26th Chess Olympiad

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The 26th Chess Olympiad (Greek: Η 26η Σκακιστική Ολυμπιάδα, I 26i Skakistikí Olympiáda), organized by FIDE and comprising an open[1] and a women's tournament, as well as several other events designed to promote the game of chess, took place between November 18 and December 5, 1984, in Thessaloniki, Greece.

In the home country of the Olympic movement, it was business as usual. The Soviet Union, led by Beliavsky, won their third consecutive gold medals (and 15th in total), well ahead of England (helped by a Nunn in top form) and the United States. This dominance happened even in the absence of Karpov and Kasparov who were in the midst of their marathon match. In fact, for the first time in Olympic history, the Soviet team didn't feature a single world champion – past, present or future.

The only champion present in Thessaloniki was Boris Spassky who had defected and now represented France. His performance helped the French team to an unprecedented 7th-place finish, even though he drew 12 of his 14 games – an Olympic record.

After the successful 26th Olympiad in Thessaloniki in 1984, FIDE agreed to hold every other Olympiad (the ones in Olympic years) in the home country of the Olympic movement - provided the Greek Chess Federation and government could provide the necessary funding. This was only the case once, in 1986; after that the Olympiad went back to a new host city every two years.

Open event[edit]

There were 87 nations playing in a 14-round Swiss system tournament. To make for an even number of teams, the Greek hosts also fielded a "B" team. In the event of a draw, the tie-break was decided first by using the Buchholz system, then by match points.

Open event
# Country Players Average
1  Soviet Union Beliavsky, Polugaevsky, Vaganian, Tukmakov, Yusupov, Sokolov 2610 41
2  England Miles, Nunn, Speelman, Chandler, Mestel, Short 2556 37
3  United States Dzindzichashvili, Kavalek, Christiansen, Browne, Alburt, De Firmian 2553 35

Individual medals[edit]

For the first time, in addition to the performance awards on each board, a special award was given to the best overall performance rating.

Women's event[edit]

The winning Soviet Union team, left to right: Semenova, Levitina, Chiburdanidze.

50 nations took part, and with the Greek hosts also fielding a "B" side, the total number of teams came to 51. In the event of a draw, the tie-break was decided first by using the Buchholz system, then by match points.

Like the open event, the women's tournament was dominated by the Soviet Union, captained by world champion Chiburdanidze, who won the gold medals by an impressive 5½ points. Bulgaria and Romania took silver and bronze, respectively.

# Country Players Average
1  Soviet Union Chiburdanidze, Levitina, Gaprindashvili, Semenova 2335 32
2  Bulgaria Voiska, Gocheva, Chilingirova, Savova 2105 27½
3  Romania Mureșan, Polihroniade, Nuțu, Olărașu 2180 27

Individual medals[edit]


  1. ^ Although commonly referred to as the men's division, this section is open to both male and female players.