13th Blind Chess Olympiad: Heraklion 2008

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Basic data

13th Blind Chess Olympiad
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 18th - 29th October 2008
City: Heraklion, Greece
Venue: Apollonia Hotel
Tournament Director: N/A
Chief Arbiter: N/A
Teams participating: 34 (incl. Greece "B" and Greece "C')
Players participating: 164 (incl. 5 IMs, 11 FMs and 1 WIM)
Games played: 612
Competition format: Nine round Swiss.
Final order decided by: 1. Match points; 2. Deducted Sonneborn-Berger; 3. Deducted sum of opponents' match points; 4. Game points
Time control: 40 moves in 120 minutes, then 60 minutes for the rest of the game
Website: http://www.sokoridallou.gr/olympiad08/index.html
Downloadable game file: 08olblind.zip

Tournament review

(Daily official press releases by IBCA)

Round 1
On October 18th the arrival of the participating countries was fulfilled, creating a multicolor nations mosaic here in Crete island. Greece, United Kingdom, Serbia, Hungary, the Netherlands, South Africa, Norway, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Romania, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, FYROM, Moldova, India, Slovakia, Turkey, Venezuela, Montenegro, Kazakhstan and Brazil are the countries that participate in the ΧΙΙΙ Chess Olympiad for Blind & Visually Impaired players. This Olympiad is the first one that is being held in our country and the second International Chess Event for Blind players, after the 2005 World Championships that was successfully organized in Eretria. The decision of I.B.C.A. to address to Greece the organization of this event confirms once more that our country is a trustworthy organizer.

The Captains Meeting, where all the team’s captains from the 32 countries participated, was realized on October 19th at 09.30 at «Apollonia» hotel. The Games Manager and the Chief Arbiter in cooperation with the I.B.C.A. and H.S.F.P.D. officials clarified all the competition and technical issues.

At 15.00 the H.S.F.P.D. President, Mr. Georgios Foundoulakis welcomed all the delegations and afterwards the I.B.C.A. President, Mr. Ludwig Beutelhoff declared the beginning of the 13th Chess Olympiad for Blind & Visually Impaired players.

The first day of the competition had a few surprises. National teams with unrated players impressed with their performance and won experienced teams and high rated chess players. We notice that the Olympiad is being held according to the new FIDE rules for the Chess Olympiads.

Round 2
The second round of the 13th Chess Olympiad for Blind & Visually Impaired players was completed today here at the congressional room of «Apollonia» hotel. The results were the expected ones and the atmosphere among the chess players from 32 nations was exceptional.

Today the fine weather gave the chance to the 280 participants to visit the sea and the pools of the hotel. All of them are impressed by the cretan hospitality and the comforts of their staying. Especially during dinner, everybody has the opportunity to taste, among others, a variety of cretan delicacies.

The composition of the Appeals Committee: Ryszard Bernard (Poland), Jesús Callejo (Spain), Hugo Roman (Belgium). Reserves are Andre Malvun Lukas (South Africa) and Sergei Vassin (Ukraine).

Round 3
Russia achieved an outstanding victory at today’s 3rd round against Spain (result 3-1). The other significant game of the round was between Germany and Kazakhstan. Even though the players from Kazakhstan are unrated, they managed to score 1½ points. Finally the winner was Germany with score 2½ points. The United Kingdom continues its path without any loss. After these results, we will have the opportunity tomorrow to watch a great game between the first teams of the pairings - the Russian and the German team.

The chess games analysis and the conversation continue beyond the playroom at hotel’s lobby and bars. Local media have shown their interest in the event, carrying the spirit of the 13th Chess Olympiad for Blind and Visually Impaired players throughout Crete island and not only.

Except local media, the most Known chess Sites covering the 13th Chess Olympiad.

Round 4
The most important game of the day ended with the victory of Russia against Germany (score 3-1). United Kingdom still has no loss since today won the powerful Ukraine (score 2½-1½). Therefore, the most interesting game of the 5th round is expected tomorrow between Russia and United Kingdom. The National Team of Poland, which tomorrow is competing against the Serbian Team, is 3rd at the Ranking List with only 1 point difference from the 2nd. The top 5 is completed by Germany and Spain, which are defeated - both of them - by Russia.

