well. Who knows what's next for our individual team members? It's been a real privilege being team captain for this quality group of players and I'm grateful for the opportunity. When my energy level dropped off in the Final round Bob Rizzo maintained his quality work with the Excel tables and provided his interesting analysis of the stats to keep us all informed and up to date. Special thanks to Bob! - TC Franklin"

24.August.2011: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says:

Teammates -
Sorry for the delay since the last report. The tournament is now more than 94% complete. As predicted it is coming down to the wire between the USA and Croatia for 12th place. We are currently at minus17 while Croatia is minus16. We have 4 games remaining and they have 3. So it is entirely possible to overtake them. At the top Germany has pulled away to a commanding lead with plus 16. Spain is plus 13 but does have a game left with Germany on Board 4 so nothing is clinched except that they will take the first two places. I have the only game remaining on Board 5 and it is with Spain. As I have a slight edge that should not give them any chance of gaining on Germany, but then again I have been known to blow such positions in the past. That aside, I am playing for the USA chances and what happens at the top is not of any matter to my decision process. Third place is now a total crapshoot with Italy and Russia at plus 4, Estonia and Ukraine at plus 3, Norway and Switzerland at plus 2 and Denmark at equals since with 11 games remaining they cannot be counted out. As for the USA we have drawn our second match - with Ukraine. We still have the opportunity to win our matches against Netherlands and Italy. We continue to perform slightly above our expectancy (2443 vs. 2436). Several more norms have been earned - too many to mention but the coding is in the attachment. Finally individual board medal positions have been clinched and those are indicated on the Board tabs.

- Bob

1.May.2011: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says:

Teammates -
We are getting close to the end of the Olympiad and I would just like to say that is has been an honor to have had the chance to play in such a prestigious event and with such fantastic teammates.  It looks certain that the team Gold will go to either Spain (+12, 11 GR) or Germany (+11, 12 GR).  Currently they have one game remaining (GR) between them having split the other 5, at 2.5 apiece.  The bronze is anybody's guess as Italy (+5, 9 GR), Estonia (+5, 7 GR), Ukraine (+3, 10 GR), Norway (+3, 8 GR) and Russia (+2, 15GR) all have a legitimate shot at third.
I would like to personally congratulate Manuel Jesús Bescós Anzano (Spain) for winning Board 6 outright and making what appears to be his first GM norm.  Too I would like to congratulate GM Dr. Hans-Dieter Wunderlich (Germany) for having clinched at least a tie for first in points on Board 5.  However it appears that he would lose a tie-break to Papenin so Wunderlich has at least assured himself of a Silver.  Sadly, it was at my expense as I recently resigned my game to Wunderlich.  He did point out that I missed a draw on move 45 (a move that I had agonized over for 20 days and finally decided against, ouch!) so my slim hopes for a second SIM norm and title are once again dashed!

Our team has performed almost exactly as predicted.  However now for the good news.  Judging from the positions of our remaining 6 team games, the worst we should do is equals.  We even have an outside shot at plus 2.  As we are currently 5 behind Croatia and they have 11 tough games remaining, we do still have some chance to catch them.  Go team!

Best Regards,

6.March.2011: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says:

Spain has widened the lead at plus 11.  Germany is plus 9.  Spain has 17 games remaining while
Germany has 20.  They still have 3 games between them to be completed.  The Gold will be awarded one of these two and the other will get the Silver unless something draconian occurs.  The Bronze is most likely between Estonia and Italy who are each at plus 5.  Estonia has only 10 games left while Italy has 11.  They have no games left vs. each other having split their team match 3-3.  Russia and Norway are at plus 2, Ukraine is plus 1 and Denmark is at equals.

The USA performance has fallen 0.9 rating points below its expectancy - hardly a significant variance - our score is exactly what would be predicted.  Thus far we have lost our matches vs. Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Croatia and Russia.  We have clinched at least a draw vs. Romania. We can do no better than draw vs. Ukraine.  Our matches with the Netherlands and Italy are still TBD.   With 11 games remaining we still have an outside shot at overtaking Croatia which has 15 games left to play - something to strive for!  Sadly, based upon totals to date and the positions on the boards in play, it does not appear any of us will pick up a board medal either (my personal assesment only).

