From July 12-20, 1924, the first world team chess competition (called the Chess Olympic Games or Tournament of Nations) took place at the Hotel Majestic in Paris, France, to coincide with the 8th Summer Olympic Games. It is not counted as an official Chess Olympiad, because it was not organized by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) and because the scoring was not the same as for later events. There were 55 players (one player later withdrew) from 18 countries. Each team had a maximum of four players. Ireland, Canada, and Yugoslavia (Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes) only had one player. Although officially chess was not part of the Olympic Games, the rules of the Olympiads applied with a ban on professional players. The two players representing Russia were refugees living in Paris. Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), played board 1 for France. Max Euwe (1901-1981) played board 1 for Holland and took 5th place. The World Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded by the players at this event on the closing day, July 20, 1924. Czechoslovakia (Hromadka, Schulz, Vanek, Skalicka) took 1st place in the team competition, followed by Hungary and Switzerland. The individual Gold went to Herman Mattison (1894-1932) of Latvia and was given the title “Amateur World Champion.” He scored 5.5 out of 6. 2nd place went to Fricis Apsenieks (1894-1941) of Latvia, followed by Edgard Colle (1897-1932) of Belgium. World champion Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946) was the tournament director. The attempt to include chess in the Olympic games failed because of problems with distinguishing between amateur and professional players. The Great Britain team included Harris K. Handasyde (1877-1935) of Scotland, Charles Wreford-Brown (1866-1951), and Edith Holloway (1868-1956), the first woman to participate in a Chess Olympiad, although it was an unofficial Chess Olympiad. (source: British Chess Magazine, Aug 1924, p. 316)
From June 26 to July 15, 1926, another world team competition, the 2nd unofficial Chess Olympiad, took place in Budapest, Hungary, but only 4 teams and 19 players played in this round robin event. Six teams applied but Austria and Czechoslovakia withdrew before the start of the event. Hungary (E. Steiner, Vajda, Sterk, Negyesy, Bakonyi, and Zinner) won the team event, followed by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Third place went to Romania, followed by Germany. An individual event, called the First FIDE Masters tournament, was won by Ernst Gruenfeld (1893-1962) of Austria on tiebreaks over Marion Monticelli (1902-1995) of Italy. Edith Holloway (1868-1956) of England won the women’s tournament, and Emil Zinner won the open tournament. This event was still considered an unofficial chess Olympiad and is known as the “Little Olympiad.” (source: Budapest 1926 Chess Summit - https://www.olimpbase.org/1926x/1926in.html)
From July 18-20, 1927, the very first official Chess Olympiad was held at the Westminster Central Hall in London, England, which was organized by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Germany and Austria were not invited. 16 teams participated with 70 players. The women did not participate until 1957. Each team had 4 players and a reserve, to be used as a replacement for any of the first 4 players. Hungary (Maroczy, Nagy, Vajda, Havasi, E. Steiner) took first place and the Hamilton-Russell trophy. The Hamilton-Russell Cup was offered by Frederick Hamilton-Russell as a prize to the top open team. The official title of “Chess Olympiad” did not happen until 1952. The Chess Olympiad was also called the International Team Tournament, Tournament of Nations, and the World Team Championship. The first Women’s World Chess Championship was held at the same time in London as the chess Olympiad, won by Vera Menchik. During the Chess Olympiad, the 4th Congress of FIDE met and passed a resolution that only amateur chess players can participate in Chess Olympiads. The individual gold medal was shared between Sir George Thomas (1881-1972) of England and Holger Norman-Hansen (1899-1984) of Denmark. Both scored 12 out of 15, or 80%. (source: 1st Chess Olympiad: London 1927 - https://www.olimpbase.org/1927/1927in.html)
From July 21 to August 6, 1928, the second official Chess Olympiad has held at the Binnenhof (the seat of the Dutch Parliament) in The Hague, Netherlands. Before the start of the event, FIDE decided that only amateurs could take part. This was part of the 1927 resolution that FIDE passed. For this reason, the British did not send any chess player to The Hague, as it considered its chess players as professional players. The British and Yugoslavia suspected that the USA team included chess professionals, so the USA withdrew in protest. Finland also declined to send a team. Just before the start of the Olympiad, FIDE canceled the ban on professionals, but it was too late for most of the 17 teams to send their best players. The USA team was able to participate in the end. 86 players participated and 544 games were played. The competitors could play at any chessboard number. Isaac Kashdan (1905-1985), age 23, won the gold medal with the score of 13 out of 15 (86.7%). The second Amateur World Championship for individuals, with 16 players, also took place during the Olympiad. Each country was allowed one representative. The event was won by Max Euwe. This chess Olympiad was held in conjunction with the Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. This is considered the weakest of all chess Olympiads. The Hamilton-Russell Cup was not offered to the winning team of this event because it was a truly open team event. During the Chess Olympiad, the 5th FIDE Congress was held. Hungary (Nagy, A. Steiner, Vajda, Havasi) won the gold medal team event with 44 out of 64 points. The silver medal went to the USA team (Kashdan, H. Steiner, Factor, Tholfsen, and Hanauer). The bronze medal went to the Polish team (Makarczyk, Frydman, Regedzinski, Chwojnik, and Blass). (source: 2nd Chess Olympiad: The Hague 1928 - https://www.olimpbase.org/1928/1928in.html)
From July 13-27, 1930, the 3rd official Chess Olympiad was held at the Provinzialloge von Niedersachen in Hamburg, Germany. 18 teams and 88 players participated. 605 games were played. Alexander Alekhine was the first player to score 100% out of 9 games as he played for France on Board 1. The youngest player was Erich Eliskases, age 17, representing Austria. Poland (Rubinstein, Tartakower, Przepiorka, Makarczyk, and Frydman) won the gold medal team event, scoring 48.5. The silver medal went to Hungary. The bronze medal went to Germany. Akiba Rubinstein (1880-1961) won the individual gold medal, scoring 15 out of 17 (88.2%). The USA team (Marshall, Kashdan, H. Steiner, Phillips, and J. Anderson) took 6th place. Vera Menchik won the women’s championship. (source: 3rd Chess Olympiad: Hamburg 1930 - https://www.olimpbase.org/1930/1930in.html)
From July 11-26, 1931, the 4th official Chess Olympiad was held at the U Novaky café hall in Prague, Czechoslovakia. It was the only Chess Olympiad where every single player lost at least one game. No one was able to win more than 10 games out of a possible 18 games played. This team event of 19 teams did not have a single new county participating for the first time. Every team in this event had played in a previous Olympiad. This event enforced the rule that the playing order submitted with the entry must be adhered to throughout the competition. The USA team (Kashdan, Marshall, Dake, Horowitz, and H. Steiner) won the gold medal (48 out of 72 points) and the Hamilton-Russell Cup for the first time. Poland took the silver medal and Czechoslovakia took the bronze medal. For the first time, medals were awarded to the top three individuals on each board. Alexander Alekhine won the gold on Board 1 with 13.5 out of 18 (75%). Gosta Stoltz won the gold on Board 2. Vladimir Petrov won the gold on Board 3. Albert Becker won the gold on Board 4. Karel Stalicka won the gold for top Reserve. (source: 4th Chess Olympiad: Prague 1931 - https://www.olimpbase.org/1931/1931in.html)
A Chess Olympiad for 1932 was to be played in Spain, but that was cancelled due to financial problems. No other country wanted to take the financial undertaking.
