29th Chess Olympiad

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The official logo of the 29th Olympiad on a 1990 stamp of Yugoslavia.

The 29th Chess Olympiad, 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 16 and December 4, 1990, in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia (present-day Serbia).

This time around, the political controversy surrounded the Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – who had all recently declared their independence from the Soviet Union and wanted to send their own teams to the Olympiad. The Yugoslavian hosts, however, followed the decree from Moscow and refused to accept their entries. Despite a petition from several top players they weren't allowed to play. This meant that big names like Jaan Ehlvest, Lembit Oll, Alexei Shirov, and former world champion Mikhail Tal could not appear at the Olympiad.

Incidentally, this would also turn out to be the last Olympic appearances of the "old" Eastern Bloc countries: East Germany, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. The latter finished in style by winning their sixth consecutive gold medals and 18th overall, even without Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov who were in the midst of their fifth and final world championship match. Instead, the last Soviet team was led by Ivanchuk and Gelfand – two of the co-signers of the pro-Baltic petition. They still won in style, well ahead of the United States and England.

Open event[edit]

A total of 108 teams from 106 different nations played a 14-round Swiss system tournament. For the first time, the host nation got the right to field two additional teams. All three Yugoslavian sides finished in the top 30.

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
rating
Points Buchholz
1  Soviet Union Ivanchuk, Gelfand, Beliavsky, Yusupov, Yudasin, Bareev 2645 39
2  United States Seirawan, Gulko, Christiansen, Benjamin, Fedorowicz, De Firmian 2599 35½ 452.5
3  England Short, Speelman, Nunn, Adams, Chandler, Hodgson 2604 35½ 450.5

Individual medals[edit]

Women's results[edit]

65 teams from 63 different nations took part. Like the open event, the women's competition featured three Yugoslavian teams, all of which finished in the top 20. Lebanon were signed up, but didn't show up. Their first three matches were listed as forfeit, after which they were officially withdrawn.

In the event of a draw, the tie-break was decided first by using the Buchholz system, then by match points.

For the second Olympiad in a row, the Hungarian team beat the Soviet Union, although only on tie break this time. Once again, all three Polgár sisters (Zsuzsa, Zsófia, and Judit) were in the team - and they all won their respective boards. The best individual performance, however, came from Soviet reserve Arakhamia who registered a perfect 12/12 score and an unbelievable 2935 performance rating.

# Country Players Average
rating
Points Buchholz
1  Hungary Zsuzsa Polgár, J. Polgár, Zsófia Polgár, Mádl 2492 35 344.5
2  Soviet Union Chiburdanidze, Gaprindashvili, Galliamova, Arakhamia 2438 35 340.5
3  China Xie Jun, Peng Zhaoqin, Qin Kanying, Wang Lei 2302 29

Individual medals[edit]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]