39th Chess Olympiad

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The official logo of the Olympiad

The 39th Chess Olympiad, organised 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 from September 19 to October 4, 2010 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. There were 148 teams in the open event and 115 in the women's event. In total, 1306 players were registered.[2]

This was the fourth time Russia organized the Chess Olympiad after 1956 (Soviet Union), 1994, and 1998. Six cities had submitted bids to organize the Olympiad: Khanty-Mansiysk, Budva, Buenos Aires, Poznań, Riga, and Tallinn. The selection was part of the FIDE Congress held during the 37th Chess Olympiad in Turin in 2006.

The main events in both competitions were held in indoor tennis courts, which opened in September 2008. With an area of 15,558 m2, it hosted 3,500 chess fans.

Both tournament sections were officiated by international arbiter Sava Stoisavljević (Serbia). For the second time, the number of rounds of the Swiss system was 11 with accelerated pairings. Both divisions were played over four boards per round, with each team allowed one alternate for a total of five players. The final rankings were determined by match points. In the event of a draw, the tie-break was decided by 1. Deducted Sonneborn-Berger; 2. Game points; 3. Deducted sum of match points.[3]

The time control for each game permitted each player 90 minutes their first 40 moves and 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an additional 30 seconds increment for each player after each move, beginning with the first. The rule introduced at the previous Olympiad, according to which no draws by agreement were permitted before 30 moves, was once again abolished.

Open event[edit]

The open division was contested by 148 teams representing 141 nations. Russia, as hosts, fielded no less than five teams, whilst the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA), the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA), and the International Committee of Silent Chess (ICSC) each provided one squad. Senegal were signed up, but did not turn up for their first round match and were disqualified.

Ukraine, led by Vasyl Ivanchuk and former FIDE Champion Ruslan Ponomariov, took their second title after 2004. Once again, the Russian hosts were the pre-tournament favourites but, for the fourth Olympiad in a row, failed to live up to expectations, although they came close this time. Captained by former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, the Russians trailed the Ukrainians by one point before the last round. When Ukraine and eventual bronze medallists Israel, led by Boris Gelfand, drew their final match, Russia had the opportunity to snatch the gold. They only drew as well, however, so in the end had to settle for silver.

Although the Russian "A" team disappointed its fans on its home turf, the "B" squad, with five Olympic debutants, exceeded expectations by finishing sixth. Captain Ian Nepomniachtchi won an individual bronze medal on the top board.

Defending champions Armenia had to settle for seventh place and Team United States for ninth. India was once again without reigning World Champion Viswanathan Anand and finished 18th, while his opponent in the recent championship match, Veselin Topalov, led Bulgaria to 31st place. Another former great power of chess, England, also disappointed in 24th place. The number one player in the world, Magnus Carlsen, only scored 4½ points in 8 games, and his Norwegian team ended up in 51st place.

Due to financial disagreements with the national federation, the top German players did not show up. Seriously weakened, Team Germany came recorded an all-time low in 64th place, just below the team of physically impaired players. Incidentally, the IPCA team were led by Thomas Luther, a former four-time Olympian for the German team.

Open event
# Country Players Average
1  Ukraine Ivanchuk, Ponomariov, Eljanov, Efimenko, Moiseenko 2737 19
2  Russia Kramnik, Grischuk, Svidler, Karjakin, Malakhov 2755 18
3  Israel Gelfand, Sutovsky, Smirin, Rodshtein, Mikhalevski 2676 17 367.5
4  Hungary Leko, Almási, Polgár, Berkes, Balogh 2698 17 355.5
5  China Wang Yue, Wang Hao, Bu Xiangzhi, Zhou Jianchao, Li Chao 2703 16 362.0
6  Russia "B" Nepomniachtchi, Alekseev, Vitiugov, Tomashevsky, Timofeev 2702 16 355.0
7  Armenia Aronian, Akopian, Sargissian, Pashikian, Grigoryan 2698 16 345.0
8  Spain Shirov, Vallejo Pons, Salgado Lopez,
Magem Badals, Alsina Leal
2658 16 332.0
9  United States Nakamura, Kamsky, Onischuk, Shulman, Hess 2691 16 315.5
10  France Vachier-Lagrave, Fressinet, Tkachiev, Édouard, Feller 2681 16 311.5

Group prizes[edit]

In addition to the overall medals, prizes were given out to the best teams in five different seeding groups—in other words, the teams who exceeded their seeding the most. Overall medal winners were not eligible for group prizes.

