Chess Counter Olympiad 1976

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The 1976 Chess Counter Olympiad or "Anti-Israel Olympiad" ( Against Chess Olympiad or Against Israel Olympiad ) was a country tournament in chess that took place from October 24 to November 15, 1976 in the Libyan capital Tripoli . The Counter-Olympiad, which the World Chess Federation FIDE disapproved of, was politically directed against Israel , where the official 22nd Chess Olympiad was being held in Haifa at the same time .

Political background

Israel was scheduled to host the Chess Olympiad for the second time in 1976 . While this was still unproblematic in terms of sport politics at the 1964 Chess Olympiad in Tel Aviv , this time many member associations of FIDE turned against the award decision of the World Chess Federation. The reason for this was the changed situation in the Middle East conflict that had arisen as a result of the Six Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Israel's military successes had provoked anger in the Islamic Arab world, to which was added the solidarity of the socialist countries.

Among the nations that boycotted the tournament in Haifa were the Soviet Union as record winners at the Chess Olympiads, the other socialist states and numerous states of the Arab-Islamic world. Ultimately, only 48 men's and 23 women's teams took part in the Haifa Olympics, which took place from October 26 to November 10, 1976.

Libya had taken the initiative to a simultaneous competition event, which in the program as Chess Olympiad counter was described ( "Against Chess Olympiad"). The driving force was revolutionary leader Muammar al-Gaddafi , who ensured the organization with state funds from the oil-rich country. His hope that the Eastern Bloc countries would play in Tripoli instead of Haifa, however, was not fulfilled; rather, they preferred to stay away from the “Anti-Israel Olympiad”.

Participating countries

From the hosts' point of view, political success was limited. Only a few of the classic chess nations took part. The core of the 38 participating teams - including four with observer status - were made up of the Arab-Islamic states, which, however, were mostly considered to be chess "developing countries". More than half of the countries participating in the tournament (18 out of 34) had never participated in the regular Chess Olympiads before.

From the west, Portugal , Italy , which was de facto represented by a club from Palermo , Malta and Turkey were represented. The Philippines sent along with Italy the only country two teams to the parallel competitions in Haifa and Tripoli. This also affected Uruguay , although there was a special case. The team was made up of political dissidents who had escaped the military dictatorship in their homeland.


The venue was the “Beach Hotel” in Tripoli. In order to get as many chess associations as possible from the poorer countries to travel, the organizer offered generous financial conditions. The teams did not incur any costs for travel or accommodation; the guests were even awarded a small daily flat rate . Each team was also given a car with a driver.

In contrast to the Olympics in Haifa, there was no women's competition. The tournament rules largely coincided with the regulations for the official Olympiad. The teams played on four boards. The team with the most points on the board should be the winner. The game was played in 13 rounds according to the Swiss system - just like in Haifa, where this tournament mode was first used at a chess Olympiad.

Athletic course

From a sporting point of view, the national tournament had little value compared to the regular Chess Olympiads. Not a single grandmaster and very few international masters were among the participants.

The winner was the El Salvador team , which was not one of the favorites. The players around the then 17-year-old later FIDE champion Boris Pineda on the top board took over the lead in the table early on and did not give it up until the end of the tournament. Tunisia took second place with international champion Slim Bouaziz on the top board, Pakistan came third. Host Libya only came in 24th. The aforementioned team from Uruguay, which ended up in 17th place, lost three fights - twelve games - because the players appeared too late.

Team lineups

The line-ups of the teams are only rudimentarily known. The following table names the players named in the source given below.

team Points player
1 El SalvadorEl Salvador El Salvador 38½ A. Grimaldi, Rene Grimaldi, Infante, Camacho, Boris Pineda, Velásquez
2 TunisiaTunisia Tunisia 36 Slim Bouaziz , Ridha Belkadi , Ahmed Drira, Sbia
3 PakistanPakistan Pakistan 34½ Zahiruddin Farooqui , Rahat Ali, Nazir Ahmad, Gholam Mohiuddin, Shaikh Mazhar Hussain
4th Iraq 1963Iraq Iraq 33½
5/6 ItalyItaly Italy 32½ Magrini, Trabattoni, Corgnati, Giordano, Mazzamuto
5/6 TurkeyTurkey Turkey 32½ İlhan Onat , Ergun Gümrükçüoğlu , Ali İpek , Feridun Öney
7th Afghanistan Republic 1974Afghanistan Afghanistan 29½
8/9 NicaraguaNicaragua Nicaragua 27½
8/9 PanamaPanama Panama 27½ Haskins
10-12 BangladeshBangladesh Bangladesh 27 Kampoarai, Shuda Ahmed, Mirza Akmal
10-12 Sri LankaSri Lanka Sri Lanka 27 Arjuna Parakrama
10-12 PortugalPortugal Portugal 27 Santos, Bastos
13-15 AlgeriaAlgeria Algeria 26½ Aboubekr Baghli
13-15 MoroccoMorocco Morocco 26½ Mustafa Ahmed Bakali, Mokhtar Kaderi, Abderrahman Nejjar
13-15 Philippines 1944Philippines Philippines 26½
16-18 KenyaKenya Kenya 26th Saif Kanani, Ramesh Sharma, Willie Sekano, Nazir Lone, Aslam Adam, Abdul Tejpar
16-18 UruguayUruguay Uruguay 26th Maiztegui, Toson, Gilardoni, Pérez
16-18 Yemen SouthPeople's Democratic Republic of Yemen South Yemen 26th
19-22 Trinidad and TobagoTrinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago 25½ Cecil Lee, Frank Sears, Kwane Payne, Morris
19-22 MaltaMalta Malta 25½ Henry Camilleri
19-22 Yemen Arab RepublicYemeni Arab Republic North Yemen 25½
19-22 MadagascarMadagascar Madagascar 25½
23 LebanonLebanon Lebanon 25th Bachar Kouatly
24-27 Libya 1972Libya Libya 24½
24-27 JordanJordan Jordan 24½
24-27 UgandaUganda Uganda 24½
24-27 KuwaitKuwait Kuwait 24½
28 United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 20½
29 MauritiusMauritius Mauritius 20th
30th Palastina autonomous areasPalestine Palestinian selection 18½
31/32 GambiaGambia Gambia 18th Newman
31/32 Oman 1970Oman Oman 18th
33 MauritaniaMauritania Mauritania 17½ Honghin
34 SomaliaSomalia Somalia 07th


The snubbed World Chess Federation appointed a commission to examine the political aspects and the future membership status of the “renegade” associations. Ultimately, a permanent split in FIDE was averted and the event remained a sport-political episode.

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