From July 12-23, 1933, the 5th Chess Olympiad (International Team Tournament) was held at Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone, England. It was originally scheduled for June. Isaac Kashdan represented the USA. He brought along his wife. Umar Khan offered Isaac Kashdan’s wife 150 English pounds if she would join his harem. Only 16 teams participated (19 teams applied), the least of any Olympiad. Originally, this Olympiad was scheduled to be played in Chicago, but these plans were cancelled due to financial problems. Germany was excluded for being anti-Semitic. 420 games were played. Alekhine won the gold medal on board 1 with 9.5 out of 12. The USA team (Kashdan, Marshall, Fine [age 18], Dake, Simonson [age 18]) won again with 39 out of 56 points and kept the Hamilton-Russell Cup. Czechoslovakia won the silver medal. Sweden won the bronze medal on tiebreaks over Poland and Hungary. The English team still went under the name of Great Britain as in the previous years, even though it only consisted of English players and Scotland participated with their own team. Alexander Alekhine was accused of cheating by giving advice to the French team. Alekhine won the gold on Board 1 with 9.5 out of 12 (79.2%). Frank Marshall won the gold on Board 2. Erik Lundin won the gold on Board 3. Karel Opocensky won the gold on Board 4. Andor Lilienthal won the gold for top Reserve. Robert Combe of Scotland lost to Volfgangs Hasenfuss of Latvia in 4 moves, the shortest chess Olympiad game ever. Combe - Hasenfuss, Folkestone Olympiad 1933 1.d4 c5 2.c4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e5 4.Nxe5?? Qa5+ 0-1 Vera Menchik won the women’s event, scoring 14-0. (sources: 5th Chess Olympiad: Folkestone 1933 - https://www.olimpbase.org/1933/1933in.html; Chess Review, Apr 1933, p. 2; May 1933, p. 2; June 1933, p. 2; Sep 1933, p. 3)
From August 15-31, 1935, the 6th Chess Olympiad was held in Warsaw as a reward for Poland’s performance in previous Olympiads. Three new countries, Estonia, Ireland, and Palestine, participated for the first time. Germany was excluded for being anti-Semitic. A total of 20 teams participated in this event. The USA team was put on the wrong train to Warsaw when they arrived in Gdynia, Poland and spend 5 hours going the wrong direction. On a number of days, two rounds were played in one day. The youngest player was Laszlo Szabo, age 18, representing Hungary. The USA team (Fine, Marshall, Kupchik, Dake, Horowitz, and managed by Richard Wahrburg) won again the gold medal with 54 out of 76 points. Sweden won the silver medal and Poland won the bronze medal. Salo Flohr won the gold on Board 1 with 13 out of 17 (76.5%). Andor Lilienthal won the gold on Board 2. Erich Eliskases won the gold on Board 3. Arthur Dake won the gold on Board 4. Al Horowitz won the gold for top Reserve. (source: Chess Review, Jul 1935, p. 149; Oct 1935, p. 226)
From August 17, 1936 to September 1, 1936, an Olympic Team Tournament was held at the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich in 1936 to coincide with the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin. However, Germany was not a member of FIDE at the time (they had withdrawn from FIDE in 1933), so it was an unofficial Olympiad, the 3rd unofficial Chess Olympiad. The event was organized by the German Chess Federation (Grossdeutscher Schachbund). Since parts of the German Chess Federation’s statutes were anti-Semitic, FIDE could have no involvement in the Munich Olympiad. However, Germany did drop its ban on Jews from participating. There were 21 teams and 208 participants in this event. Each team consisted of 8 boards and two reserves instead of the normal 4 boards. Since it was not a tournament sponsored by FIDE, it was decided to double the number of players on each team with the object of giving an advantage to countries with broader chess culture. 1,680 games were played, a record that stood for 24 years (until Leipzig in 1960). Hungary (led by 19-year-old Laszlo Szabo) won every match to win the event and the gold medal with 110.5 out of 160. Poland took the silver medal and Germany took the bronze medal. The USA did not participate. Paul Keres won the gold on Board 1 with 15.5 out of 20 (77.5%). Vasja Pirc won the silver medal and Gideon Stahlberg won the bronze medal. (sources: British Chess Magazine, Nov 1936, p. 546; Chess Review, Nov 1936, pp. 250-253)
From July 31 to August 14, 1937, the 7th Chess Olympiad was held in Stockholm, Sweden, organized by Ludvig Collijn (1878-1939). 19 countries participated. Germany was again excluded for being anti-Semitic. Six times during the 15 days of the tournament, two rounds had to be played in one day. Over 10,000 spectators paid to come in the playing hall during the first week. The USA team (Reshevsky, Fine, Kashdan, Marshall (age 60), and Horowitz) won the gold medal for the 4th time in a row, led by Olympic newcomer Sammy Reshevsky. Hungary took the silver medal. Poland took the bronze medal on tiebreak over Argentina. Salo Flohr won the gold on Board 1 with 12.5 out of 16 (78.1%). Reuben Fine won the gold on Board 2. Isaac Kashdan won the gold on Board 3. Gosta Danielsson won the gold on Board 4. Al Horowitz won the gold for top Reserve. Vera Menchik won the women’s section (26 entries) with a perfect 14-0 score. (source: Chess Review, Sep 1937, p. 195)
From August 24 to September 19, 1939, the 8th official Chess Olympiad (The Tournament of the Nations) was held at the Politeama Theatre in Buenos Aires. It was the first time the Chess Olympiad was held outside Europe. The USA team, four-time gold medal winners, did not participate. The USA players (which would have been Marshall, Reshevsky, Fine, Kashdan, and Horowitz) asked for $2,500 compensation but were offered only $1,500 (withdrawal of funds for Reshevsky and Fine) by the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF), so they all refused to participate. Another factor was a postponement of the event by a month and an earlier sailing date than expected without giving the players sufficient time to adjust themselves to the new conditions. Abe Yanofsky (1925-2000), age 14 and the youngest player in the event, and made the highest percentage on second board representing Canada. He met a spectator called J. Janowski. It turned out they were brothers and it was the first time they had met. J. Janowsky happened to show Abe Yanofsky a photo of his father when Abe exclaimed, “That’s my father too!” Yanofsky scored the best percentage on board 2. A record 27 teams participated (40 countries had registered). Due to certain political events, Austrian players Erich Eliskases and Albert Becker were playing under the German flag. The Czechoslovak team was referred to as 'Bohemia & Moravia.’ The finals commenced on September 1, the date of the outbreak of World War II. The England team (Alexander, Thomas, Milner-Barry, Golombek, and Wood), despite having qualified for Final A (they took 3rd place in the preliminaries), were the only team to return home immediately due to the outbreak of war. Their place was not filled. Germany (Eliskases, Michel, Engels, Becker, and Reinhardt) took the gold, Poland took the silver, and Estonia took the bronze medal. Jose Capablanca won the gold on Board 1 with 8.5 (6 wins and 5 draws) out of 11 (77.3%). Heinz Foerder and Miguel Najdorf won the gold on Board 2. Ludwig Engels won the gold on Board 3. Bunnar Friedmann won the gold on Board 4. Isaias Plecei won the gold for top Reserve. None of the members of the German team returned to Nazi Germany. The Hamilton-Russell Trophy, which was awarded to the German Chess Federation, was delivered to the German charge d’affaires at Buenos Aires. (sources: Chess Review, Jun 1939, p. 135; Aug 1939, p. 149; Sep 1939; Oct 1939, p. 197)
