The Great Olympiad. Event Summary

The 39th Chess Olympiad and the 81st FIDE Congress ended on Sunday, October 3 in a small northern town Khanty-Mansiysk. Another page of the chess history book has been written down.

It was a great event, maybe the best Olympiad ever. “We must pray for such organizers”, said the FIDE Honorary Vice-President Israel Gelfer, and his opinion was more or less accepted by all participants and guests of the competition. Everything from accommodation to transportation and catering was absolutely perfect. “I was a bit worried when Khanty-Mansiysk won the right to organize the Olympiad two years ago, – said Ali Yazici, President of the Turkish Chess Federation. – Now I am worried whether we manage to organize our Olympiad in 2012 at the similarly outstanding level”.

For more than two weeks the Center of Tennis Development hosted the grand chess event. 264 teams from 145 countries competed on more than 650 boards. 19 out of 20 best players of the world came to Ugra land.

Important issues of chess development were discussed at the 81st FIDE Congress in an excellent building of the Chess Academy. Five days of work produced many crucial decisions. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov won the FIDE presidential elections in fierce competition with the former world champion Anatoly Karpov and was reelected for another four years. Needless to say, the Congress was carried out in such splendid conditions that even the losing team did not have any complaints.

Chess experts and fans were bewitched by the Russian women team, which won all 11 matches and obtained the gold with a round to spare. Having secured the top spot, the winners did not relax too early and defeated the second Russian team in the final round.

The Chinese women team finished second. In the 11th round they won against Ukraine. Six teams that collected the same number of points were competing for the bronze medals, however, the 2008 Olympiad winners from Georgia had the best tie-break score and claimed the third place.

The strongest team of the open section was determined in the last round. Three honorary guests of the final day – Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE President, Alexander Zhukov, Chairman of the Russian Olympic Committee, and Natalya Komarova, Governor of Ugra, probably supported the Russian team, however, Russia-1 only drew their match against Spain and were unable to challenge supremacy of the brilliant Ukrainian team. Ukraine made a draw with Israel and secured the gold; Russians remained a point behind and took the silver. Israel and Hungary shared the 3rd place, however, a better tie-break score gave the bronze to the Israeli sportsmen.

Russia won the Nona Gaprindashvili Cup, which is given for the best combined score of men and women teams. The runners-up were China, and Ukraine took the third place in this nomination.

A colorful closing ceremony concluded the Olympiad. Five thousand spectators congratulated the winners and medalists of the competition, who received their trophies from Ilyumzhinov, Zhukov, and Komarova.

There is no doubt that the Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad will remain in the hearts of its guests and participants for a long time. And the next, 40th Chess Olympiad will take place in Turkey in 2012.

Thank you Khanty-Mansiysk! And see you soon – at the 2011 World Cup!

 

The 39th Chess Olympiad. September 20 – October 3, 2010. Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

Final standings. Open section.

1. Ukraine – 19 points; 2. Russia-1 – 18; 3. Israel – 17; 4. Hungary – 17; 5-10. China, Russia-2, Armenia, Spain, USA, and France – all 16, etc.

Final standings. Women section.

1. Russia – 22 points; 2. China – 18; 3. Georgia – 16;  4-8. Cuba, USA, Poland, Azerbaijan, and Bulgaria – all 16, etc.