36th Chess Olympiad: Calvià 2004

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Basic data

36th Chess Olympiad
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 14th - 30th October 2004
City: Calvià, Spain (Ballearic Islands)
Venue: Gran Casino de Mallorca
Chairman of Organizing Committee: Mr. Antonio Rami (ESP)
Tournament Director: Mr. Marcelino Sión (ESP)
Chief Arbiter: IA Ignatius Leong (SIN)
Teams participating: 129 (incl. Spain "B" and "C")
Players participating: 763 (incl. 230 GMs, 153 IMs and 82 FMs)
Games played: 3572 (incl. 26 forfeits and 1 mutual forfeit)
Competition format: Four board 14 round Swiss.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Buchholz; 3. Match points; 4. Berger; 5. Median Buchholz
Time control: all moves in 90 minutes + 30 sec. increment per move
Official mascot: Peonin
Website: http://www.36chessolympiad.com (cached)
Other websites: Chess Olympiad dailies by IM Michael Rahal
Official standings + statistics + photos
Extensive Olympic daily reports by Daaim Shabazz
ChessBase reports
Russian reports at ChessProjects.ru
India at the Olympiad (reports+photos)
Reports from fide.com
German&Swiss reports (in German)
Olympiad coverage from chess.gr
Olympic review of Dutch CF (in Dutch)
Downloadable game file: 04olm.zip

Tournament review

The 36th Chess Olympiad had primarily been scheduled to be held in Menorca, the smaller of the two Balearic Islands. However some 10 months before the gong they withdrew due to financial problems. Fortunately the Olympians weren't deprived of the unique chance to visit the magnificent Balearic Islands since Calvia, a city located in adjacent island of Mayorca decided to face the challenge. The 75th FIDE congress and huge Chess Festival were held concurrently with the Olympiad.

Calvia Olympiad logoFunnily enough the Olympiad overlapped the Dannemann World Championship match between Kramnik and Leko and one of most prestigious commercial events The Essent Chess Tournament held annually in Hoogovens, The Netherlands. Because of those Kramnik and Leko were absent and most of their seconds came late (incl. Svidler, Akopian, Illescas Cordoba). The Hoogovens participants: Short, Sokolov and famous Norwegian prodigy Carlsen late-joined also. Kasparov didn't come this time as well as Judith Polgar who gave birth to a baby short before the start of the Olympiad. Russia, led by ebullient Morozevich, were big favourites for gold. Ukraine - with the superb Ponomariov & Ivanchuk duo and a 14-year-old Kariakin at 2nd reserve board - and Israel seemed to be main contenders. India were expected to improve their all-time best as Anand re-joined after years of boycott. Armenia had virtually same squad as in Bled, where they won bronze medals. Team USA comprised of six mature Soviet expatriates. Spain, the host team, lead by Shirov were hoping for much as they were seeded in 7th. England had FIDE WCh contender Adams and superb youngster McShane in the squad, but no Sadler and Nunn. Hungary deprived of Leko and Polgar were highly unlikely to vindicate their 2002 performance.

The 36th Chess Olympiad started on 15th October with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the Mayor of Calvià, Carlos Delgado, making the first move on board 2 of the Spain-Tunisia match. The spectacular opening ceremony had been regarded by all the participants as one of the best in the history of the Olympiads. The press coverage of the ceremony had been great and most of Spain's local and national newspapers had published photos and written coverage. There had also been quite a lot of TV coverage. As in all Swiss events, in the first rounds the best teams play against weaker opposition, and most of the strongest teams won. However some surprises had occurred. Marc Simonet of Andorra held Khalifman to a draw. A great result from the Andorran player. England managed only 2½-1½ vs progressive Turkey and Croatia were unhappy to see their team barely halving vs Iraq.

Serhiy KariakinAfter the second round only two teams kept the pace with a perfect 8/8. Seed 2 Ukraine defeated Spain "B" clearly by 4-0, moving into a nose along with the Czech Republic, who beat Bangladesh by the same result. Several teams shared the third place with 7½/8. The strong Israeli team defeated Australia 3½-½ (GM Rogers drew with GM Sutovsky). Other teams to lie in tied third were Serbia & Montenegro, Slovakia, Canada and Bulgaria. Spain "A" managed only a draw against Argentina. Cifuentes lost against GM Campora, but Spain's first board Vallejo defeated Felgaer in the finish. Russia, the defending champions, playing down the table had a solid 3-1 win over Switzerland with two wins and two draws. The Russians were led by Alexander Morozevich who ruthlessly dispatched the legendary Russian-born Viktor Kortschnoj at board one. It was all over after 45 minutes of play and 13 moves of Ruy Lopez, and Kortschnoj stayed more for than 20 minutes at the table trying to understand what had actually happened.