From August 20 to September 11, 1950, the 9th Chess Olympiad was held in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia (present day Croatia). .84 players and 16 teams entered, with Greece being the only new country to play in an Olympiad. Madame Chantel Chaude de Silans (1919-2004) played on the French team at the Olympiad, the first woman to play on a men’s team in an official Chess Olympia. She played first reserve board, winning 1 game, drawing 1 game, and losing 4 games. This was the first Olympiad commemorated by a special stamp issue. The USA team (Reshevsky, Steiner, Horowitz, Shainswit, Kramer, and Evans [age 18]) went undefeated, yet did not win a medal, taking 4th place with 11 wins, 4 draws, and no losses (scoring 13-2). Had the team championship depended on match results, the USA team would have won. In match play, Argentina won 12, drew 1 and lost 2 (scoring 12.5-2.5). Yugoslavia won 11, drew 3, and lost 1 (scoring 12.5-2.5). Greece took last place. The Yugoslav team (Gligoric, Pirc, Trifunovic, Rabar, Vidmar Jr, and Puc) won the event and the gold medal. Argentina took the silver and West Germany took the bronze. The teams were now made up of 4 boards and 2 reserves. Miguel Najdorf and Wolfgang Unzicker won the gold on Board 1 with 11 out of 14 (78.6%). Julio Bolbochan won the gold on Board 2. Petar Trifunovic won the gold on Board 3. Braslav Rabar won the gold on Board 4. Herman Pilnik won the gold for 1st Reserve. Larry Evans won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (sources: Chess Review, Aug 1950, p. 227; Oct 1950, pp. 296-298)
From August 9-31, 1952, the 10th Chess Olympiad was held at the Helsinki University of Economics in Helsinki, Finland. The name “Olympiad” became official in the Helsinki Chess Olympiad of 1952. There were 25 teams, of which 9 qualified for the finals. The USSR team (Keres, Smyslov, Bronstein, Geller, Boleslavsky, and Kotov) participated for the first time. They won the gold medals with a game score of 21-11, winning 5 matches, drawing 3, and losing none. Argentina won the silver medal and Yugoslavia won the bronze medal. The USA team (Reshevsky, Evans, R. Byrne, PFC Bisguier, Koltanowski, and PFC Berliner) took 5th. Luxemburg took last place. Miguel Najdorf won the gold on Board 1 with 12.5 out of 16 (78.1%). Vassily Smyslov won the gold on Board 2. David Bronstein won the gold on Board 3. Cenek Kottnauer won the gold on Board 4. Hector Rossetto won the gold for 1st Reserve. Ludwig Rellstab won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (source: Chess Review, Sep 1952, p. 259, Oct 1952, pp. 296-298)
From September 4-25, 1954, the 11th Chess Olympiad was held in Amsterdam, Holland. This chess Olympiad was supposed to have been played in Buenos Aires in celebration of its 400th birthday. However, Argentina cancelled the event 6 weeks before the start of this Olympiad due to financial difficulties. Amsterdam decided to host the event at the last minute. 30 teams had applied, but only 26 took part. The most notable absentees were the United States, who couldn't afford the travelling expenses due to financial difficulties in the USCF. Luxemburg lost all 19 matches and took last place again. One player from Luxemburg, Georges Philippe, scored 0 out of 11 games. His teammate, J. Jerolim, scored one draw and 16 losses in his 17 games that he played. Another Luxemburg player, Pierre Kremer, won 1 and lost 16 (with a record of 1 win and 27 losses in two Olympiads). The Soviet team (Botvinnik, Smyslov, Bronstein, Keres, Geller, Kotov) won the gold medlas, seven points ahead of the next team, Argentina, which won the silver. Yugoslavia took the bronze. Paul Keres drew his first game, then won the next 13 games in a row. Mikhail Botvinnik won the gold on Board 1 with 8.5 out of 11 (77.3%). Frank Anderson won the gold on Board 2. Gedeon Barcza won the gold on Board 3. Paul Keres won the gold on Board 4. Efim Geller won the gold for 1st Reserve. Sylvain Burstein won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (source: Chess Review, Oct 1954, p. 290)
From August 31 to September 25, 1956, the 12th Chess Olympiad was held at the Soviet Army Central Theater in Moscow. 34 teams participated, and it was the first time that over 1,000 chess games were played in one Olympiad. The USA did not participate. Colonel Hugh O'Donnell Alexander (1909-1974), one of the top British chess players, was not allowed to play in the chess Olympiad in Moscow because of his job with the Government Communications Headquarters where he was head of the cryptanalysis section. The Soviet team (Botvinnik, Smyslov, Keres, Bronstein, Taimanov, Geller) suffered their first defeat when the Hungarian team defeated them. Luxemburg again took last place. One of their players, Wantz, win 2, drew 1, and lost 14 games. Pierre Kremer lost all four of his games, with a record on only one win and 31 losses in three Olympiads. Bent Larsen’s result earned him the Grandmaster title. The USSR team took the gold. Yugoslavia took the silver and Hungary took the bronze. Bent Larsen won the gold on Board 1 with 14 out of 18 (77.8%). Andreas Duckstein won the gold on Board 2. Paul Keres won the gold on Board 3. David Bronstein won the gold on Board 4. Raul Sanguineti won the gold for 1st Reserve. Efim Geller won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (source: Chess Review, Oct 1956, p. 291; Nov 1956, p. 323)
In 1957, the first Women’s Chess Olympiad was held in Emmen, Netherlands. That event, plus the next three Women’s Chess Olympiads, were held independently of the men’s Chess Olympiad. One of the participants in the 1957 Women’s Olympiad was 82-year-old Helen Chater who played board 1 for Ireland. She won 2, lost 2, and drew 11. 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.
