Chess Olympiad 2016

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Chess Olympiad 2016 is a team competition in chess that was held from September 1st to 14th, 2016 in the Azerbaijani capital Baku . This is the 42nd  Chess Olympiad the World Chess Federation FIDE . Bakı Kristal Zalı served as the venue . The main judge was Faiq Həsənov from Azerbaijan.

The team of the USA (Olympic champion 2016) with the cup that Samuel Shankland holds up.
Azerbaijani postage stamp for the 2016 Chess Olympiad

The competition was held in two tournaments, one for all-women teams and an open tournament in which almost exclusively men competed, but women were also eligible to play. In both tournaments, teams of four play against each other, whereby one substitute man or woman was allowed per team. The open tournament was won by the team from the USA , the women's tournament by the Chinese team.

Tournament mode

In both tournaments - the open tournament and the women's tournament - teams of four (with possibly a substitute player) competed against each other in 11 rounds. The pairings took place according to the Swiss system . To put it simply, this means that in each round teams were drawn against each other that had previously scored the same number of points. One round was played every day. The thinking time was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves + 30 minutes for the rest of the game + 30 seconds per move. After the 5th round there was a rest day. A team received 2 points for a team win and 1 point for a draw (2: 2). In the end, the team that scored the most points after 11 rounds should win. In the event of a tie, the so-called Olympiad-Sonneborn-Berger evaluation decided . If this would also be the same, the number of board points earned should decide.

Particular emphasis was placed on preventing fraud. This primarily means the use of electronic aids. In order to prevent this, the participants were scanned before entering the tournament arena just like at the airport, were not allowed to carry any suspicious objects (cell phones, smartwatches, pens, ...) and had to log off from the referee in order to use the toilet, for example. This rule met with resistance from many players and was ultimately not enforced by the referees. In the 7th round refused Nigel Short , during his match against Li Chao to let search because it disturb this in his concentration and he had been checked before the start of the match. He was then warned.

Field of participants

All federations that belonged to the world chess federation FIDE were eligible to start, including those that did not represent an independent state. Originally 180 teams were registered in the open tournament and 142 in the women. The actual number of participants was 170 teams in the open and 134 in the women's tournament. In the women's event, the record of participation in 2014 was equalized, and in the open tournament it was missed by two teams. Azerbaijan was the host with three teams each in both tournaments. In addition, international teams of the blind (only in the open tournament), the physically handicapped and the deaf took part.

The associations of Djibouti , Eritrea , Kosovo and South Sudan were present for the first time at a chess Olympiad. They only started in the open tournament. Guam , Guyana , the Maldives and Tanzania brought a women's team to the start for the first time.

The world's best representation of Armenia was not there. The reason was assumed to be the tense relationship with the host country .

If you take the players' Elo numbers as a yardstick, the teams from Russia (2768), USA (2765) and China (2740) (Elo averages in brackets) were the clear favorites in the open tournament. Germany (2652) started on the seed list in 13th place, Austria (2549) in 40th place, Switzerland (2512) in 48th place and Liechtenstein (2012) in 136th place.

Before the tournament, the women's team from China (2560) took first place on the seed list, followed by Ukraine (2505) and Russia (2504). Here, Germany (2381) was in 10th place, Austria (2225) in 35th place and Switzerland (2187) in 39th place.

In addition to the Armenian players, Boris Gelfand , who was eligible to play for Israel , the Ukrainian Vasyl Ivanchuk and Vice World Champion Viswanathan Anand (India) were also missing . Otherwise, all top players were represented in the Chess Olympiad, including the world champion and world number leader Magnus Carlsen ( Norway ).