- Bob

15.February.2011: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says:

Teammates -

More results are in as the tournament passes the 3/4 mark.  Spain is the outright leader at plus 9.  Germany is at plus 8 in what has developed into a 2-team race for the Gold medal.   Italy is at plus 5 and Estonia at plus 4 in the battle for the Bronze.  Russia and Norway at plus 2 would seem to be the only others capable of medaling at this point although Ukraine at plus 1 and Switzerland at even are not mathematically eliminated.

No US games were completed since the previous report.  I have the only remaining US games against Germany and Spain so I may have a say in the ultimate outcome!

To date 12 players have finished all of their games.   Thus far 4 players have earned GM norms, 18 have met the SIM standard and another 14 have reached the IM level.

- Bob

14.January.2011: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says:

"Here is the latest OLY17F update.  Since the USA stands at minus 14 and we only have 13 games remaining, we cannot finish at level hence we are now mathematically eliminated from the Gold Medal.  The tournament is about 3/4's finished and the field is sorting out with 4 teams realistically in contention for the three medals.  Germany and Spain are at plus 7 and Italy is a close third at plus 6.  Estonia at plus 5 seems to be the only team with a realistic chance at spoiling it for one of those three.  Russia at plus 2 has faded since the last report and at plus 2 seems a long shot for a medal."

6.December.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says:

"Many more results are in.   The tournament is 70.5% complete.  The USA has finished 79% of its games.  To date our team performance is 2434, 4 points lower than the team average but 4 points higher than the average of our completed boards.  Once again the statistics are proven right on for large sample sizes (Arpad Elo sure knew what he was doing).  5 Players overall have now completed their assignments.  In the top table a color coding has been added for those who have met or exceeded norms for their boards.  Thus far 2 GM norms, 12 SIM Norms and 15 IM Norms have been earned.  Board 3 leads with 10 norms.  The USA has 2, with Bokar and Reinhart thus far earning a SIM and IM respectively.  Of course these numbers can only go up as more games are finished.  The contest for the three team medals is quite a race with the lead changing every few days.  Currently Germany and Spain are co-leaders at plus 6.  Estonia and Italy are next at plus 5 and Russia is lurking in fifth at plus 4.  Denmark at plus 2 and Ukraine at plus 1 would have to be considered longshots to medal at this juncture with so many teams ahead of them.  In the Team Points race, Estonia and Italy have 5, Germany and Denmark have 4 and four others have 3.   Thus far 9 team matches have been completed, 7 ending in 3-3 draws.  The other two were won by Norway and Denmark.  We won't mention who was on the losing end of those tilts.

"I will end on a joyous note - in case you haven't heard by now, Stephen Ham is the USA's eleventh correspondence GM!  I trust he will be representing the USA in future Olympiads."

4.November.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says:

"The USA is now more than 3/4's through its tournament.  Overall the event is 2/3's finished.  Keith is the first of our team to complete his assignment.  In fact he is one of three players on Board 4 to have finished.  Foremost of those is Claudio Cesetti (ITA) whose 8.5 exceeded the GM norm by 1/2 point and in fact has earned him the GM title!  His plus 5 is single-handedly responsible for vaulting Italy to the lead at plus 6.  Spain is currently second at plus 5 while third is shared by Estonia, Germany and Russia all at plus 4.

Our team has clinched at least a draw with Romania and has lost our matches with Norway, Estonia and Denmark.  In addition we can now do no better than a draw in our matches with Spain, Switzerland and Croatia."

23.October.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says: "Lots of results in the past 10 days.  The tournament is almost 64% complete with the USA almost 74% complete.  Thus far we have clinched at least a drawn match with Romania.  We have lost our matches with Norway, Denmark and Estonia.  Our performance is right at our average rating or, to misquote Dennis Green, "We are what they thought we are."  GM Van Der Hooven (Netherlands Board 4) is the second player to complete his tournament.  His 6.5 points met the SIM norm standard.  Estonia is leading the event at plus 5.  Right on their heels are Spain, Germany, Italy and Russia all at plus 4.  It would appear that the three medal winners will come from this group of five teams."

11.October.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says:

Here is the latest update.  Although our overall team performance is below the total team average by a few points, it is still above expectancy for those games which have been completed.

Germany has taken the lead at plus 5.  Italy and Estonia are right behind at plus 4.  Spain and Russia round out the contenders both at plus 3.

Welcome back Corky and Mike!  You are both doing a terrific job representing the USA domestically and internationally.