From September 30 to October 23, 1958, the 13th Chess Olympiad was held at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, West Germany. The event was originally planned to be played in the USA. There were 36 teams and over 200 players. South Africa and Tunisia participated for the first time. These were the first African teams to play in a chess Olympiad. International Master Frank Ross Anderson (1928-1980) was playing board 1 for Canada. He became ill after a reaction to an incorrect prescription and was unable to play the final round. He missed the Grandmaster title because of this. Even if he had played and lost, he would have made the final norm necessary for the Grandmaster title. The Soviet team (Botvinnik, Smyslov, Keres, Bronstein, Tal, Petrosian) won their fourth gold medal in a row. Yugoslavia took the silver and Argentina took the bronze. The USA team (Reshevsky, Lombardy, Bisguier, Evans, and Rossolimo) took 4th place. Bobby Fischer was invited to play, but could not spare the time from school. Svetozar Gligoric won the individual gold on Board 1 with 12 out of 15 (80.0%). Frank Anderson won the gold on Board 2. Paul Keres won the gold on Board 3. David Bronstein won the gold on Board 4. Mikhail Tal won the gold for 1st Reserve. Tigran Petrosian and Gyozo Forintos won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (source: Chess Review, Nov 1958, pp. 328-329; Dec 1958, pp. 353, 360-361)
From October 26 to November 9, 1960, the 14th Chess Olympiad was held in Leipzig, East Germany. There were 40 teams. At the Olympiad, Max Euwe won 3 games, drew 7 games, and lost 6 games for the worst score by a Grandmaster in Olympiad history. The event drew 10,000 spectators a day as the Olympiad also hosted a “chess in the Fields of History” exhibition. Bobby Fischer participated and played board 1 for the USA. Reshevsky refused to give up first board and did not play. The Soviet team (Tal, Botvinnik, Keres, Korchnoi, Smyslov, Petrosian) won their fifth consecutive gold medals. The USA team (Fischer, Lombardy, R. Byrne, Bisguier, Rossolimo, and Weinstein) took the silver and Yugoslavia took the bronze. Karl Robatsch won the individual gold on Board 1 with 13.5 out of 16 (84.4%). Mikhail Botvinnik won the gold on Board 2. Paul Keres won the gold on Board 3. Lhamsuren Myagmarsuren and Tan Hoan Liong won the gold on Board 4. Vassily Smyslov won the gold for 1st Reserve. Tigran Petrosian won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (source: Chess Review, Dec 1960, p. 354)
From September 15 to October 10, 1962, the 15th Chess Olympiad was held in Varna, Bulgaria. There were 37 teams. Milton Ioannidis of Cyprus had the worst score of any player in the chess Olympics, with 20 losses and no wins or draws. His teammate, Andreas Lantsias, drew one game and lost 19. Another teammate, Fieros, won one game and lost 19. Their board one player won one game, drew one game, and lost 18 games. Cyprus scored the worst record of any chess Olympiad team, losing 20 matches. Their four players won a total of 2 games, drew 2 games, and lost 76 games. The Soviet team (Botvinnik, Petrosian, Spassky, Keres, Geller, Tal) won their 6th gold medal, but lost one match to West Germany. Yugoslavia took the silver and Argentina took the bronze. The USA team (Fischer, Benko, Evans, R. Byrne, D. Byrne, and Mednis) took 4th. Fridrik Olafsson won the individual gold on Board 1 with 14 out of 18 (77.8%). Tigran Petrosian won the gold on Board 2. Boris Spassky won the gold on Board 3. Borislav Ivkov and Raul Sanguineti won the gold on Board 4. Efim Geller won the gold for 1st Reserve. Mikhail Tal won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (source: Chess Review, Nov 1962, p. 350-352)
From November 2-25, 1964, the 16th Chess Olympiad was held in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was the first time a Chess Olympiad was held in Asia. There were 50 teams (Malta would have been the 51st country, but withdrew just before the start of the event). With Australia playing for the first time, it was the first time that players from all six continents (Asia, Africa, North America, South American, Europe, and Australia) were able to participate in a chess Olympiad. In 1964, at Tel Aviv, Milton Ioannidis played another four games and lost all four. He has a 0-24 score in Olympiad chess, perhaps the worst record for any player. Not a single team went undefeated. It was another victory for the Soviet team (Petrosian, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Keres, Stein, Spassky), winning their 7th consecutive gold medals. Yugoslavia took the silver and West Germany took the bronze. The USA team (Reshevsky, Benko, Saidy, Bisguier, R. Byrne, and Addison) took 6th place. Wolfgang Uhlmann won the individual gold on Board 1 with 15 out of 18 (83.3%). Tudev Ujtumen won the gold on Board 2. Vassily Smyslov won the gold on Board 3. Paul Keres, Helmut Pfleger, and David Friedgood won the gold on Board 4. Leonid Stein won the gold for 1st Reserve. Milan Matulovic and Gunther Mohring won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (source: Chess Review, Dec 1964, p. 355; Jan 1965, p. 27-31)
From October 23 to November 20, 1966, the 17th Chess Olympiad was held in Havana, Cuba. There were 52 teams. Just before the beginning of the Olympiad, Tal was hit in the head with a bottle in a bar and was beaten up because he was flirting with some husband's wife. Tal was taken to the hospital and missed the first 5 rounds. One woman, Berna Carrasco of Chile, played in this event that had 300 men. She was the only player not to score a single half point. The Soviet team (Petrosian, Spassky, Tal, Stein, Korchnoi, and Polugaevsky) won their 8th consecutive gold medals. The USA team (Fischer, R. Byrne, Benko, Evans, Addison, and Rossolimo) took the silver medal. Hungary took the bronze on tiebreaks over Yugoslavia. Tigran Petrosian won the individual gold on Board 1 with 11.5 out of 13 (88.5%). Oscar Panno won the gold on Board 2. Mikhail Tal won the gold on Board 3. Christian Langeweg won the gold on Board 4. Viktor Korchnoi won the gold for 1st Reserve. Laszlo Barczay won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (source: Chess Life, Oct 1966, p. 242; Chess Review, Dec 1966, p. 355)
From October 17 to November 7, 1968, the 18th Chess Olympiad was held in Lugano, Switzerland. There were 53 teams. Dris Benabud of Morocco only played one game (which he lost) at the Lugano Olympiad and 2ndreserve board, the fewest games of any participant in a chess Olympiad. The Virgin Islands (combined team of British and U.S. Virgin Islands) made their first appearance, despite not being a member of FIDE. Bobby Fischer showed up in Lugano to play for the USA team, but withdrew because of the poor lighting in the tournament hall. He asked to play his games in a private room, but the organizers refused, so Fischer withdrew. He stuck around and attended as a spectator. The Soviet team (Petrosian, Spassky, Korchnoi, Geller, Polugaevsky, Smyslov) won their 9th gold medals without a single game loss. Yugoslavia took the silver and Bulgaria took the bronze. The USA team (Reshevsky, Evans, Benko, R. Byrne, Lombardy, and D. Bryne) took 4th place. Tigran Petrosian won the individual gold on Board 1 with 10.5 out of 12 (87.5%). Georgi Tringov won the gold on Board 2. Viktor Korchnoi won the gold on Board 3. Shimon Kagan won the gold on Board 4. Glicerio Badilles won the gold for 1st Reserve. Vassily Smyslov won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (source: Chess Life, Jan 1969, p. 9)
