Chess Olympiad 2018

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The 2018 Chess Olympiad was a team tournament in chess that took place from September 23 to October 6, 2018 in Batumi , Georgia .

It was the 43rd  Chess Olympiad of the World Chess Federation FIDE . The decision to host the event in Batumi was made in August 2014; the competitor was Durban in South Africa . On the sidelines of the Chess Olympiad, a meeting of the chess associations took place, at which Arkady Dvorkovich was elected as the new FIDE President.

The teams of the People's Republic of China won the gold medal in both partial tournaments. In the “open tournament” silver went to the defending champion from the USA, bronze to Russia. In the women's tournament, the Chinese were followed by the team from Ukraine and the first team from Georgia. China won the Gaprindashvili Cup for the best combined result from both tournaments, ahead of Russia and Ukraine.

Competition mode

Two competitions were played: an all-women tournament and a so-called open tournament in which both women and men were eligible to play. In fact, almost exclusively men played in the open tournament; Exceptions were Singapore with Gong Qianyun , Guernsey (Gerda Nevska) and Bahamas (Polina Karelina). Both competitions lasted 11 rounds and were held according to the Swiss system .

Each squad consisted of five players. For each team match, a team of four players was formed, each of whom competed against a player from the opposing team. The points of the four players were added. The team that scored more board points won the match and received 2 team points. A 2-2 draw was awarded one team point for both teams.

One round was held on each day of the competition, with a day of rest on September 29th (after the 5th round). The thinking time for each player was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with a time credit ( increment ) of 30 seconds per move. Draw offers were only permitted from move 31.

The main judge was Panagiotis Nikolopoulos (Greece). 7292 games were played (2967 white wins, 2581 black wins, 1666 draws, 78 without a fight).

Participating teams

184 teams took part in the open tournament and 149 teams in the women's tournament. Both were new records. The participants include three teams each from the host Georgia and the selection teams from the international chess federations for the blind, the physically handicapped and the deaf . The two teams from Pakistan, who were also registered, and the women's team from Djibouti did not compete.

The Cape Verde Islands, Liberia, Nauru, East Timor and Central Africa were represented for the first time. The Bahamas, Bermuda, Ivory Coast and Kosovo, Gabon, Gambia, Mauritius, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Central Africa took part in the women's tournament for the first time.

The strongest teams in the open tournament were the USA, Russia, China, Azerbaijan and India - all with an Elo average of over 2700. This was the first time that Russia had not led the field since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992. In the women's tournament, the teams from Russia, Ukraine, China, Georgia and India formed the top of the field. The individual players with the highest ranking at the beginning of the tournament were Fabiano Caruana (USA) in the open tournament and Ju Wenjun (China) in the women's tournament. The world's number one men ( Magnus Carlsen , Norway) and women ( Hou Yifan , China) each decided not to participate.

A total of 1090 title holders were at the start, including 266 grandmasters and 66 women grandmasters.

Tournament course

Open tournament

The pairings of the first round were determined according to a seed list based on the players' Elo numbers . In all matches without exception, the favored teams prevailed, often with the maximum result of 4: 0. This also continued in the following two rounds. One of the few surprises in the early stages of the tournament was the draw of the team from Albania against the much higher rated Hungarians.

The defending champions USA got off to a convincing start: The strong Dutch were defeated 3: 1 in round 3, in round 4 they managed a 2½: 1½ against co-favorites India. It was only in the fifth round that the Americans' march through was stopped by the Israeli team (2: 2). In the first half of the tournament, Poland and the Czech Republic in particular surprised. The Czech team was able to defeat the strong teams from Iran and China. Poland even managed to win against Russia and France with the two stars Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Radoslaw Wojtaszek . After 5 of 11 rounds, these two teams together with fellow favorites Azerbaijan and Ukraine topped the table. The German national team was in an excellent seventh place after victories over Syria, Myanmar, Hungary and Moldova and a draw against Serbia.

Even after the rest day, the Germans were able to build on their performances and score 2-2 against the favorite teams from Israel, the Netherlands and France and even win against Spain. Daniel Fridman was particularly convincing , winning five games in a row. Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu held almost all games on the top board and was even able to win against the sixth in the world rankings Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France). In the meantime, the USA team temporarily regained the championship lead by beating the strong team from Azerbaijan, but were surprisingly defeated in the following round against Poland, who in turn lost to China in round 10. As a result, none of the top teams was able to break away significantly until the end.

The Russians, traditionally traded as top favorites, initially fell short of expectations, losing points to Poland, India and Serbia. Many - including Magnus Carlsen - suspected that Russia had not come with the best possible team. Players like Pyotr Swidler and Alexander Grishchuk were sorely missed. Only with a victory over Italy in the 9th round could the Russian team catch up to the top of the field.

On the final day of the tournament, the US and China had a small lead of just one point over the rest of the field. These two teams met. The winner of the match would receive the gold medal. Only in the event of a tie did the pursuers Poland, France and Russia still have a chance of winning the tournament - and in fact the match ended 2-2. With the pursuers, almost all games on the top boards ended in a draw. Only the Russian Jan Nepomnjaschtschi was able to win his game on board 2 against the French Etienne Bacrot and thereby crown the catching up of the Russians. Because of the poorer Sonneborn-Berger rating, the Russians only got bronze behind the Chinese (gold) and defending champion USA (silver).