The Ukrainians played superb chess in the third round as well to establish themselves at the top of the standings with their third consecutive 4-0 win of the Olympiad. Their top player Ivanchuk ferociously turned back Czech prodigy Navara's Sicilian. Their championship aspirations were to be put to the severest test in round four as they were to face the defending champions Russia (lying in 4th at the moment with 10½ points). Elsewhere Cuba and Latvia played to three draws on boards 2-4 but the 2000 junior WCh Lazaro Bruzon defeated Fridman to seal Capablanca's men win 2½-1½. India rested Anand for the second time in three rounds but were too good for Philippines, winning 3-1 with two wins and two draws. The USA faced Iran in a battle with political background (fortunately no reflection on chess!) and prevailed 3-1 with wins by Soviet-born Shabalov and Gulko. The Americans had their next battle scheduled vs India. England continued to make progress as apart from their two draws Adams and Speelman won to grant England's victory 3-1 in what sounds like a football result! The English, hunting their first-ever Olympiad title, were in tied 15th with 8½ points.

First move of the President of “sa Nostra” bankOn the next day the memorable Ukraine-Russia clash was held. Ukrainian leader Ivanchuk went into his think-tank, armoury, chess factory and other places only he knows of and produced a fantastic performance on board one to defeat the exciting Russian number one Morozevich and the Ukraine won a mouth-watering match-up 2½-1½ in fourth round top action. The 2001 FIDE World Championship finalist's fourth win in as many starts propelled Ukraine to 14½ points and maintained their position at the top of the standings. The other Ukrainians, Ponomariov, Volokitin and Moiseenko drew vs Grischuk, Khalifman and Zviagintsev respectively on the other boards. England's top Adams kept pace with Ivanchuk by securing the only win in his match as Queen Elizabeth II's men defeated Canada 2½-1½. Cuba continued to play well defeating Holland 2½-1½. Anand drew vs Ukrainian-born Onischuk on board 1 of prestigious India-USA match but India still beat the USA after wins by Harikrishna and Kunte over Shabalov and Goldin, respectively. Novikov got the Americans' sole win by prevailing over Sandipan on board 4. Although Shirov drew on board 1, Spain "A" with three victories beat Macedonia 3½-½ to move into tied 6th. Azerbaijan were disappointed to drop 1½ points vs underestimated Scotland. Standings were: Ukraine 14½; Israel 14; Russia, Azerbaijan and Slovakia 12. The other big news of the day was the last game of the Dannemann World Championship being held in Brissago (Switzerland) between Kramnik and Leko. Although behind by a full point, Kramnik won a brilliant last game tactical ending to level on points with the contender by 7-7, therefore retaining the title.

Spain-HungaryIn the top match of round 5 Ukraine tied 2-2 with Israel, as the four games ended up in draws. Ukraine retained the lead with 16½ points. Russia recuperated half a point by defeating Slovakia 2½-1½, with Grischuk beating Ftáčnik. Young Azerbaijani team came into 3rd as they defeated Bosnia by 3-1 with wins by Radjabov and Guseinov. Spain defeated Georgia in good style by 2½-1½. Shirov and Vallejo (4/4 so far) won their games whereas Arizmendi missed the draw and eventually lost. Anand's draw vs Aronian of Armenia was supported by Ganguly's win at board 4 to give India important win. Bulgaria and Holland moved near the top because of 3½-½ wins. Poland's steamroller dispelled English hopes with a pinning 3-1.

Russia made a huge step up on the sixth day of the Olympiad by defeating seed 3 Israel with a clear 3½-½. They were beside Ukraine by only a point with 8 rounds to go. Svidler performed for the first time and crashed through Sutovsky's defence with a staggering rook sacrifice, whereas Morozevich and Dreev chalked up the other two points with good wins over Gelfand and Huzman. Ukraine, on first board, maintained the lead by defeating the Azerbaijan by 2½-1½ with another stunning win by Ivanchuk (5½/6). Their only loss was on third board as Moiseenko lost to Gashimov in a junior game. Spain won again, this time against France by 2½-1½. "Fire on board" Shirov played an incredible attacking game against Fressinet, whereas the other three players held the draw. India cruised through to third place with a crushing 3-1 over the Netherlands, with victories by Anand and Ganguly, whereas Bulgaria retained the top positions after defeating Poland by 2½-1½. Armenia smashed Canada to move into tied 5th. Standings: Ukraine 19, Russia 18, Bulgaria and India 17. The next day was a rest day and the famous Bermuda Party was held in the BCM disco that night.