From September 5-27, 1970, the 19th Chess Olympiad was held at Siegerland Hall in Siegen, West Germany. For the first time, teams had to be rejected because the event reached its capacity of 60 teams to fit the playing schedule. 64 teams registered. The teams from France, Ecuador, and Venezuela had to return home without playing any chess. Panama pulled out, which allowed Argentina to play. 360 players took part, including 35 grandmasters. Andrew Sherman played for the Virgin Islands at the age of 11, the youngest player in the chess Olympiads. In round two of the preliminaries, Viktor Korchnoi overslept and lost his game by default against Spain (Diez del Corral), his only loss. The round started at 3 pm and he was unable to make it to his game by 4 pm. During the event, Jonathan Penrose collapsed from nervous tension. Oscar Panno drew 15 games, the most in an Olympiad. In the Indonesia versus Switzerland preliminary match, a player moved his queen next to the opponent's king with check. Capturing the queen with the king was forced and so the cheating player made the move for his opponent, declaring stalemate and shaking hands all in one movement. His dazed opponent ended up signing the scoresheet before realizing that it was not a stalemate at all. Albania forfeited their game against South Africa as a protest against racial segregation and so lost 4–0. On the day Bobby Fischer played Boris Spassky, there were about 3,000 spectators that saw Spassky beating Fischer. Tigran Petrosian remained unbeaten in Olympiad play, with 58 wins and 32 draws. Oscar Panno drew a record 15 games. The USSR team (Spassky, Petrosain, Korchnoi, Polugaevsky, Smyslov, and Geller) won their 10th consecutive gold medals. Hungary took the silver and Yugoslavia took the bronze. The USA team (Fischer, Reshevsky, Evans, Benko, Lombardy, and Mednis) took 4th place. Boris Spassky won the individual gold on Board 1 with 9.5 out of 12 (79.2%). Borislav Ivkov won the gold on Board 2. William Hartston won the gold on Board 3. Aleksandar Matanovic won the gold on Board 4. William Lombardy won the gold for 1st Reserve. Samuel Estimo won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (source: Chess Life, Nov 1970, p. 609; Dec 1970, p. 666; Jan 1971, p. 25)
From September 18 to October 13, 1972, the 20th Chess Olympiad was held in Skopje, Yugoslavia (present-day Macedonia). There were 63 teams. Albania refused to play Israel due to political reasons and was forfeited. 1972 was the first time that the men’s and women’s events were held simultaneously, held in Skopje. Grandmaster Nicolas Rossolimo played for France at the Skopje Olympiad. He played on the French team in 1950. He then played on the USA team in 1958, 1960, and 1966. He then played for France again in Skopje. International Master Vladimir Savon was the first non-Grandmaster to play for the Soviet team. During the event, Tigran Petrosian lost a game on time to Robert Huebner, his first loss on time in his whole career. This Olympiad was the first time that the men’s and women’s events were held simultaneously. Georgi Tringov forgot to put his score sheet in the adjourned envelope and lost his adjourned game against Korchnoi. After the Olympiad was over, it was learned that Tringov had absentmindedly placed his score sheet in his pocket. Tringov discovered his mistake several days after his forfeit but was too ashamed to admit his mistake to the organizers of the Olympiad. Jens Enevoldsen represented Denmark at his 11th and final Olympiad, 39 years after his first appearance at Folkestone 1933. Both records at the time. The Soviet team (Petrosian, Korchnoi, Smyslov, Tal, Karpov, and Savon) won their 11 consecutive gold medals. Hungary took the silver and Yugoslavia took the bronze. The USA team (Kavalek, R. Byrne, Benko, Bisguier, Martz, and Kane) took 9th place. Robert Huebner won the individual gold on Board 1 with 15 out of 18 (83.3%). Viktor Korchnoi won the gold on Board 2. Ljubomir Ljubojevic won the gold on Board 3. Mikhail Tal won the gold on Board 4. Anatoly Karpov won the gold for 1st Reserve. Aldo Haik won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (Chess Life, Feb 1973, p. 76)
From June 6-30, 1974, the 21st Chess Olympiad was held in Nice, France. There were 74 teams. Only two players from the Nicaraguan arrived in Nice, and after the team were forced to forfeit their first match against Chile, Nicaragua withdrew from the tournament. Reussner of the U.S. Virgin Islands lost 19 games in one Olympiad, a record. He drew three games and did not win a game. South Africa and Rhodesia were expelled from FIDE during the Olympiad. South Africa dropped out, but Rhodesia still played in the rest of the Olympiad, winning the Final E group. Iraq and Algeria refused to play Rhodesia and forfeited their games to Rhodesia. The Tunisian team refused to play Israel, so the score 3-1 was given to the Israeli team. The Soviet team (Karpov, Korchnoi, Spassky, Petrosian, Tal, and Kuzmin) won their 12 consecutive gold medals. Yugoslavia took the silver and the USA team (Kavalek, R. Byrne, Browne, Reshevsky, Lombardy, and Tarjan) took the bronze on tiebreaks over Bulgaria. Anatoly Karpov won the individual gold on Board 1 with 12 out of 14 (85.7%). Andreas Duckstein won the gold on Board 2. Boris Spassky won the gold on Board 3. Tigran Petrosian won the gold on Board 4. Mikhail Tal won the gold for 1st Reserve. James Tarjan and Franciscus Kuijpers won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (sources: Chess Life, Sep 1974, p. 577; Oct 1974, p. 661)
From October 26 to November 10, 1976, the 22nd Chess Olympiad was held in Haifa, Israel. There were 48 teams. Computers were first used to do the pairings at the Haifa Olympiad and the first Olympiad conducted as a Swiss tournament system (the women's event had fewer participants and did not use the Swiss system until 1980). Libya protested and had an alternate Against Chess Olympiad of their own. It was the first time since 1937 that the USA team won the chess Olympiad. This Olympiad was the only one not to have medals for board prizes. For the first time, the event comprised both an open and a women's tournament. The Israel team won the women’s event. That team consisted of four Soviet émigrés (Kushnir, Kristol, Podrazhanskaya, Nudelman). The USSR and other communist countries did not play and the USA team (R. Byrne, Kavalek, Evans, Tarjan, Lombardy, Commons) took home the gold medals. The Netherlands won the silver and England won the bronze. Jan Timman won the individual gold on Board 1 with 8.5 out of 11 (77.3%). Gennadi Sosonko won the gold on Board 2. Marcelo Carrion won the gold on Board 3. Michael Stean won the gold on Board 4. Boris de Greiff won the gold for 1st Reserve. Kim Commons won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (sources: Chess Life, Dec 1976, p. 12; Jan 1977, p. 7; Feb 1977, p. 7)
In 1976 an unofficial chess Olympics was held in Tripoli, Libya in protest to the main chess Olympiad in Haifa. There were 37 countries that played in this event, called the “Against Israel Olympics.” Italy was the only country to send teams to both events. The event was won by El Salvador, a nation which had never competed in a FIDE Olympiad.