Tournament course

Open tournament

In the first rounds there were quite unequal pairings due to the seeding list, in which the favored team was almost always able to prevail. Only in round four there were some exciting pairings: China struggled surprisingly against Italy, but in the end they won the match 3-1. The USA did not get more than 2-2 against the Czech team after all four games had ended in a draw , although every single American player is about 100 Elo points better than his Czech opponent. Perhaps the biggest surprise, however, was Ukraine's 2½: 1½ victory over Russia, after Ruslan Ponomarjow and Andrij Wolokitin both won their games with Black against the higher-ranking Evgeni Tomaschewski and Alexander Grishchuk and Vladimir Kramnik on the first board could not go beyond a draw could come. In round five, Ukraine confirmed this success with a 2½: 1½ victory over China and thus remained without losing points before the rest day, as did the Netherlands and India.

In the further course of the tournament, all teams in the top group had to give up points. In round 8 there was the much-noticed match between the USA and Russia - incidentally, at the same time with the same pairing for women. The two top boards drew. Ray Robson lost to Alexander Grishchuk , but Wesley So Jan Nepomnjaschtschi was able to bring his first defeat after seven wins in a row, so that the top match ended in a 2-2 draw. After the USA won their match against Norway in round 9 (with the top game Fabiano Caruana (2808) - Magnus Carlsen (2857): draw), they were tied ahead of Ukraine and one point ahead of Russia in first place Ukraine had already played (2½: 1½ in round 6) there was no direct showdown between these opponents. Instead, the USA won against Canada (2½: 1½) and Ukraine against Slovenia (3½: 0½). Since there was still a tie, the Olympiad-Sonneborn-Berger rating had to be used. At 413½: 404½ this was just under for the USA. Russia had to be satisfied with the bronze medal (despite first place on the seed list). For the USA, the victory meant the first gold medal since the 1976 Chess Olympiad in Haifa , which, however, had taken place in the absence of the Warsaw Pact states.

Curiously, the otherwise insignificant encounter between Germany and Estonia in the last round decided the Olympic victory. When the USA and Ukraine had won the last round, Germany and Estonia were 1½: 1½. If Matthias Blübaum had played a draw against Tarvo Seeman , Germany would have done worse than Jordan with 12 team points (also 12 points) and, as Ukraine's worst opponent, would not have been considered for the final evaluation of Ukraine ( deleted result ). Ukraine would then have received 4 × 12 = 48 points for their 4-0 victory against Jordan. Blübaum won his game and Germany pushed their way through the 2½: 1½ win against Estonia with 13 team points before Jordan. Therefore, Ukraine only received 2½ × 13 = 32½ points in the fine evaluation for their 2½: 1½ victory against Germany, while the result against Jordan was not counted.

The individual performances of the following players, among others, were remarkable: On the third board of the Philippines, the 64-year-old Eugenio Torre played all 11 games, did not lose a single one and was able to win nine games. The Georgian Baadur Jobava did hardly worse on the first board (with 8 points from 10 games) . This is all the more astonishing when you look at his list of opponents: He defeated, among others, the former FIDE world champions Wesselin Topalow (Bulgaria) and Ruslan Ponomarjow (Ukraine). The extraordinary Elo performance of Jobava but was topped by Andrei Volokitin , the nine times came as a substitute for Ukraine used against Wei Yi remisierte (China) and won all the other matches.

The German team landed on a sobering 37th place. The best German player was Matthias Blübaum with 7½ points from 10 games on board 3.

Women's tournament

The Chinese women were considered favorites. Already in round 3 Vietnam was able to achieve a respectable win against the supposedly highly superior players from the Middle Kingdom with a draw. In round four China was able to win against Latvia, but what was remarkable was the victory of Latvian Dana Reizniece-Ozola against the women's world champion Hou Yifan , despite an Elo disadvantage of over 400 points. Another surprise was the draw against the Romanians. However, China benefited from the fact that its strongest competitors took points away from each other. Russia lost to the United States, while the United States, in turn, was defeated by Ukraine. In the end, China won gold; Silver went - somewhat surprisingly - to Poland, bronze to Ukraine.

With a 31st place, the German women hardly did better than the German men.