The seventh round of the Olympiad produced a big surprise as Bulgaria, seeded 20, defeated top favourites Russia with a lone win by IM Cheparinov over world-class GM Grischuk on board 3. The other three games ended in a draw. This result, combined with Ukraine's win over India (2½-1½, with wunderkid Kariakin beating Kunte on 4th board), extended Ukraine's lead to 2 points over Russia, Armenia (who defeated Israel by 3-1) and Bulgaria. Other important results were Spain's great win over Azerbaijan, with excellent wins by Vallejo and Illescas over Mamedyarov and Gashimov, and Poland's 3-1 over Philippines. United States recuperated positions after crushing Singapore by 3½-½, whereas England virtually said goodbye to the medal after losing to the Netherlands by 2½-1½.

Ukraine continued to push forward towards the gold medal on the next day. Round 8 confirmed that the team captained by GM Ivanchuk were the main favourites for first place as they defeated Bulgaria by 3½-½ increasing the advantage over Russia to 3 points, with six rounds to go. The Russians were consistently lying in 2nd place after a good match with Armenia. Morozevich defeated Akopian on first board whereas the other three games finished in draws. India defeated Spain by 2½-1½ on an unlucky day for the Spaniards, with Illescas losing a good position to Harikrisna. It could even have been worse as Cifuentes on board 4 was completely lost after missing a tactical shot, but he ended up fighting for a draw. USA continued to scale positions thanks to 2½-1½ against Azerbaijan alongside with Germany (3½-½ against Argentina). France were lucky to save four draws in a match vs Poland as well as Moldova vs India. Standings: Ukraine 25, Russia 22, India and Armenia 21, Spain, Poland and USA 20½.

Main playing hallUkraine made a new step towards the gold medals in the 9th round after tying 2-2 with seed 4 Armenia. Ponomariov lost to Vaganian, but Volokitin demonstrated excellent home preparation to defeat Lputian. The other two games ended in draws. Russia however closed the gap by defeating India 2½-1½ (although Morozevich lost to Anand), whereas the major upset of the day was Spain's defeat to USA by 3½-½. First board Shirov sacrificed the exchange for an attack but couldn't find enough compensation, whereas Vallejo Pons lost a positional game to Shabalov. Other teams to stay near the top were France, Switzerland (who surprisingly beat Poland), Israel, who recovered excellently hammering Kazakhstan 3½-½ and Slovenia.

On day 10 we saw USA halving vs Ukraine in a top clash of the day and Russia defeating France by the minimal margin with 3 draws and Svidler's win over Lautier. Armenia wiped out poor Slovenia and were lying a fraction behing bronze medal chasers group. Switzerland achieved another respectable result drawing with Israel and Cuba beat India.

The almighty Ukrainian team continued their run beating Cuba on day 11 by 3-1, with only Ponomariov losing at board 2, and extended their lead over big favourites Russia up to 2½ points. The Russians, who have been chasing the leaders for last couple of rounds were lucky to narrowly beat their ex-Soviet compatriots, now representing USA by 2½-1½ with latecomer GM Svidler sealing their win at board 1. Armenia ran over surprising Switzerland thanks to superb veteran Rafael Vaganian. The Swiss star, Viktor Kortschnoj, 73, fought off Akopian's punches at board 1 of that match. The volatile Israeli took all their chances crushing Azerbaijani kids to grab 4th place at the moment. India wiped out Canada recovering from yesterday's losses. Poland rose from scratch ripping Slovakia 3-1 thanks to GM Macieja's excellent play vs Movsesian. Desperate Spain did not manage to rebuild their morale barely halving vs disappointing Hungarians. The Ukrainian lions retained the lead ahead of Russia and Armenia. Israel were lying in tied 4th with US, a full point behind Armenia though. Poland climbed up to 7th to match Ukraine at table 1 in a top clash of round 12.