Group Prizes
Group Seeding
Team MP dSB
A 1–29  Hungary 17 355.5
B 30–59  Belarus 15 307.5
C 60–89  Uruguay 13 227.0
D 90–119  Libya 11 187.5
E 120–148  Zambia 13 202.5

Individual medals[edit]

All board prizes were given out according to performance ratings. Sutovsky on the second board had the best performance of all players at the tournament:

Women's results[edit]

Commemorative coin

The women's division was contested by 115 teams representing 110 nations. Russia, as hosts, fielded three teams, whilst the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA), the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA), and the International Committee of Silent Chess (ICSC) each provided one squad.

The Russians won by an impressive four points to take their first independent title in the post-Soviet era. The team was led by the two Kosintseva sisters, who both won their respective boards, while reigning World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk "only" played third board and finished sixth.

China was captained by soon-to-be World Champion, 16-year-old Hou Yifan. They clinched the silver medals, another two points ahead of a field of six teams, of which defending champions Georgia had the best tie-break score and took the bronze.

The number one female player in the world, Judit Polgár, was absent from the women's competition. Instead she represented Hungary on third board in the open event, where she finished fourth both individually and with the team.

Women's event
# Country Players Average
1  Russia T. Kosintseva, N. Kosintseva, Kosteniuk, Galliamova, Gunina 2536 22
2  China Hou Yifan, Ju Wenjun, Zhao Xue, Huang Qian, Wang Yu 2500 18
3  Georgia Dzagnidze, Javakhishvili, Melia, Khukhashvili, Khotenashvili 2472 16 384.0
4  Cuba Ordaz Valdés, Linares Nápoles,
Marrero Lopez, Pina Vega, Arribas Robaina
2333 16 348.5
5  United States Krush, Zatonskih, Abrahamyan, Baginskaite, Foisor 2413 16 336.5
6  Poland Soćko, Zawadzka, Majdan-Gajewska, Dworakowska, Kądziołka 2386 16 336.0
7  Azerbaijan Z. Mamedyarova, T. Mamedyarova, Mammadova, Umudova, Isgandarova 2270 16 320.0
8  Bulgaria Stefanova, Voiska, Nikolova, Videnova, Velcheva 2361 16 296.5
9  Ukraine Lahno, Zhukova, Ushenina, Gaponenko, Muzychuk 2493 15 366.5
10  Russia "B" Pogonina, Girya, Savina, Bodnaruk, Kashlinskaya 2427 15 335.5

Individual medals[edit]

All board prizes were given out according to performance ratings. Gaponenko on the fourth board had the best performance of all players at the tournament:

Overall title[edit]

The Nona Gaprindashvili Trophy is awarded to the nation that has the highest toal number of match points in the open and women's divisions combined. Where two or more teams are tied, they are ordered by the same tie breakers as in the two separate events.

The trophy, named after the former women's World Champion (1961–78), was created by FIDE in 1997.

# Team MP dSB
1  Russia 40
2  China 34 748.5
3  Ukraine 34 747.0

FIDE presidential election[edit]

During the Olympiad, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was re-elected as President of FIDE, defeating his rival, former World Champion Anatoly Karpov, decisively by 95 votes to 55.[4]


In the first round, the team from Yemen refused to play against Israel. Each of the four Israeli players was thus awarded a technical victory.[5]

Three French players were caught in a scheme to use a computer program to decide moves. Their plan involved one player, Cyril Marzolo (IM), following the tournament at home and using the computer program to decide the best moves. He would send the moves by text message to the captain of the French team, Arnaud Hauchard (GM), who would then stand or sit at various tables as a signal to the player Sébastien Feller (GM) to make a certain move. Feller and Marzolo were given five year suspensions for this, while Hauchard was given a lifetime suspension. None of the other players on the French team knew of this or were involved.[6][7]


  1. ^ Although commonly referred to as the men's division, this section is open to all male and female players.
  2. ^ Chess Olympiad 2010, Chessdom.com
  3. ^ FIDE Handbook Retrieved on 2012-09-05.
  4. ^ "Kirsan Ilyumzhinov wins 2010 FIDE elections". Chessdom.com. 2010.
  5. ^ Round 2 Olympiad Games now up, The Week in chess, 23 September 2010
  6. ^ "French chess hit by Russia olympiad 'cheating' scandal". BBC. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Cheating chess champion is banned for five years". connexionfrance.com. Retrieved 2016-05-02.

External links[edit]