30.September.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says:

Here is the latest update of the OLY17F.  Or team has now completed 2/3's of our games.  Our team performance rating stands one point above our aveage team rating.  Overall just under 60% of all games have been finished.  Our team has clinched at least a tie with Romania and has lost its head-to-head match with Estonia.

Congrats go to Jason who has completed the WCC24F World Championship Final at plus 2 for a performance of 2590.  His final placing will depend upon the results of games yet to be completed.

We wish Corky and Michael 'good speed' on their trip to the Congress and wish to congratulate those 2010 USA Title earners.  The following USA Federation members will be so honored in Turkey:

IM & SIM Thomas Biederman
IM Mehran Divanbaigyzand
SIM Keith Holzmeuller
IM John Menke Sr.
SIM Kristo Miettinen
GM Jon Ostriker

29.August.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says, "A couple of results since the last report.  I know we need wins but I just couldn't find a way to breakthrough vs. Ruggieri or Forrisdahl without getting an inferior position.  That puts me at 4.5-4.5 (all draws) with three games left.  One is dead drawn - has been for many moves now, another is plus equals and the third is a large minus (all are with black against GMs) unfortunately not much help when plus scores are essential.  On the bright side, 1) we are still the only team with team points as the tournament passes the half-way point and 2) some of our team members are still in the running for board medals."

18.August.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says, "Almost 50% of the tournament is completed with the U.S. having gone past that mark for its allotment of games.  It is surprising that we are still the only team that has clinched at least a tie in a head-to-head match. Upon that basis one could say we are leading the field in at least that category!  The team continues to outperform expectancy."

30.July.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says:

Keith fought on valiantly but alas he could no longer hold his two positions vs. RUS and UKR.  Ken scored a nice draw vs. GM Drake Díez de Rivera of ESP.  We are almost half-way complete so we need some positive results in the second half to get back into contention.

On other fronts Jason Bokar's draw with Frank Gerhardt in the 24th WC Final guarantees him a plus score - a fantastic accomplishment.  John R. Menke has earned the IM title as confirmed by Neil Limbert (subject to approval of the Congress).  John had earned the title a couple of years back when he completed the Jubilee Semifinals.  Also Tom Biedermann appears to have earned an IM title having achieved two SIM norms which fall short of the 24-game requisite but the IM overscores should be sufficient for that title.  Limbert has informed us that he will recommend approval of this special exception for which there is ample precedent, however, this too must be voted on by the committee.  There will be a press release issued shortly for the Menke title.  Finally, Mehran Divanbaigyzand has just drawn his final game in WS/MN/044 thus making an IM norm and the IM title.  We will be applying for that today as Limbert has notified us it is the cutoff for the 2010 Congress.

The game files (links labeled "Games" in the table at the top of this page) have all been updated.

22.July.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says:

With Keith's draw vs. Romania, the US has clinched a team tie with Romania - we are the first team in the finals to earn team points (TP).  1 point is awarded for each team draw and 2 points for each team win.

The tournament is exactly 4/9's complete (44.4%) which coincidently matches our team's completion percentage.  The US continues to outperform - 40 points in excess of our expectancy.

Italy leads at plus 3 closely followed by Russia and Spain at plus 2.  Russia is the overall leader on a percentage basis with a 54.2% scoring rate.

Congrats go to Estonian IM Tonu Talpak as the first to complete his games in the OLY17F.  He scored 8.0/12 on Board 6, barely missing the GM norm (by 1/2 point).

14.July.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says, "Corky scores a nice draw vs. Russia.  At present the team is performing almost 50 points higher than our expectancy.  Italy leads with plus 3 but Russia at plus 2 has a slightly higher scoring percentage having completed fewer games."

The games files on this site have been updated for Reinhart, Rizzo and Schakel.

5.July.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says, "Corky earns a nice draw.  USA is 3/8's complete.  No change in the overall standings as Italy still leads at plus 3."

25.June.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says, "The Italians may have been eliminated in Futbol but they are kicking butt in chess.  They are now the sole leaders at plus 3."

13.June.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says, "With a little more than 1/3 of the tournament complete the overall team standings have not changed much.  Italy and Russia still lead at plus 2.  6 teams are plus, 6 teams are minus and one is even.  The attached standings do not include my Board 5 draw result vs. Papenin (UKR) as I am claiming an intention to repeat the position for a third time.  Franklin had forwarded the claim to TD Gutierrez a few days ago but it has not been officially posted as of 11PM (EDT) on June 13."