Results of the teams

Open tournament
space team Team points
1 United StatesUnited States United States 20th
2 UkraineUkraine Ukraine 20th
3 RussiaRussia Russia 18th
4th IndiaIndia India 16
5 NorwayNorway Norway 16
37 GermanyGermany Germany 13
40 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 13
43 AustriaAustria Austria 13
53 BelgiumBelgium Belgium 13
155 LiechtensteinLiechtenstein Liechtenstein 7th
... ... ...
Women tournament
space team Team points
1 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 20th
2 PolandPoland Poland 17th
3 UkraineUkraine Ukraine 17th
4th RussiaRussia Russia 16
5 IndiaIndia India 16
29 AustriaAustria Austria 14th
31 GermanyGermany Germany 13
41 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 13
43 BelgiumBelgium Belgium 13
... ... ...

The Gaprindashvili Cup for the best combined result in the open tournament and women's tournament was won by Ukraine, ahead of the USA and China.

Best single player

The best players were in the open tournament:

For women, the board prizes went to:

List of medal winners

Open tournament

1st place - USA
number player Elo Points Lots
1 Fabiano Caruana 2808 7th 10
2 Hikaru Nakamura 2789 11
3 Wesley So 2782 10
4th Samuel Shankland 2679 8th
5 Ray Robson 2674 3 5
2nd place - Ukraine
number player Elo Points Lots
1 Pavel Elyanov 2739 5 9
2 Ruslan Ponomarev 2709 8th
3 Yuri Kryvoruchko 2693 6th 9
4th Anton Korobov 2675 7th 9
5 Andrei Volokitin 2674 9
3rd place - Russia
number player Elo Points Lots
1 Sergei Karjakin 2769 6th 9
2 Vladimir Kramnik 2808 8th
3 Yevgeny Tomaschewski 2731 4th 7th
4th Jan Nepomnyashchi 2740 8th 10
5 Alexander Grishchuk 2754 10

Women's tournament

1st place - China
number Player Elo Points Lots
1 Hou Yifan 2658 8th
2 Ju Wenjun 2583 11
3 Zhao Xue 2522 6th
4th Tan Zhongyi 2475 9 11
5 Guo Qi 2417 8th
2nd place - Poland
number Player Elo Points Lots
1 Monika Soćko 2437 10
2 Jolanta Zawadzka 2429 6th 9
3 Karina Szczepkowska-Horowska 2409 8th
4th Klaudia Kulon 2346 9 11
5 Mariola Woźniak 2246 6th 6th
3rd place - Ukraine
number Player Elo Points Lots
1 Anna Musychuk 2550 10
2 Maria Musychuk 2539 10
3 Natalia Schukova 2475 5 9
4th Anna Uschenina 2457 9
5 Inna Gaponenko 2416 5 6th

German teams

The performance of the teams of the German Chess Federation was generally assessed as a failure, especially since both teams remained well below the expectations according to the Elo seed list. Only the result of 19-year-old debutant Matthias Blübaum received unanimous recognition.

Open tournament

number player Points Lots
1 Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu 10
2 Georg Meier 5 9
3 Matthias Bluebaum 10
4th Rainer Buhmann 4th 7th
5 Daniel Fridman 3 8th

Women tournament

number player Points Lots
1 Elisabeth Pähtz 10
2 Marta Michna 9
3 Elena Levuschkina 6th 9
4th Melanie Lubbe 3 7th
5 Judith Fuchs 9

Team lineups

Web links

Commons : Chess Olympiad 2016  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. FIDE regulations for the Chess Olympiad , accessed on September 5, 2016.
  2. Anti-Fraud Regulations , accessed September 5, 2016
  3. , September 10, 2016
  4. Armenian chess team not to participate in World Chess Olympiad in Baku . Report from July 25, 2016 to the Armenian news agency AMENPRESS (English)
  5. Starting ranking in the open tournament , accessed on September 5, 2016
  6. Starting ranking in the women's tournament , accessed on September 5, 2016
  7. André Schulz: Blübaum wins gold ... for the USA., September 16, 2016, accessed April 25, 2017 .
  8. Dana Reizniece-Ozola vs Yifan Hou , on, accessed December 22, 2017.