"The Against Chess Olympiad": Tripoli 1976

Basic data

"The Against Chess Olympiad"
Date: 24th October - 15th November 1976
City: Tripoli, Libya
Venue: Beach Hotel
Organizer: Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi
Teams participating: 38 (including 4 "observers")
Game system: 13 round Swiss
Official logo: TRIPOLI 1976
Downloadable game file: 76olymp.zip
Libia Satranç Olimpiyadi (review in Turkish; many games not retyped)

See also the Haifa Olympiad.

Final results

no. team code flag players
1. El Salvador ESA El Salvador 38½ A. Grimaldi, R.Grimaldi, Infante, Camacho, Pineda, Velásquez
2. Tunisia TUN Tunisia 36 IM Bouaziz, IM Belkadi, Drira, Sbia
3. Pakistan PAK Pakistan 34½ IM Farooqi, Ali, Ahmad, Mirza, Mohiuddin, Mazhar Hussain
4. Iraq IRQ Iraq 33½
=5. Italy ITA Italy 32½ Magrini, Trabattoni, Corgnati, Giordano, Mazzamuto
=5. Turkey TUR Turkey 32½ IM Onat, Gümrükçüoğlu, İpek, Öney
7. Afghanistan AFG Afghanistan 29½
=8. Nicaragua NCA Nicaragua 27½
=8. Panama PAN Panama 27½ Haskins
=10. Bangladesh BAN Bangladesh 27 Kampoarai, Shuda Ahmed
=10. Sri Lanka SRI Sri Lanka 27 Parakrama
=10. Portugal POR Portugal 27 Santos, Bastos
=13. Algeria ALG Algeria 26½ Baghli
=13. Morocco MAR Morocco 26½ Bakali, Kaderi, Najjar
=13. The Philippines PHI The Philippines 26½
=16. Kenya KEN Kenya 26
=16. Uruguay URU Uruguay 26 Maiztegui, Toson, Gilardoni, Pérez
=16. South Yemen SYE South Yemen 26
=19. Trinidad & Tobago TRI Trinidad & Tobago 25½ Lee, Sears, Payne, Morris
=19. Malta MLT Malta 25½ Camilleri
=19. North Yemen NYE North Yemen 25½
=19. Madagascar MAD Madagascar 25½
23. Lebanon LIB Lebanon 25 Kouatly
=24. Libya LBA Libya 24½
=24. Jordan JOR Jordan 24½
=24. Uganda UGA Uganda 24½
=24. Kuwait KUW Kuwait 24½
28. United Arab Emirates UAE United Arab Emirates 20½
29. Mauritius MRI Mauritius 20
30. Palestine PLE Palestine 18½
=31. The Gambia GAM The Gambia 18 Newman
=31. Oman OMA Oman 18
33. Mauritania MAU Mauritania 17½ Honghin
34. Somalia SOM Somalia 7


Tournament review

Politics rears its ugly head only too often in international competition and chess has never been exempt. In 1976 the Soviet Government would not allow its country's chess teams to play in Israel and this boycott naturally extended to all the satellite countries. Worse still than the actual boycott was the attempt by Libya to organize a rival event, dubbed the "Against Israel Olympiad" in most of the pre-tournament publicity but called the "Against Chess Olympiad" on the emblem which appears in the programme of the Libyan tournament. None of the world's strong chess countries sent a team to Tripoli.

The Arabs-proper attended a "counter Olympiad" held at exactly the same time as the official FIDE Olympiad in Haifa. But the Arabs were certainly not missed as far as chess ability is concerned! The Tripoli "Olympiad" attracted 38 teams (no communists though, but there were gossips USSR might take part) including some FIDE members, like Portugal, Italy (who were in fact represented by the Palermo Chess Club), Malta, Turkey or the Philippines. The Philippines, Italy and Uruguay were the only nations to have appeared both in Haifa and Tripoli. The Uruguayan team was made up of political dissidents, who happened to be competent chess players, and were escaping from the military dictatorship in their home country. Their first board, Lincoln Maiztegui Casas became one of Uruguay's leading journalists many years later. In order to attract as many nations and players as possible to Libya Colonel Gathafi offered full fares and accommodation to all the teams and captains. Each team had its own car and driver and each team member received $8 a day. It is understandable then that certain smaller developing countries sent their people to Tripoli, but looking at the list of competing players the standard of games was obviously very low (no GMs and just a few IMs). FIDE authorities decided to appoint a commission to investigate the event, with special attention to the future FIDE status of the entries there.

El Salvador were definitely not among the favourites and they were quite surprised to find themselves at the top of the table. The Salvadori led by 17-year-old Boris Pineda took early lead after 4-0 vs Dutch Antilles and 3½-½ vs Morocco and hold the gold medal positions until the end despite of two 1½-2½ defeats. Tunisia with IM Bouaziz at top board easily took second place, perhaps a little bit disappointing for them yet they beat the champions in a direct clash. Pakistan lead by IM Farooqi fought hard to take the bronze. The host nation were awfully disappointed to lie down in 24th place. Uruguay might have done much better hadn't they only lost three matches (12 games) by default due to being late.

Interesting games

White seemed to be dominant all over the field
but it was Black who told the last word.
Abat, F. - Grimaldi, Rene (ESA) 0 - 1

Both sides fought bravely.
Bakali, Mustafa Ahmed (MAR) - Pineda, Boris (ESA) 0 - 1

A classical example for beginners about how one should NOT play the openings.
Haskins (PAN) - Perez, Hebert (URU) 0 - 1

An interesting lesson about how Mauritanian strategy looks like.
Honghin (MAU) - Gilardoni, Gustavo (URU) 0 - 1

Some players were obviously attracted to Libya by good playing conditions
and didn't focus on what happens on the board.
Perez, Hebert (URU) - Shuda Ahmed (BAN) 1 - 0

Perhaps the standard of play was not ultimate
yet the game is full of interesting tactical plots.
Santos (POR) - Parakrama, Arjuna (SRI) 1 - 0

!! Please note most games are missing. If you know some of them then please us. !!