The use of the name "Chess Olympiad" for FIDE's team championship is of historical origin and implies no connection with the Olympic Games.
Birth of the Olympiad
The first Olympiad was unofficial. For the 1924 Olympics an attempt was made to include chess in the Olympic Games but this failed because of problems with distinguishing between amateur and professional players. While the 1924 Summer Olympics was taking place in Paris, the 1st unofficial Chess Olympiad also took place in Paris. FIDE was formed on Sunday, July 20, 1924, the closing day of the 1st unofficial Chess Olympiad.
FIDE organised the first Official Olympiad in 1927 which took place in London. The Olympiads were occasionally held annually and at irregular intervals until World War II; since 1950 they have been held regularly every two years.
Chess is recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC); since June 1999 FIDE has been the recognized International Sports Federation. As a member of the IOC, FIDE adheres to its rules, including, controversially, a requirement for doping tests. The prospects of chess becoming an Olympic sporting event at some future date remain unclear.
Each FIDE recognized chess association can enter a team into the Olympiad. Each team is made of up to five players, four regular players and one reserve (prior to the tournament in Dresden 2008 there were two reserves). Initially each team played all other teams but as the event grew over the years this became impossible. At first team seeding took place before the competition. Later certain drawbacks were recognized with seeding and in 1976 a Swiss tournament system was adopted.
The trophy for the winning team in the open section is the Hamilton-Russell Cup, which was offered by the English magnate Frederick Hamilton-Russell as a prize for the 1st Olympiad (London 1927). The cup is kept by the winning team until the next event, when it is consigned to the next winner. The trophy for the winning women's team is known as the Vera Menchik Cup in honor of the first Women's World Chess Champion.
Olympiads and top results in the open section
* In 1976 the Soviet Union and other communist countries did not compete for political reasons.
Total team ranking
The table contains the men's teams ranked by the medals won at the Chess Olympiad, not including the unofficial events, ranked by the number of first place medals, ties broken by second-place medals, etc.
|Rank||Country||1st place||2nd place||3rd place||Total|
|17||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0||1||0||1|
* Includes the results of West Germany.
Total team ranking including non-official
The table contains the men's teams ranked by the medals won at the Chess Olympiad, including the unofficial events, ranked by the number of first place medals, ties broken by second-place medals, etc.
|Rank||Country||1st place||2nd place||3rd place||Total|
Best individual results in the open section
The best individual results in order of overall percentage are:
|1||Tal, MikhailMikhail Tal||Soviet Union||8||101||65||34||2||81.2||5 – 2 – 0|
|2||Karpov, AnatolyAnatoly Karpov||Soviet Union||6||68||43||23||2||80.1||3 – 2 – 0|
|3||Petrosian, TigranTigran Petrosian||Soviet Union||10||129||78||50||1||79,8||6 – 0 – 0|
|4||Kashdan, IsaacIsaac Kashdan||USA||5||79||52||22||5||79.7||2 – 1 – 2|
|5||Smyslov, VasilyVasily Smyslov||Soviet Union||9||113||69||42||2||79.6||4 – 2 – 2|
|6||Bronstein, DavidDavid Bronstein||Soviet Union||4||49||30||18||1||79.6||3 – 1 – 0|
|7||Kasparov, GarryGarry Kasparov||Soviet Union / Russia (1)||8||82||50||29||3||78.7||7 – 2 – 2|
|8||Alekhine, AlexanderAlexander Alekhine||France||5||72||43||27||2||78.5||2 – 2 – 0|
|9||Matulović, MilanMilan Matulović||Yugoslavia||6||78||46||28||4||76.9||1 – 2 – 0|
|10||Keres, PaulPaul Keres||Estonia / Soviet Union (2)||10||141||85||44||12||75.9||5 – 1 – 1|
|11||Geller, EfimEfim Geller||Soviet Union||7||76||46||23||7||75.6||3 – 3 – 0|
|12||Tarjan, JamesJames Tarjan||USA||5||51||32||13||6||75.5||2 – 1 – 0|
|13||Fischer, BobbyBobby Fischer||USA||4||65||40||18||7||75.4||0 – 2 – 1|
|14||Botvinnik, MikhailMikhail Botvinnik||Soviet Union||6||73||39||31||3||74.7||2 – 1 – 2|
|15||Karjakin, SergeySergey Karjakin||Ukraine / Russia (3)||5||47||24||22||1||74.7||2 – 0 – 1|
|16||Flohr, SaloSalo Flohr||Czechoslovakia||7||82||46||28||8||73.2||2 – 1 – 1|
- Only players participating to at least four Olympiads are included in this table.
- Medals indicated are only individual ones (not team), in the order gold - silver - bronze.
- (1) Kasparov played his first four Olympiads for the Soviet Union, the rest for Russia. His four gold medals are one for best-rating performance (first introduced at Thessaloniki 1984) and three for best score on first board.
- (2) Keres played his first three Olympiads for Estonia, the rest for the Soviet Union.
- (3) Karjakin played his first three Olympiads for Ukraine, the rest for Russia
- European Team Chess Championship
- Russia (USSR) vs Rest of the World
- Women's Chess Olympiad
- World Chess Championship
- World Mind Sports Games
- Mind Sports Organisation
- Brace, Edward R. (1977), An Illustrated Dictionary of Chess, Hamlyn Publishing Group, p. 64, ISBN 1-55521-394-4
- FIDE History by Bill Wall. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
- Recognized Sports of the International Olympic Committee International Olympic Committee official website. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
- International Federation (IF) for chess. International Olympic Committee official website. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
- FIDE - Uniting the Chess World FIDE Official website. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
- ARISF Members Association of Recognized IOC International Sports Federation. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
- Complete FIDE Anti-Doping Documents FIDE official website. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
- Controversy over FIDE doping check ChessBase.com Retrieved 2 May 2008.
- The Insanity of Drug Testing in Chess by Jeremy Silman Retrieved 2 May 2008.
- Chess Olympiad in Dresden 2008 chinaorbit.com Retrieved 2 May 2008.
- FIDE submits regulation changes for Chess Olympiad Fide.com
- FIDE Official website:
- Complete data and results on OlimpBase:
- Data and Trivia from Bill Wall (archived version)
- Chess Olympiad 2010 details