Round 5
Russian team won easily the team of United Kingdom (score 3-1) at the most interesting game of the day. At the 6th round Russia will have to face Poland, which is only one point far from the 1st place, after her win today against Serbia (3½-½). The game between Russia and Poland is considered as critical for the 3 top standings. United Kingdom, after its loss today, is at the 3rd place of the ranking list with 8 points in total. Tomorrow the chess players will have a day off, as it is being used at the Olympiads. In the morning there will be realized an excursion at the world’s known archeological place of Knossos and the Venetian walls of Heraklion city. The participants will be able to learn details about the 5.000 years ancient civilization of Crete island, since there will be tour guides and translation in 5 languages.

The Voting Delegates of each nation will remain at hotel «APOLLONIA» for the I.B.C.A. Congress and Elections that will begin at 10.00. During this Congress, the delegates will decide - among other issues - about the assignment of future International Chess Organizations (period: 2009-2012).

Free day
The excursion that was realized today at the archeological place of Knossos pleased everyone. All the participants had the opportunity to learn about the Minoan history, the Palace, the theatre, the buildings and the art pieces. Afterwards, they visited Heraklion city, where they were able to learn about its Venetian history and of course to visit its modern part: the shopping centers, the shops with traditional goods as well as the multiple entertainment choices.

At the same time, the I.B.C.A. Congress and Elections was being held at hotel «APOLLONIA». The election of the Greek representative, Mr. Nikolaos Kalesis as Treasurer of the Board, is very pleasant for our country. The composition of the new I.B.C.A. Administrative Board is the following:
President: Ludwig Beutelhoff (Germany)
1st Vice-President: Jadhav Charudatta (India)
2nd Vice-President: Teresa Debowska (Poland)
Secretary General: Stephen Hilton (United Kingdom)
Treasurer: Nikolaos Kalesis (Greece)
Member at Large: Clyde Leonard, (South Africa)
Member at Large: Nelson Carrero (Venezuela)

After a two hours break, the Congress continued with the discussion of interesting topics such as the «Global Development of Chess for Blind players» (exponent was the representative of India) and the assignment of future International Chess Organizations (period: 2009-2012). Some of the countries, which were entrusted to organize future events, are Sweden, Turkey, Serbia and Poland. Tomorrow, the Competition Program continues as normal. The 6th round will begin at 15:00.

Round 6
The 6th round of the 13th Chess Olympiad for Blind & Visually Impaired Players was especially competitive. After a fascinating game, the Russian team succeeded to win the former Olympic Winner team of Poland (score 2½-1½). Consequently, Russia, who has 3 points difference from the second teams, is heading now towards the Gold Medal. At the 7th round Russia will play against the powerful team of Ukraine, Poland against Germany and Spain against United Kingdom. All the above mentioned teams, at this point, are at the second place. So, there is an exquisite interest in which teams finally will gain the silver and bronze medal.

The Mayor of Gazi, Mr. Georgios Markogiannakis, visited the playroom and discussed with members of the National Teams and especially the Greek Delegation. Mr. Markogiannakis talked with great esteem about the chess players and congratulated the H.S.F.P.D. President, Mr. Georgios Foundoulakis as well as Mr. Nikolaos Kalesis, Competition Manager and Mr. Dimitrios Kefalas, Media Responsible for the excellent organization.

During the I.B.C.A. Congress yesterday, the following three Greek Arbiters were honored - for the first time - with the title of I.B.C.A. Arbiter: Mr. Nikolaos Kalesis, Mr. Dimitrios Kefalas and Mr. Elissaios Vlachos. This is a great recognition on behalf of I.B.C.A. It is, also, worth to notice that only 29 persons from all over the world are honored with this title.

It is really impressive and encouraging the fact that the visitors of the 13th Olympiad’s web site are more than 13.000 (at the 7th day of the competition). In the web site you can find not only press releases, greetings, pairings results and statistics but also interesting news, photos and the chess games per day. The chief of the web team is Mr. Ioannis Gkoumas.