From October 25 to November 12, 1978, the 23rd Chess Olympiad was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 64 nations played a 14-round Swiss system tournament. Argentina had 2 teams. During the Olympiad, A member of a Middle East team tried to buy one of the girls working at the site for $1 million. The offer was not taken up. Grandmaster Hans Ree broke his leg at the event after someone told him a joke and he laughed so hard he fell out of bed and broke a bone. This Olympiad almost didn’t happen. Argentina almost went to war with Chile (a dispute over the Beagle Islands in Antarctica) and the chief organizer of the event, Rodolfo Zanlungo, was kidnapped and was being held under the threat of death should the Olympiad be held. The Hungarians (Portisch, Ribli, Sax, Adorhan, Csom, Vadasz) won the gold medal, ahead of the Soviets (Spassky, Petrosian, Polugaevsky, Gulko, Romanishin, Vaganian) , who took the silver medal. This was the first time the Soviet team did not take the gold medal when participating in an Olympiad. The USA team (Kavalek, Browne, Lein, R. Byrne, Tarjan, and Lombardy) took the bronze medal. Viktor Korchnoi won the individual gold on Board 1 with 9 out of 11 (81.8%). Adam Kuligowski won the gold on Board 2. Georgi Tringov won the gold on Board 3. Glenn Bordonada won the gold on Board 4. James Tarjan won the gold for 1st Reserve. John Turner won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (sources: Chess Life, Nov 1978, p. 589; Dec 1978, p. 648, Feb 1979, p. 65)
From November 20 to December 6, 1980, the 24th Chess Olympiad was held in Valletta, Malta. 81 nations played, with Malta having 2 teams. John Jarecki played for the British Virgin Islands at the age of 11. He played on Board 2. Anatoly Karpov refused to shake hands with Lev Alburt because Alburt had defected to the USA in 1978. The Soviet team (Karpov, Polugaevsky, Tal, Geller, Balashov, Kasparov) won the event (on tiebreak over Hungary). Both the Soviet men’s and women’s team came from behind to take the gold in this Olympiad. Hungary took the silver and Yugoslavia took the bronze. The USA team (Alburt, Seirawan, Christiansen, Tarjan, De Firmian, and Shamkovich) took 4th. William Hook won the individual gold on Board 1 with 11.5 out of 14 (82.1%). Yrjo Rantanen won the gold on Board 2. Jose Felix Villarreal won the gold on Board 3. Istvan Csom won the gold on Board 4. Yury Balashov and Bjorn Tiller won the gold for 1st Reserve. Predrag Nikolic won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (sources: Chess Life, Feb 1981, p. 8; Mar 1981, p. 20; Apr 1981, p. 13)
From October 29 to November 16, 1982, the 25th Chess Olympiad was held in Lucerne, Switzerland. 93 teams applied, but Gambia and Mauritania did not arrive. The Swiss had two teams. There were 732 players and 73 grandmasters. For the first time, the two British Channel Islands, Guernsey and Jersey, participated with a joint team. The Ugandan team showed up in Lugano, site of the 1968 Olympiad, and 105 miles away. They finally showed up at Lucerne after the first round. The Italian Chess Federation refused to have its best player, Stefano Tatai, to play on the Italian Olympiad team. Tatai was 44 and seven-time national champion. But the Italian Chess Federation only wanted members who were age 30 or younger to represent Italy. The result was a very poor showing at the Olympiad. On the women’s side, Tatjana Lemachko defected from the Bulgarian team on the eve of the last round and moved to Switzerland. The youngest player in the event was Najeeb Mohammed Saleh of UAE, age 12. The oldest player was Ron Blow of Guernsey, age 74. The $1.25 million budget for the event was raided by a lottery and private sponsors. The Soviet team (Karpov, Kasparov, Polugaeavsky, Beliavsky, Tal, Yusupov) won the gold. They only drew one match (against the Netherlands) and won the rest. The ended up 6.5 points ahead of Czechoslovakia, which took home the silver. The USA team (Browne, Seirawan, Alburt, Kavalek, Tarjan, and Christiansen) took home the bronze. Zenon Franco Ocampos won the individual gold on Board 1 with 11 out of 13 (84.6%). Rico Mascarinas won the gold on Board 2. Carlos Matamoros Franco won the gold on Board 3. Simen Agdestein won the gold on Board 4. Daniel Roos won the gold for 1st Reserve. Stuart Fancy won the gold for 2nd Reserve. (sources: Chess Life, Feb 1983, p. 11; Mar 1983, p. 25)
From November 18 to December 5, 1984, the 26th Chess Olympiad was held in Thessaloniki, Greece. There were 87 nations that participated. Greece fielded 2 teams. Ion Gudju (born in 1897) of Romania served on the appeals committee. He was 87 years old and may be the oldest player to participate in the chess Olympics (but not as a player). He played in the first unofficial chess Olympiad in 1924 in Paris. In 1984, the famous Bermuda Party was held, which continued until 1998. It was the biggest social event of the Olympiads. For the first time, in addition to the performance awards on each board, a special award was given to the best overall performance rating. John Nunn of England won three gold medals: best score on board 2, best performance rating (2868), and winner of the problem-solving contest. The USA team defeated the USSR team for the first time in Olympiad history. The youngest player in the event was 12-year old Isabelle Kintzlere, who played 3rd board on the French women’s team. Boris Spassky, playing for France, drew 12 of his 14 games – an Olympic record. The Soviet team (Beliavsky, Polugaevsky, Vaganian, Tukmanov, Yusupov, and Sokolov) won their 15th gold medals. England (Miles, Nunn, Speelman, Chandler, Mestel, and Short) won the silver and the USA team (Dzindzichashvili, Kavalek, Christiansen, Browne, Alburt, and De Firmian) won the bronze. Craig Van Tilbury won the individual gold on Board 1 with 9.5 out of 11 (86.4%). John Nunn won the gold on Board 2. Rafael Vaganian won the gold on Board 3. Pricha Sinprayoon won the gold on Board 4. (source: Chess Life, Mar 1985, p. 18)
From November 14 to December 2, 1986, the 27th Chess Olympiad was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It may have been the most expensive chess Olympiad ever. The organizers offered $1 million for free airline tickets to teams who were reluctant to participate. 108 teams for the open event and 49 teams for the women’s event showed up, a record at the time (prior to this, Lucerne had 91 teams in 1982). Israel was not allowed to participate, but the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Netherlands refused to play in protest to the Israeli ban. Strong individual players like Viktor Korchnoi, Robert Huebner, and Eric Lobron also stayed away. 10-year old Heidi Cueller represented Guatemala and may be the youngest player to participate in the chess Olympics. The Guatemalan men’s team was represented by four brothers names Juarez. The USA team defeated the USSR team, becoming the only team to defeat the Soviet team twice in a row in Olympiad competition. Judit Polgar won a gold medal in the Women’s Olympiad at the age of 11. The Seirawan-Xu game lasted 190 moves and was a draw (stalemate). This is the longest game in the chess Olympiads. During the Olympiad, Woman Grandmaster Elena Akhmilovskaya, playing on the Soviet women’s team (she had a score of 8.5 out of 9 on board 2), defected and eloped with International Master John Donaldson, who was captain of the USA men’s team. The two were married at the U.S. Consulate in Greece. The Hungarian women’s team (Susan, Judit, and Sofia Polgar with Ildiko Madl) displaced the Soviet team for the gold. It was the first time that the Soviet women’s team did not win the women’s event. The Soviet team (Kasparov, Karpov, Sokolov, Yusupov, Vaganian, Tseshkovsky) won the gold. The England team (Miles, Nunn, Short, Chandler, Speelman, Flear), ½ point behind, took the silver. The USA team (Seirawan, Christiansen, Kavalek, Federoritz, De Firmian, Dlugy) won the bronze. Garry Kasparov won the individual gold on Board 1 with 8.5 out of 11 (77.3%). Imed Abdelnabbi won the gold on Board 2. Nigel Short won the gold on Board 3. Artur Yusupov won the gold on Board 4. (sources: Chess Life, Feb 1987, p. 12; Mar 1987, p. 8)