Ukraine-ArmeniaThe 14-year-old Ukrainian prodigy GM Serhiy Kariakin stunningly beat passive Soćko to secure Ukraine's win in Ukraine-Poland match. Fancy Ukrainians went on for a priceless 2½-1½ win despite of Volokitin's greediness that led him to a spectacular loss vs Poland's no. 2 Michał Krasenkow. Georgia's newly emerged star Baadur Jobava earned another precious point beating Grischuk of Russia and Azmaiparaschvili let out gallant Morozevich despite of extra pawn advantage in a NvB ending. Russia who were lucky to lose as modestly as 1½-2½ saw themselves 3½ points behind the leaders with two rounds two go - virtually impossible to make up for a lost ground. Aronian of Armenia went on for a superb win in a Ruy Lopez-Marshall vs shaky Shabalov of USA yet Kaidanov defeated Lputian on board 4 to make the match even. India's no. 1 Anand agreed draw vs Gelfand to anyone's amazement since he was dominant all over the board. Sasikirian's pair of Bishops proved ample defence against pair of Sutovsky's Knights, yet not enough for a win and the most exciting game of the day ended up in a draw. Bulgaria-France was a lacklustre 2-all draw. Azerbaijan halved vs China despite Radjabov's excellent win over Ye. But it was Cuba who were the winners of the day as they smashed Slovenia by cold-blooded 4-0 to climb up to excellent 5th.

A brisk four-draw match vs Georgia in the penultimate round conserved Ukraine's advantage over the rest as Russia managed only 2½-1½ vs surprising Cuba and Armenia barely halved vs France. Ukraine were heading towards quick draw and it was all over after less than 2 hours of play. Their top star Ivanchuk had his first rest day. Spain, the host nation, went on with their downward slump as they lost to Uzbekistan. Disappointing Shirov lost his second consecutive game, this time vs FIDE World Champion Kasimdzhanov. Paco Vallejo was another letdown of the day for the Spaniards. Joel Lautier of France, the ACP president, beat Akopian to hurt Armenian hopes for medals. Israel did not make advantage of Armenia's slip-up as they only managed four draws vs USA. Poland lost to India in the most exciting match of the day. Anand easily defeated Macieja at top board and Sasikirian sacrificed a Queen for pair of minor pieces and pair of passed pawns to go on for one of most brilliant victories of the Olympiad. All in all India won 2½-1½ - enough to clamber to the medal zone? In a generation clash veteran Kortschnoj didn't feel like fighting and took a swift draw with white pieces vs Radjabov of Azerbaijan. With last round to go the standings were as follows: Ukraine 36½; Russia 33½; Armenia 33; Israel 32½.

The last round was a piece of cake for Ukraine as they easily ran over France by 3-1 sealing their gold in a splendid style. Russia had to fight hard to retain silver medal position as Armenia were close to pass them after they had scored a thumping 3½-½ victory over Georgia. The six time Olympic champions managed 3-1 vs China anyway to take the runner-up position thanks to superior Buchholz. USA smashed Norwegia to end in 4th, with no hope for reaching the medal zone though. Israel came 5th as they barely drew against robust Cuba, who finished in excellent 7th. India managed only 6th as they beat Bulgaria by 2½-1½. The Bulgarians went down to 9th, still not bad as for 20th seeds. The Netherlands sneaked into decent 8th because of their impressive final spurt after dismal performance in the first part of the Olympiad. Spain, the host nation recovered from halfway collapse hammering Finland 3½-½ to fight their way into prestigious 10th. Greece were unlucky to be thrown out of top 10 because of inferior tie-break. Poland drew Germany in the ultimate round to finish down in 12th, far below their expectations. Georgia's last round disasted made them fall down to 21st. England and Hungary, two major chess nations struggled throughout all the event to finish in dismal 30th and 31st, respectively.

