33rd Chess Olympiad

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The 33rd Chess Olympiad, organized by FIDE and comprising an open[1] and a women's tournament, took place between September 26 and October 13, 1998, in Elista, Kalmykia, Russia. There were 110 teams in the open event and 72 in the women's event.

The Olympiad was the first international chess event to be held at Chess City. Construction of the complex was not complete by the start of the tournament, and some FIDE members were concerned that the facilities would not be ready in time, including the airport, telephone system, player housing, and the "Chess Palace" to be used as the main playing hall.

Reported human rights abuses by FIDE and Kalmykia president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov led to calls for a boycott from Valery Borshchev, a member of the Duma. The British government did not call for a boycott but confirmed "reliable reports of human rights problems" and suggested that Kalmykian authorities might use publicity from Olympiad participation by foreign teams for its own purposes.[2] Three nations were signed up but chose to stay away: Denmark, Norway, and Slovakia.

The opening ceremony took place as scheduled, but the Chess Palace was still covered in scaffolding and was missing many windows. The first round was delayed, one free day was eliminated, and the tournament was shortened to 13 rounds from the planned 14. The organizers worked around the clock and playing conditions improved as the tournament progressed, although the main playing hall was not properly heated. Living conditions, food and drink, and telephone service were generally reported to be acceptable.[3][4]

Both tournament sections were officiated by international arbiter Geurt Gijssen (Netherlands). Teams were paired across the 13 rounds of competition according to the Swiss system. The open division was played over four boards per round, whilst the women's was played over three. In the event of a draw, the tie-break was decided by 1. The Buchholz system; and 2. Match points.

The time control for each game permitted each player 100 minutes to make the first 40 of his or her moves, then an additional 50 minutes to make the next 20 moves, and then 10 minutes to finish the game, with an additional 30 seconds devolving on each player after each move, beginning with the first.

In addition to the overall medal winners, the teams were divided into seeding groups, with the top finishers in each group receiving special prizes.

Open event[edit]

The open division was contested by 110 teams representing 106 nations. Russia, as hosts, fielded an unprecedented four teams (Russia "C" was referred to as "Team Kalmykia" and Russia "D" was a youth team), whilst the International Braille Chess Association provided one squad.

Even without their strongest players, the "Three K's" (PCA world champion Garry Kasparov, FIDE champion Anatoly Karpov and Vladimir Kramnik), Russia were still favourites, and the team did win their fourth consecutive title. The United States improved another spot from the previous Olympiad and finished second, and Ukraine took the bronze medals, beating Israel on tie break.

Open event
# Country Players Average
rating
Points Buchholz
1  Russia Svidler, Rublevsky, Bareev, Morozevich, Zvjaginsev, Sakaev 2684 35½
2  United States Yermolinsky, Shabalov, Seirawan, Gulko, De Firmian, Kaidanov 2631 34½
3  Ukraine Ivanchuk, Onischuk, Romanishin, Malaniuk, Savchenko, Ponomariov 2638 32½ 394.0
4  Israel Alterman, Smirin, Sutovsky, Psakhis, Kosashvili, Avrukh 2593 32½ 379.0
5  China Peng Xiaomin, Ye Jiangchuan, Zhang Zhong, Yu Shaoteng, Wu Wenjin, Wang Rui 2498 31½ 389.5
6  Germany Yusupov, Dautov, Lutz, Hübner, Gabriel, Luther 2610 31½ 386.5
7 Georgia (country) Georgia Azmaiparashvili, Giorgadze, Sturua, Bagaturov, Supatashvili, Janjgava 2601 31½ 377.5
8  Russia "B" Dreev, Filippov, Volkov, Kobalia, Yemelin, Shariyazdanov 2594 31 395.5
9  Hungary Almási, Pintér, C. Horváth, J. Horváth, Varga, Gyimesi 2588 31 375.0
10  Romania Istrăţescu, Marin, Nisipeanu, Ionescu, Nevednichy, Vajda 2548 30½ 392.5

Individual medals[edit]

Women's results[edit]

The women's division was contested by 72 teams representing 69 nations. Russia, as hosts, fielded three teams, whilst the International Braille Chess Association entered one squad.

China finally broke the Eastern European dominance by winning the title, led by former (and future) world champion Xie Jun and future champion Zhu Chen. Russia took the silver, whilst defending quadruple champions Georgia had to settle for bronze.

# Country Players Average
rating
Points Buchholz
1  China Xie Jun, Zhu Chen, Wang Pin, Wang Lei 2480 29
2  Russia Matveeva, Kovalevskaya, Shumiakina, Stepovaya-Dianchenko 2438 27 295.0
3 Georgia (country) Georgia Chiburdanidze, Ioseliani, Arakhamia-Grant, Khurtsidze 2480 27 289.5
4  Netherlands Peng Zhaoqin, Sziva, Bosboom-Lanchava, Jap Tjoen San 2325 23½ 290.0
5  Bulgaria Stefanova, Voiska, Velcheva, Aleksieva 2387 23½ 277.0
6  Romania Corina Peptan, Foişor, Cosma, Olǎraşu 2398 23 299.0
7 Serbia and Montenegro Yugoslavia Marić, Bojković, Vuksanović, Manakova 2422 23 293.5
8  Hungary Lakos, Mádl, Grábics, Medvegy 2383 23 279.5
9  Russia "C" Demina, Kosteniuk, Kharashkina, Gelashvili 2205 23 275.0
10  United States Belakovskaia, Krush, Epstein, Donaldson-Akhmilovskaya 2355 23 271.5

Individual medals[edit]

Overall title[edit]

The Nona Gaprindashvili Trophy is awarded to the nation that has the best average rank in the open and women's divisions. Where two or more teams are tied, they are ordered by best single finish in either division and then by total number of points scored.

The trophy, named after the former women's world champion (1961–78), was created by FIDE in 1997 and awarded for the first time in Elista.

# Team Open
division
Women's
division
Average
1  Russia 1 2
2  China 5 1 3
3 Georgia (country) Georgia 7 3 5

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Although commonly referred to as the men's division, this section is open to both male and female players.
  2. ^ Crowther, Mark (21 September 1998), THE WEEK IN CHESS 202:Olympiad News, London Chess Center, archived from the original on 20 July 2011 
  3. ^ Crowther, Mark (28 September 1998), THE WEEK IN CHESS 203: Olympiad News, London Chess Center, archived from the original on 20 July 2011 
  4. ^ Crowther, Mark (5 October 1998), THE WEEK IN CHESS 204: 33rd Olympiad, London Chess Center, archived from the original on 20 July 2011