After a draw in the last game against Armenia, the German team had to be satisfied with 13th place, which was still a success in view of the strong opponents. It is noteworthy that the German national team was the only participant who did not suffer a single team defeat. The most successful German single player was Daniel Fridman with 7.5 points from 9 games, which corresponds to an Elo performance of 2814 points. In the entire tournament there were only four players who did better.

Final score

space team Team points
1 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 18th
2 United StatesUnited States United States 18th
3 RussiaRussia Russia 18th
4th PolandPoland Poland 17th
5 EnglandEngland England 17th
6th IndiaIndia India 16
7th VietnamVietnam Vietnam 16
8th ArmeniaArmenia Armenia 16
9 FranceFrance France 16
10 UkraineUkraine Ukraine 16
13 GermanyGermany Germany 16
14th AustriaAustria Austria 16
34 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 14th
71 BelgiumBelgium Belgium 12
88 LuxembourgLuxembourg Luxembourg 11
131 LiechtensteinLiechtenstein Liechtenstein 9
... ... ...

Best single player

The board prizes were awarded according to individual Elo performance, whereby at least 8 games are required.


Also in the women's tournament there was a surprise in the second round due to the defeat of the Russians, who were ranked first, against Uzbekistan. The German women's national team struggled right from the start and did not get beyond a draw in Round 2 against Georgia 3 as well as in Round 3 against Israel.

The lead in the women's tournament was held by the Chinese for most of the time and they were the only team to go unbeaten in the last round, in which they met Russia. Ukraine and USA met in the chase duel, both of which were one point behind China. The team from Armenia, who had to play their last game against the first team from Georgia, were also one point behind. Since Ukraine was able to win their match against the USA 3: 1 relatively safely and for a long time it looked like a certain victory for Russia against China, the Ukrainians seemed to be certain gold medal winners. But Olga Girya forgave a clear win on board 4, so everything depended on Russia's top player. Alexandra Kosteniuk actually had all the cards for a draw in her hand, imagined the triple repetition of the position had already been achieved and complained about this to the referee. He found that the complaint was unjustified. Kosteniuk, who was visibly struck by her own error, made a mistake and tried unsuccessfully to save herself into a stalemate combination . Ultimately, she couldn't prevent her own defeat and her team's draw with China. This enabled China to secure the gold medal ahead of Ukraine. Bronze went to the hosts from Georgia, Russia came fourth.

Final score

space team Team points
1 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 18th
2 UkraineUkraine Ukraine 18th
3 GeorgiaGeorgia Georgia 1 17th
4th RussiaRussia Russia 16
5 HungaryHungary Hungary 16
6th ArmeniaArmenia Armenia 16
7th United StatesUnited States United States 16
8th IndiaIndia India 16
9 GeorgiaGeorgia Georgia 2 16
10 AzerbaijanAzerbaijan Azerbaijan 16
28 GermanyGermany Germany 14th
32 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 13
40 AustriaAustria Austria 13
46 LuxembourgLuxembourg Luxembourg 13
98 BelgiumBelgium Belgium 10
... ... ...

Best single players

The board prizes were awarded according to individual Elo performance, whereby at least 8 games are required.

Sunwoo Park from South Korea won the Nino Khurtsidze Award for the best percentage result of a player born after 1997.

Team lineups

List of medal winners

Open tournament

1st place - China
number player Elo Points Lots
1 Ding Liren 2804 8th
2 Yu Yangyi 2765 7th 11
3 Wei Yi 2742 7th
4th Bu Xiangzhi 2712 10
5 Li Chao 2708 5 8th
2nd place - USA
number player Elo Points Lots
1 Fabiano Caruana 2827 7th 10
2 Wesley So 2776 11
3 Hikaru Nakamura 2763 9
4th Samuel Shankland 2722 7th 10
5 Ray Robson 2682 3 4th
3rd place - Russia
number player Elo Points Lots
1 Sergei Karjakin 2760 10
2 Jan Nepomnyashchi 2768 10
3 Vladimir Kramnik 2770 9
4th Nikita Vitjugov 2726 10
5 Dmitri Yakovenko 2747 2 5

Women's tournament

1st place - China
number Player Elo Points Lots
1 Ju Wenjun 2561 7th 9
2 Shen Yang 2464 4th 8th
3 Huang Qian 2446 11
4th Lei Tingjie 2468 11
5 Zhai Mo 2417 5
2nd place - Ukraine
number Player Elo Points Lots
1 Anna Musychuk 2555 7th 10
2 Maria Musychuk 2533 8th 10
3 Anna Uschenina 2451 5 9
4th Natalia Schukova 2403 9
5 Julija Osmak 2405 6th
3rd place - Georgia
number Player Elo Points Lots
1 Nana Dzagnidze 2509 10
2 Lela Javakishvili 2475 5 9
3 Nino Baziashvili 2482 5 9
4th Bela Chotenashvili 2469 7th 9
5 Meri Arabidze 2404 7th

German teams

Open tournament

number player Points Lots
1 Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu 5 9
2 Georg Meier 4th 8th
3 Matthias Bluebaum 6th 10
4th Daniel Fridman 9
5 Rasmus Svane 8th

Women tournament

number player Points Lots
1 Elisabeth Pähtz 10
2 Filiz Osmanodja 5 10
3 Sarah Hoolt 11
4th Zoya Schleining 3
5 Judith Fuchs 9

Team line-ups of all teams

Web links

Commons : Chess Olympiad 2018  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

References and comments

  1. General Assembly 2014 Decisions. FIDE, accessed November 3, 2014 .
  2. Georgia was allowed to enter three teams as hosts in both tournaments.