Ukraine at the podium!The experienced chess swashbuckler Ivanchuk and five kids proved superior to the rest of the world. The Ukrainians ran over the whole event undefeated and the world held their breath waiting how long would that bonanza last. Sorry for the rest - the Olympiad finished prior to Ukraine's streak. Not only Ivanchuk and superb Kariakin overperformed but also Volokitin and Elianov did excellent job. Apart from Ponomariov maybe they had no blind spots inside the team. No one but Ukraine deserved gold. A silver would be a dream place for everyone but the Russians, who won six consecutive Olympic championships before. Many believe with Kasparov and Kramnik in the pool they would stay unstoppable but still without K's duo their average ELO was several notches above Ukraine - and not enough for gold. They played as they were expected to, so just a bad luck for them! The veteran Vaganian lead his home nation Armenia to yet another Olympic medal providing his team with 7 wins and 6 draws (no loss!). Another notable performances were produced by Aronian and Lputian. Akopian came late (he was Leko's second) and didn't score exceptionally well. Although this is not major surprise still a huge success for tiny Armenia to enjoy their third ever Olympic bronze. The veteran U.S. team consisting of Soviet expatriates was condemned to a calamity by many. But they surprised all with their vivid chess. Kaidanov played as if he was in his prime. Other weren't much behind. Hadn't only Armenia hammered Georgia in the very last round in dubious circumstances it could have been even better for US! Israel aimed at first ever Olympic medal but unexpected round 6-7 crash threw them far away of medal zone. Avrukh attained most noticeable score. Gelfand was too defensive heading towards draw all the time. 5th is not bad, but perhaps a little disappointing for 3rd seeds. India produced best ever performance by far but still with Madras tiger Vishy Anand at board 1 they were hoping for more. Anand did what he was expected to do but the rest of the pack proved too weak to pave way into top 3. Ganguly and Sasikirian did well and Harikrishna's spirits sagged after halfway gong. Cuba were definitely the discovery of the event. Seeded down in 20th they weren't expected to do as good as they did. Not only their final position is excellent, but also it is fully deserved success achieved after series of matches vs top teams. The team was firmly lead by reliable duo Dominguez & Bruzon with support coming most frequently from Arenciba's side. Their 4-0 vs Slovenia was the biggest upset of the event according to ELO table!

Firework show at the closing ceremonyApart from the above the Netherlands were lucky to jump into top 10 only thanks to ultimate round win. Van Wely lost as much as 3 games and Sokolov came late, although he scored 4/5 with a terrific ELO performed of 2790. Tiviakov was a disappointment. Spain - the host nation simply deserved a top 10 place. The first half of the Olympiad proved successful, but then a nightmare came. With one round to come they quickened the pace to sneak into top 10. Shirov was exceptionally badly shaped but Paco Valleco's play compensated that with interest. Illescas' performance was also notable. Poland finished in disappointing 12th and lucky to be that high with just 32 points scored. FIDE WCh Kasimdzhanov scored an impressive 2799 to boost Uzbekistan's final ranking up to 14th. Romania were down in 20th and their top star Nisipeanu scored =10-1 (no comments out of pity for him). Georgia were lying near the top all the time but went down to 21st after awful ½-3½ in the last round vs Armenia; some claim the match hadn't been fair. Jobava won two individual gold medals. Azerbaijan teens were found down in 22nd - perhaps it proved too tiring for them to keep concentration for 14 rounds. England and Hungary were struggling all along the event and finished 30th, by far the biggest ever tragedy for both teams.

/ Part of the text based on IM Michael Rahal's reports at www.chess21.com /

Individual medals

Best Rating Performance
no. name flag code ELOp
1. GM Jobava, Baadur Georgia GEO 2842
2. GM Anand, Viswanathan India IND 2824
3. GM Ivanchuk, Vasyl Ukraine UKR 2819

1st Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Ermenkov, Evgeny Palestine PLE 10½ 12 87.5
2. GM Rodríguez Vila, Andrés Uruguay URU 8 10 80.0
3. GM Adams, Michael England ENG 10 13 76.9

2nd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Tissir, Mohamed Morocco MAR 9 83.3
2. GM Nguyễn Anh Dũng Vietnam VIE 11 77.3
3. GM Hatanbaatar, Bazar Mongolia MGL 9 12 75.0

3rd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Vaganian, Rafael Armenia ARM 12 79.2
2. GM Georgiev, Vladimir FYR Macedonia MKD 9 12 75.0
3. IM González García, José Mexico MEX 10 75.0

4th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Jobava, Baadur Georgia GEO 10 85.0
2. GM Kaidanov, Gregory United States USA 8 10 80.0
3. GM Guseinov, Gadir Azerbaijan AZE 8 10 80.0

1st Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Sakalauskas, Vaidas Lithuania LTU 6 7 85.7
2. GM Temirbaev, Serik Kazakhstan KAZ 7 78.6
3. GM Degraeve, Jean-Marc France FRA 7 9 77.8

2nd Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Karjakin, Serhyi Ukraine UKR 7 92.9
2. FM Chahrani, Ibrahim Libya LBA 7 92.9
3. Bermúdez Adams, William Puerto Rico PUR 8 81.3

Nona Gaprindashvili Trophy
no. country Rank
1. Russia 2 3 2.5
2. USA 4 2 3.0
3. Armenia 3 11 7.0
4. India 6 9 7.5
5. Ukraine 1 18 9.5
6. Netherlands 8 12 10.0

This trophy is awarded to the country with the best combined performance for men and women.