From November 12-30, 1988, the 28th Chess Olympiad was held in Thessaloniki, Greece. There were 107 teams from 106 different nations playing in the event. East Germany appeared after a 16-year absence, who celebrated their return by beating their West German rivals 3-1. The Soviet team (Kasparov, Karpov, Yusupov, Beliavsky, Ehlvest, and Ivanchuk) again won the gold medals. England took home the silver and the Netherlands took home the bronze. Garry Kasparov won the individual gold on Board 1 with 8.5 out of 10 (85.0%). Anatoly Karpov won the gold on Board 2. Carlos Antonio Reyes Najera won the gold on Board 3. Suchart Chaivichit won the gold on Board 4. (source: Chess Life, Feb 1989, p. 24)
From November 16 to December 4, 1990, the 29th Chess Olympiad was held in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia (present-day Serbia). 108 teams from 106 different nations participated. Yugoslavia had 3 teams. This was the last appearance of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and East Germany. The Hong Kong men’s team was represented by four players from four different countries. The Novi Sad Olympiad had 123 grandmasters, 177 international masters, and 85 FIDE masters. Teams from Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania arrived in Novi Sad without an invitation and the organizers refused to let them participate. This meant that big names like Jaan Ehlvest, Lembit Oll, Alexei Shirov, and former world champion Mikhail Tal could not appear at the Olympiad. The Soviet team (Ivanchuk, Gelfand, Beliavsky, Yusupov, Yudasin, Bareev) won their 18th gold medals. The USA team (Seirawan, Gulko, Christiansen, Benjamin, Fedorowitz, De Firmian) took the silver on tiebreaks over England. England (Short, Speelman, Nunn, Adams, Chandler, Hodgson) took the bronze. Zenon Franco Ocampos and Raul Garcia Paolicchi won the individual gold on Board 1 with 10.5 out of 14 (75.0%). Dibyendu Barua won the gold on Board 2. Egon Brestian won the gold on Board 3. Roberto Martin del Campo won the gold on Board 4. (source: Chess Life, Mar 1991, p. 21)
From June 7-25, 1992, the 30th Chess Olympiad was held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila, Philippines. 102 teams from 100 different nations participated. 12 of the 15 former Soviet republics had their own team for the first time. All finished in the top half (including Gold, Silver, and Bronze). An all-German team was present for the first time since 1939. Of the five Yugoslav republics, three (Croatia, Bosnia, and Slovenia) had their own teams. This was the last appearance of Czechoslovakia and the re-appearance of South Africa. The Russian team (Kasparov, Khalifman, Dolmatov, Dreev, Kramnik, Vyzmanavin) took the gold medals as they won by 4 points. Uzbekistan took the silver and Armenia took the bronze. (sources: Chess Life, Sep 1992, p. 21; Oct 1992, p. 42)
From November 30 to December 17, 1994, the 31st Chess Olympiad was held in Moscow, Russia. The chess Olympiad was held in Moscow only after the scheduled site in Thessaloniki, Greece cancelled out 55 days before the start of the event. There were 124 teams representing 122 nations. Russia had 2 teams and a braille team was represented. During the event, Grandmasters Alexander Shabalov and Alex Yermolinsky (both representing the USA) were robbed when they went for a walk. The captain of the Macedonia chess team was robbed of $7,000 inside a bank that was across the street from the playing center. A team that represented the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) participated. Russia A and Russia B won the gold and bronze medal. It was the first and only time that the same nation won more than one medal. Several chess players were robbed during the Olympiad. Ivanchuk played all 14 games without a loss. Hungary had a woman, Judit Polgar, as board 1, a first for the Olympiad. Yugoslavia was represented by Servia-Montenegro. The nations participating for the first time were Macedonia, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. The Russian “A” team (Kasparov, Kramnik, Bareev, Dreev, Tiviakov, Svidler) took the gold. Bosnia-Herzegovina took the silver. The Russian “B” team took the bronze. (source: Chess Life, Apr 1995, p. 35)
From September 15 to October 2, 1996, the 32nd Chess Olympiad was held in Yerevan, Armenia. There were 114 teams representing 111 nations. Armenia had 3 teams. All the men on the Israeli chess Olympiad team were all born in the Soviet Union. Kirshan Ilumzhinov gave every member of the Olympiad a bottle of vodka, a jar of caviar, and a watch. He was later elected FIDE president. The Afghanistan team didn’t show up until the 8th round and still played. The Russian team (Kasparov, Kramnik, Dreev, Svidler, Bareev, Rublevsky) took the gold medals. Ukraine took the silver medal. The USA team (Gulko, Yermolinsky, De Firmain, Kaidanov, Benjamin, Christiansen) took the bronze on tiebreaks over England. (source: Chess Life, Feb 1997, p. 52)
From September 26 to October 13, 1998, the 33rd Chess Olympiad was held in Elista, Kalmykia, Russia. There were 110 teams in the open event and 72 teams in the women’s event. Russia field 4 teams. Three nations were signed up but chose to stay away: Denmark, Norway, and Slovakia. The organizers had a web page for the Olympiad, but it was hacked with a message that said “hacked to Kasparov.” The Russian “A” team (Svidler, Rublevsky, Bareev, Morozevich, Zvjaginsev, Sakaev) won the gold medals. The USA team (Yermolinsky, Shabalov, Seirwawan, Gulko, De Firmian, Kaidanov) took the silver medal. Ukraine took home the bronze on tiebreaks over Israel.
From October 28 to November 12, 2000, the 34th Chess Olympiad was held in Istanbul, Turkey. There were 126 teams in the open event and 86 in the women’s event. Turkey fielded 2 teams and there was a team representing the IBCA. From 1956 to 2000, Lajos Portisch has played in 20 chess Olympiads, more than anyone else. During the Olympiad, Suat Atalik (1964- ) insisted on playing for Bosnia rather than Turkey, his home country. As a result, the organizers of the Olympiad banned him from the competition. Russia (Khalifman, Morozevich, Svidler, Rublevsky, Sakaev, Grischuk) won the gold, Germany won the silver, and Ukraine won the bronze on tiebreak over Hungary.
From October 25 to November 11, 2002, the 35th Chess Olympiad was held in Bled, Slovenia. There were 135 teams from 130 nations in the open event and 90 in the women’s event. Slovenia 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 Bled Olympiad was the first to test for drugs through a urine sample. As a sporting federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIDE had to adhere to its rules, which included doping tests. All 802 chess players passed. Grandmaster Jan Timman of Holland refused to play in protest to the plans of drug testing. Artur Yusupov and Robert Huebner also protested and refused to play. At least 50 chess players signed an open letter stating that it was impossible to dope in chess. Research carried out by the Dutch Chess Federation failed to find a single performance-enhancing substance for chess. World Champion Garry Kasparov participated with the highest Elo rating in the Olympiads. He was rated 2838 at the time and had a performance rating of 2933. A chess ballet opened this Chess Olympiad. The Australian men’s and women’s teams were sponsored by a pharmaceutical company called Ansell. Part of the deal was to help the company promote their brand of condoms called “checkmate.” Two members of the same family played on different teams. International Master Levente Vajda played for Romania while his sister, Woman Grandmaster Szidonia Vajda, played for Hungary. Russia (Kasparov, Grischuk, Khalifman, Morozevich, Svidler, Rublevsky) won the gold, Hungary won the silver, and Armenia won the bronze. Robert Gwaze of Zimbabwe became the second person (after Alekhine in 1930) to score 100%. He scored 9 out of 9 games.