Team Captain note: The ICCF server does not automatically terminate a game unless a player agrees to a draw proposed by his opponent via the server or a player resigns via the server. Otherwise, the TD (or other appropriate official) must make a decision and manually set the result. In such cases in a team event the player must request the Team Captain to make the claim to the TD. A draw by 3-times repetition or 50-move rule is not specified within the ICCF rules. In such cases ICCF applies the FIDE Laws of Chess, as specified in ICCF rule 1a. (I have added a link above to the FIDE rules for future reference). In this specific case the FIDE rule is:

9.2 The game is drawn upon a correct claim by the player having the move, when the same position, for at least the third time (not necessarily by a repetition of moves) (a) is about to appear, if he first writes his move on his scoresheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move, or (b) has just appeared, and the player claiming the draw has the move [there are some additional clarifications as to the position being "the same"].

Of course, there can be some minor differences between OTB and correspondence chess which may require some interpretation by the TD, such as "... he first writes his move on his scoresheet".

1.June.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says, "The file is updated from yesterday to include Ken's draw as black vs. SIM Holger Blauhut of Norway.  Also note that I incorrectly (again) had calculated our team average rating for those games completed and came up with the erroneous 2464.  I realized today that I referenced the performance ratings instead of the USA starting ratings in some instances.  The correct number is 2433 which makes more sense when you inspect the distribution.  So that makes the team performance to date of 2472, 39 points higher than expected.  I have now added that as a last column on the spreadsheet to calculate automatically - probably not that valuable a statistic anyway."

31.May.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says, "Russia still leads at plus 2 but the Toth victory has moved Switzerland also to plus 2 albeit with a slightly lower winning percentage.  Congrats to Ken Reinhart who has broken the ice for the USA with his fine win against Romania.  That result has raised our team performance to 2470 vs. an expectancy of 2464 (weighted average of our team's rating on the basis of the 24 games completed).  To put this into perspective, the average of all opposing teams in total (with USA removed) is 2547.  So it would seem that we would need a final performance of more than 109 points over our average team rating (2547 less 2438) in order to achieve a plus team score.  Ken's result marks the completion of 1/3 of our games in this event 24 down, 48 to go).  And thanks again to Franklin for his fine webpage, blog and excellent captaincy!"

29.May.2010: USA Board 3 Ken Reinhart scores first win for team! Congratulations to Ken on an excellent attacking game vs. SM Ioan Calin Chiru (Romania) to give us our first full point. The game can be viewed on the new games page for Ken. To celebrate this win I have just set up games pages for all the team members to display all our games finished so far. The Games links in the table of players above now point to our Final round games (previously they pointed to the Preliminary round games). ... Franklin

28.May.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says, "31% of the games are complete.  Russia still leads at plus 2.  Board 1 has seen its first decision as Toth has beaten World Champion Oosterom.  That leaves Boards 2 and 5 without a win having been posted.  Our team is performing slightly better than our rating.   However since we are the lowest rated team we would probably need to perform at least 100 points better than our expectancy to have a chance to medal.  But there are still plenty of games remaining . . . ."

27.April.2010: Bob Rizzo has provided his latest update of the team standings in Excel format. Bob says, "All of our teammates now have completed at least one game.  As a team the only Federation with which we have not had any result is Spain.  We are performing at right about our team expectancy with just less than 1/3 of our games completed."

20.March.2010: The new USA Team 17th Olympiad Final web page was launched today. The old Preliminary Round Web Page has been preserved. The teams participating in the final are as follows, listed in order of average team rating. As the lowest rated team the USA will have a big challenge.

  1. 2656 - Netherland
  2. 2627 - Germany
  3. 2591 - Spain
  4. 2571 - Switzerland
  5. 2560 - Russia
  6. 2549 - Ukraine
  7. 2546 - Italy
  8. 2527 - Estonia
  9. 2508 - Romania
  10. 2489 - Denmark
  11. 2489 - Norway
  12. 2446 - Croatia
  13. 2438 - United States

One change in the rules this time is the penalty for taking over 20 days for any one move. After 20 days have been used the player will be charged double time, 2 days for each additional day used. See rule 6c. in the Playing Rules. The server sends an email warning and displays the player's remaining time in a yellow mustard color.

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