Round 7
The most important game of the day between Russia and Ukraine ended with quick draw on behalf of Russia in order to maintain her score difference to the second teams. The «battle» for the second place still continues between the teams of Ukraine, Germany, Poland and Spain.

The other teams also try to perform their best during the 13th Chess Olympiad for Blind and Visually Impaired players that is being held at Crete island.

Round 8
At the 8th round, Russia won Romania (score 2½-1½), ensuring mathematically the 1st place of the 13th Olympiad. The Team Captain of Russia in order to reassure the victory of his team accepted draw agreement in 1st and 4th chessboard.

At the 2nd place of the ranking list, after her victory against Germany (score 2½-1½), is Ukraine. The result of the game between Ukraine and Poland - at tomorrow’s final round - will show the winner of the Silver medal. Croatia and Spain, which play against each other, will also try to win a place at the top 3 teams of the organization.

9th round will be critical for the winners of the medals per chess board. So far, the performance of the World Champion Lubov Zsiltzova-Lisenko is really impressive with 7,5 points in 8 games and elo 2510! The final round will begin tomorrow at 09.00. Tomorrow, also, at 20.00 the Closing Ceremony of the 13th Chess Olympiad for Blind & Visually Impaired players will be held at the «TAVERNA» hall of the hotel, which is located near to the beach. The Medal Ceremonies will be realized during the Closing Ceremony and afterwards dinner will follow.

Round 9
The 13th Olympiad for Blind and Visually Handicapped Players ended up with comfortable prevalence of Russia. The Russian team with 17 match points in 9 rounds left virtually no space for any other team.

Following behind came Ukraine at 13 points who fought hard to take a last round draw with Poland. The Olympic medal winners trio is completed by the team of Spain, which also ended at 13 points but lost on tie-break.

Gold medals for individual performance were as follows: board #1 FM Oliver Müller (Germany): 7½ points out of 9. Board #2 Vlatko Marendić (Croatia) 7½ out of 9; board #3 WIM Lubov Zsiltsova-Lisenko (Ukraine) - 8/9; board #4 Udupa Krisna (India) 8/9 rounds. The spectacular closing ceremony took place along with the ceremony of handing the prize money and board medals to the wnners took place at 8pm, in the presence of the authorities of Iraklion munitipality.

As the time came for the players to leave after 11 days full of rivalry, happy moments to be remembered and plenty of good chess; the nostalgic atmposphere we enjoy shall be remembered for long.

Best board results

1st Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. FM Müller, Oliver Germany GER 9 83.3
2. IM Crouch, Colin Great Britain GBR 9 72.2
3. FM Magnusson, Jörgen Sweden SWE 9 72.2

2nd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Marendić, Vlatko Croatia CRO 9 83.3
2. FM Coset, Alexandru Moldova MDA 9 83.3
3. Lucas, Melvyn Republic of South Africa RSA 8 81.3

3rd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. WIM Zsiltsova-Lisenko, Lubov Ukraine UKR 8 9 88.9
2. IM Krylov, Sergei Russia RUS 9 83.3
3. Rutkauskas, Gediminas Lithuania LTU 7 64.3

4th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Hengles, Roberto Carlos Brazil BRA 8 9 88.9
2. Bibikov, Yury Kazakhstan KAZ 9 83.3
3. Vela Ignacio, José Manuel Spain ESP 8 81.3

1st Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Clemente Llamero, Roberto Spain ESP 6 6 100.0
2. Udupa, Srikrishna India IND 8 9 88.9
3. Yumabekov, Masut Kazakhstan KAZ 6 9 66.7

Interesting games

That wasn't really much of fight, was it? Krylov's best win.
Krylov, Sergei (RUS) - Żółtek, Tadeusz (POL) 1 - 0

White was very close but he was outplayed in the middlegame.
Dukaczewski, Piotr (POL) - Grigorchuk, Sergei (UKR) 0 - 1

The battle for bronze. A specimen of helpmate :)
Šakić, Milutin (CRO) - Vela Ignacio, José Manuel (ESP) 0 - 1