From October 14-31, 2004, the 36th Chess Olympiad was held in Calvia on the Spanish island of Majorca. There were 129 teams from 125 nations in the open event and 87 in the women's event. In total, 1204 players were registered. Prior to the closing ceremony, FIDE vice-president Zurab Azmaiparashvili was roughed up and arrested as he attempted to ascend the stage to give out the Nona Gaprindashvili Trophy. In 2004, Bill Hook played for the Virgin Islands at the age of 79. The USA team, none born in the USA, was made up of 6 ex-Soviet players: Onischuk, Shabalov, Goldin, Kaidanov, Novikov, and Gulko. They were called the Russian “B” team. In 2004, a player from Papau New Guinea and a player from Bermuda refused to submit to a urine sample to test for drugs. Their teams were punished by points taken away. New Guinea went from 117th place to 126th place. During the Chess Olympiad, there were chess films screened on the beaches of Calvia every weeknight during the Olympiad, and chess-oriented art was displayed at an International Chess Fair, with prizes for top works awarded by a jury. Ukraine (Ivanchuk, Ponovariov, Volokitin, Moiseenko, Eljanov, Karjakin) took the gold medals. Russia took the silver on tiebreaks over Armenia, which took the bronze. The USA team took 4th place.
From May 20 to June 4, 2006, the 37th Chess Olympiad was held in Turin, Italy. There were 148 teams from 143 nations in the open event and 103 in the women's event. In total, 1,307 players were registered. Bill Hook played at the chess Olympiad at Turin at the age of 81, making him the oldest chess player of any Olympiad. Armenia won its first gold medal at this Olympiad. The Russian team finished in 6th place, the worst Olympic result for a Soviet or Russian team since they first played in a Chess Olympiad in 1952. Armenia (Aronian, Akopian, Asrian, Lputian, Sargissian, Minasian) took the gold and China took the silver. The USA team (Kamsky, Onischuk, Namkamura, Ibragimov, Kaidaov, Akobian) took the bronze on tiebreaks over Israel. None of the USA team members were born in the USA.
From November 12-25, 2008, the 38th Chess Olympiad was held in Dresden, Germany. There were 146 teams from 141 nations in the open event and 111 in the women's event. In total, 1277 players were registered. In 2008, an old rule was instituted – no draws by agreement were permitted before 30 moves have been completed. However, some games ended as early as 16 moves due to draw by repetition. Any player not present at the board at the start of a round automatically forfeited the game. Another rule was that a team could only have one reserve team instead of two reserves. Armenia (Aronian, Akopian, Sargissian, Petrosian, Minasian) won the gold and Israel won the silver. The USA team (Kamsky, Nakamura, Onischuk, Shulmna, Akobian) took the bronze on tiebreaks over Ukraine.
From September 19 to October 4, 2010, the 39th Chess Olympiad was held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. There were 148 teams from 141 nations in the open event and 115 in the women's event. In total, 1306 players were registered. The main events in the open and the women’s competitions were held in indoor tennis courts. the rule that no draws were permitted before 30 moves was abolished. In the first round, Yemen refused to play Israel due to political reasons, allowing Israel to score 4-0. Three French players were caught in a scheme to use a computer program to decide moves. Their plan involved one player, IM Cyril Marzolo, following the tournament at home and using a computer program to decide the best moves. He would send the moves by text message to the captain of the French team, GM Arnaud Hauchard, who would then stand or sit at various tables as a signal to the player GM Sébastien Feller to make a certain move. Feller and Marzolo were given five-year suspensions for this, while Hauchard was given a lifetime suspension. The French team finished in an all-time low of 64th place. FIDE Master Jan Rooze, 63, of Belgium was playing in the event. He last played in a Chess Olympiad in 1976. The 34-year gap between two consecutive appearances is a record. Ukraine (Ivanchuk, Ponomariov, Eljanov, Efmenko, Moiseenko) won the gold medal and Russia won the silver. Israel won the bronze on tiebreaks over Hungary. The USA team (Nakamura, Kamsky, Onischuk, Shulman, Hess) took 9th place.
From August 27 to September 10, 2012, the 40th Chess Olympiad was held at the Istanbul Expo Center in Istanbul, Turkey. More than 1,700 players participated, including 157 teams from 152 nations in the open and 127 teams in the women's section. GM Eugene Torre played in his 20th Chess Olympiad. He tied with GM Lajos Portisch (who played from 1946 to 2000) for the most Olympiad appearances. Torre played in 18 straight Chess Olympiads, breaking the old record of 18 held by Heikki Westerinen. In 2012, of the 157 Board 1 players, only three players had no losses – Wesley So (he played 11 games), Le Quang Liem (he played 10 games), and Boris Gelfand (he played 8 games). Armenia (Aronian, Movsesian, Akopian, Sargissian, Petrosian) won the gold medal on tiebreaks over Russia, which won the silver. Ukraine won the bronze. The USA team (Nakamura, Kamsky, Onischuk, Akovian, Robson) took 5th place.
From August 1-15, 2014, the 41st World Chess Olympiad was held in Tromso, Norway. Five Bhutanese men represented Bhutan for the first time in a Chess Olympiad. With over 150 participating countries, the Chess Olympiad was the third largest sporting event. There were 1,570 participants in the event, with 881 in the Open section and 689 in the Women's section. The number of participating teams was 177 from 172 countries in the open section and 136 from 131 countries in the women's section. China (Wang Yue, Ding Liren, Yu Yangyi, Ni Hua, Wei Yi) won the open section of the tournament for the first time, while Russia claimed victory in the women's section for the third consecutive time as well as third time overall. The event was the last competitive tournament for Judit Polgar. The final day of competition was marred by the deaths of the Swiss-born Seychelles player Kurt Meier, who suffered a heart attack during his game, and Alisher Anarkulov, an Uzbek representing the International Chess Committee of the Deaf, who was found dead in his hotel room shortly afterwards. China won the gold medal. Hungary won the silver medal on tiebreaks over India, Russia, and Azerbaijan. India won the bronze on tiebreaks.
From September 1-14, 2016, the 42nd Chess Olympiad was held at the Baku Crystal Ball in Baku, Azerbaijan. In September 2016, at the Chess Olympiad, there were several complaints by the chess players on the anti-cheating measures. A petition was circulated by Jonathan Speelman and others regarding the mandatory notification of the arbiter when leaving the playing area (the petition concentrated on toilet visits). Reasons given for this protesting against this "noxious" rule included: the FIDE rule that the toilet is part of the playing area; an indication it was "humiliating" for players to discuss bodily functions with arbiters (and embarrassing for the arbiters); a note that the Match Arbiter was not always available, rendering it difficult to always comply with the rule; an argument that frequent toilet trips did not indicate cheating, and a request that players not be penalized merely for this; and an argument that the opponent might gain information from seeing a player notify the arbiter by moving as soon as they left for the bathroom visit. The response by Chief Arbiter Faiq Hasanov noted only that the third complaint was legitimate, and that "common sense" should apply. There were 1,587 participants, including 894 in the Open and 693 in the Women’s event. The number of teams was 180 from 175 countries in the Open section and 142 from 138 countries in the Women's section. Eritrea, Kosovo, and South Sudan competed in the tournament for the first time. Ukrainian player Andrei Volokitin, who played as a reserve player, was the best individual player in the Open event with 8?1?2 out of 9 points, with a performance rating of 2992. The USA team (Caruana, Nakamura, So, Shankland, Robson) won the gold, the first time in 40 years and for the 6th time overall. They were followed by Ukraine and Russia.
The 43rd Chess Olympiad will be held in Batumi Georgia.
Agaraginov, Pearls of Azerbaijan: Baku Olympiad 2016, 2016
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