Chess Olympiad

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The Chess Olympiad is a biennial chess tournament in which teams from all over the world compete against each other. The event is organised by FIDE, which selects the host nation.

Birth of the Olympiad[edit]

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.[1] 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.[2]

FIDE organised the first Official Olympiad in 1927 which took place in London.[1] The Olympiads were occasionally held annually and at irregular intervals until World War II; since 1950 they have been held regularly every two years.[1]

Growth of Chess Olympiads
There were 16 participating nations in the 1st Chess Olympiad, 1927.
By the 37th Chess Olympiad, 2006, there were 133 participating nations.

Recognized sport[edit]

Bobby Fischer's score card from his round 3 game against Miguel Najdorf in the 1970 Chess Olympiad.

Chess is recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC);[3] since June 1999 FIDE has been the recognized International Sports Federation.[3][4][5][6] As a member of the IOC, FIDE adheres to its rules, including, controversially, a requirement for doping tests.[7][8][9][10] The prospects of chess becoming an Olympic sporting event at some future date remain unclear. The use of the name "Chess Olympiad" for FIDE's team championship is of historical origin and implies no connection with the Olympic Games.

Competition[edit]

Each FIDE recognized chess association can enter a team into the Olympiad.[1] 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[11]).[1] Initially each team played all other teams but as the event grew over the years this became impossible.[1] At first team seeding took place before the competition.[1] Later certain drawbacks were recognized with seeding and in 1976 a Swiss tournament system was adopted.[1]

The trophy for the winning team in the open section is the Hamilton-Russell Cup,[1] 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.

The 2010 Olympiad was held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. The 2012 Olympiad was held in Istanbul, Turkey and the 2014 Olympiad will be in Tromsø, Norway.


Olympiads and top results in the open section[edit]

Year Event Host Gold Silver Bronze
1924 1st unofficial Chess Olympiad
The Chess Olympiad (individual)
France Paris, France  Czechoslovakia 31  Hungary 30   Switzerland 29
1926 2nd unofficial Chess Olympiad
The Team Tournament
(part of FIDE summit)
Hungary Budapest, Hungary  Hungary 9  Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes 8  Romania 5
1927 1st Chess Olympiad United Kingdom London, United Kingdom  Hungary 40  Denmark 38½  England 36½
1928 2nd Chess Olympiad Netherlands The Hague, Netherlands  Hungary 44  United States 39½  Poland 37
1930 3rd Chess Olympiad Germany Hamburg, Germany  Poland 48½  Hungary 47  Germany 44½
1931 4th Chess Olympiad Czechoslovakia Prague, Czechoslovakia  United States 48  Poland 47  Czechoslovakia 46½
1933 5th Chess Olympiad United Kingdom Folkestone, United Kingdom  United States 39  Czechoslovakia 37½  Sweden 34
1935 6th Chess Olympiad Poland Warsaw, Poland  United States 54  Sweden 52½  Poland 52
1936 3rd unofficial Chess Olympiad
non-FIDE unofficial Chess Olympiad
Germany Munich, Germany  Hungary 110½  Poland 108  Germany 106½
1937 7th Chess Olympiad Sweden Stockholm, Sweden  United States 54½  Hungary 48½  Poland 47
1939 8th Chess Olympiad Argentina Buenos Aires, Argentina  Germany 36  Poland 35½  Estonia 33½
1950 9th Chess Olympiad Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia  Yugoslavia 45½  Argentina 43½  West Germany 40½
1952 10th Chess Olympiad Finland Helsinki, Finland  Soviet Union 21  Argentina 19½  Yugoslavia 19
1954 11th Chess Olympiad Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands  Soviet Union 34  Argentina 27  Yugoslavia 26½
1956 12th Chess Olympiad Soviet Union Moscow, Soviet Union  Soviet Union 31  Yugoslavia 26½  Hungary 26½
1958 13th Chess Olympiad Germany Munich, West Germany  Soviet Union 34½  Yugoslavia 29  Argentina 25½
1960 14th Chess Olympiad East Germany Leipzig, East Germany  Soviet Union 34  United States 29  Yugoslavia 27
1962 15th Chess Olympiad Bulgaria Varna, Bulgaria  Soviet Union 31½  Yugoslavia 28  Argentina 26
1964 16th Chess Olympiad Israel Tel Aviv, Israel  Soviet Union 36½  Yugoslavia 32  West Germany 30½
1966 17th Chess Olympiad Cuba Havana, Cuba  Soviet Union 39½  United States 34½  Hungary 33½
1968 18th Chess Olympiad Switzerland Lugano, Switzerland  Soviet Union 39½  Yugoslavia 31  Bulgaria 30
1970 19th Chess Olympiad Germany Siegen, West Germany  Soviet Union 27½  Hungary 26½  Yugoslavia 26
1972 20th Chess Olympiad Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Skopje, Yugoslavia  Soviet Union 42  Hungary 40½  Yugoslavia 38
1974 21st Chess Olympiad France Nice, France  Soviet Union 46  Yugoslavia 37½  United States 36½
1976 22nd Chess Olympiad * Israel Haifa, Israel  United States 37  Netherlands 36½  England 35½
1976 Against Chess Olympiad Libya Tripoli, Libya  El Salvador 38½  Tunisia 36  Pakistan 34½
1978 23rd Chess Olympiad Argentina Buenos Aires, Argentina  Hungary 37  Soviet Union 36  United States 35
1980 24th Chess Olympiad Malta Valletta, Malta  Soviet Union 39  Hungary 39  United States 35
1982 25th Chess Olympiad Switzerland Lucerne, Switzerland  Soviet Union 42½  Czechoslovakia 36  United States 35
1984 26th Chess Olympiad Greece Thessaloniki, Greece  Soviet Union 41  England 37  United States 35
1986 27th Chess Olympiad United Arab Emirates Dubai, United Arab Emirates  Soviet Union 40  England 39  United States 38
1988 28th Chess Olympiad Greece Thessaloniki, Greece  Soviet Union 40½  England 34½  Netherlands 34½
1990 29th Chess Olympiad Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Novi Sad, Yugoslavia  Soviet Union 39  United States 35½  England 35½
1992 30th Chess Olympiad Philippines Manila, Philippines  Russia 39  Uzbekistan 35  Armenia 34½
1994 31st Chess Olympiad Russia Moscow, Russia  Russia 37½  Bosnia and Herzegovina 35  Russia "B" 34½
1996 32nd Chess Olympiad Armenia Yerevan, Armenia  Russia 38½  Ukraine 35  United States 34
1998 33rd Chess Olympiad Russia Elista, Russia  Russia 35½  United States 34½  Ukraine 32½
2000 34th Chess Olympiad Turkey Istanbul, Turkey  Russia 38  Germany 37  Ukraine 35½
2002 35th Chess Olympiad Slovenia Bled, Slovenia  Russia 38½  Hungary 37½  Armenia 35
2004 36th Chess Olympiad Spain Calvià, Spain  Ukraine 39½  Russia 36½  Armenia 36½
2006 37th Chess Olympiad Italy Turin, Italy  Armenia 36  China 34  United States 33
2008 38th Chess Olympiad Germany Dresden, Germany  Armenia 19  Israel 18  United States 17
2010 39th Chess Olympiad Russia Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia  Ukraine 19  Russia 18  Israel 17
2012 40th Chess Olympiad Turkey Istanbul, Turkey  Armenia 19  Russia 19  Ukraine 18
2014 41st Chess Olympiad Norway Tromsø, Norway
2016 42nd Chess Olympiad Azerbaijan Baku, Azerbaijan

* In 1976 the  Soviet Union and other communist countries did not compete for political reasons.

Total team ranking[edit]

Symbol of the 6th Chess Olympiad in Warsaw 1935 by Jerzy Steifer

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
1  Soviet Union 18 1 0 19
2  Russia 6 3 1 10
3  United States 5 5 9 19
4  Hungary 3 6 2 11
5  Armenia 3 0 3 6
6  Ukraine 2 1 3 6
7  Yugoslavia 1 6 5 12
8  Poland 1 2 3 6
9  Germany* 1 1 3 5
10  England 0 3 3 6
11  Argentina 0 3 2 5
12  Czechoslovakia 0 2 1 3
13  Netherlands 0 1 1 2
13  Sweden 0 1 1 2
13  Israel 0 1 1 2
16  Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 1 0 1
16  China 0 1 0 1
16  Denmark 0 1 0 1
16  Uzbekistan 0 1 0 1
20  Bulgaria 0 0 1 1
20  Estonia 0 0 1 1

* Includes the results of  East Germany and  West Germany.

Best individual results in the open section[edit]

The best individual results in order of overall percentage are:

#
Player       Country       Ol. Gms.   +     =     0    %    Medals  
  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 (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  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, SergeiSergei Karjakin  Ukraine (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
Fischer and Tal at the 1960 Olympiad

NOTES:

  • 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 two Olympiads for Russia, the rest for Ukraine.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Brace, Edward R. (1977), An Illustrated Dictionary of Chess, Hamlyn Publishing Group, p. 64, ISBN 1-55521-394-4 
  2. ^ FIDE History by Bill Wall. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  3. ^ a b Recognized Sports of the International Olympic Committee International Olympic Committee official website. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  4. ^ International Federation (IF) for chess. International Olympic Committee official website. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  5. ^ FIDE - Uniting the Chess World FIDE Official website. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  6. ^ ARISF Members Association of Recognized IOC International Sports Federation. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  7. ^ Complete FIDE Anti-Doping Documents FIDE official website. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  8. ^ Controversy over FIDE doping check ChessBase.com Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  9. ^ The Insanity of Drug Testing in Chess by Jeremy Silman Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  10. ^ Chess Olympiad in Dresden 2008 chinaorbit.com Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  11. ^ FIDE submits regulation changes for Chess Olympiad Fide.com

External links[edit]