Category Prizes
cat. seed range country pts
A 1-25* USA 35
B 26-51 Switzerland 32
C 52-77 Ireland 30
D 78-103 Tajikistan 28½
E 104-129 Japan 26½

Those are prizes given in separate categories for best teams within selected seeding numbers. *Medal winners do not apply.

Interesting games

Fabulous game with cascade of sacrifices.
Sakelšek, Tadej (SLO) - Corbin, Philip (BAR) 0 - 1

White was happy to find a neat trap, but...
Kobese, Watu (RSA) - Sutovsky, Emil (ISR) 0 - 1

That final blow was really unexpected.
Iuldachev, Saidali (UZB) - Aronian, Levon (ARM) 0 - 1

This seems like a standard leitmotif, but certainly NOT among super GMs.
Gelfand, Boris (ISR) - Georgiev, Kiril (BUL) 1 - 0

Very neat tactical attack.
Johannessen, Leif Erlend (NOR) - Isaev, Jamshed (TJK) 1 - 0

This utterly complex game was also a highly spectacular show.
Morozevich, Alexander (RUS) - Ivanchuk, Vasyl (UKR) 0 - 1

Lone Queen fighting pair of Bishops and passed pawn.
Ricardi, Pablo (ARG) - Vesterbæk Pedersen, Nicolai (DEN) 1 - 0

Shirov was badly shaped in Calvia but this one was terrific.
Shirov, Alexei (ESP) - Fressinet, Laurent (FRA) 1 - 0

He was on the defensive but he knew when the time came to explode.
Graf, Alexander (GER) - Felgaer, Rubén (ARG) 1 - 0

White's 31st move was perhaps the most beautiful combination of the Olympiad.
Rodríguez Vila, Andrés (URU) - Kožul, Zdenko (CRO) 1 - 0

Ebullient experience vs defensive youth.
Vaganian, Rafael (ARM) - Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR) 1 - 0

White's material advantage was compensated by huge positional problems.
Shabalov, Alexander (USA) - Aronian, Levon (ARM) 0 - 1

Magnificent game with a stunning Rook sacrifice.
Soćko, Bartosz (POL) - Kariakin, Serhiy (UKR) 0 - 1

A nightmare day for veteran Kortschnoj as it was all over after 13 moves...
Morozevich, Alexander (RUS) - Kortschnoj, Viktor (SUI) 1 - 0

This masterly played technical ending deserved deep analysis.
Domínguez, Lenier (CUB) - Van Wely, Loek (NED) 1 - 0

The game full of tiny tactical shorts and delicious ending.
Vallejo Pons, Francisco (ESP) - Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar (AZE) 1 - 0

Watch the position after Black's 31st move.
Georgiev, Kiril (BUL) - Radjabov, Teimour (AZE) 1 - 0

Dubious Rook sacrifice nicely refuted by Ivanchuk.
Ivanchuk, Vasyl (UKR) - Navara, David (CZE) 1 - 0

If you ever wonder how to convert a dead draw
into a win please thoroughly study this one.
Moreno Carnero, Javier (ESP2) - Ivanchuk, Vasyl (UKR) 0 - 1

Anand extricated from a lost position with a risky bluff.
Macieja, Bartłomiej (POL) - Anand, Viswanathan (IND) 0 - 1

Great positional Queen sac.
Sasikiran, Krishnan (IND) - Krasenkow, Michał (POL) 1 - 0

This one was not very typical Ruy Lopez.
White was storming at queenside.
Kariakin, Serhiy (UKR) - Radulsky, Yulian (BUL) 1 - 0

The experienced IM lost in just 5 moves,
second shortest Olympic game ever!
Mosquera, Miguel (COL) - Canda, Danilo (NCA) 1 - 0

White King went under heavy storm and yet he dared to sacrifice a Rook.
Svidler, Peter (RUS) - Sutovsky, Emil (ISR) 1 - 0

Well conducted attack and humiliating final position for Black.
Nataf, Igor-Alexandre (FRA) - Ostenstad, Berge (NOR) 1 - 0

Far-sighted, positional exchange sacrifice.
Hernández, Gilberto (MEX) - Kotronias, Vasilios (GRE) 0 - 1

Few games keep in permanent suspence like this one.
Quezada, Yuniesky (CUB) - Gagunashvili, Merab (GEO) 1 - 0

Both players missed excellent chances under heavy time pressure.
Rowson, Jonathan (SCO) - Beliavsky, Alexander (SLO) 0 - 1


The 36th Chess Olympiad ended with a bang, as th FIDE vice president Zurab Azmaiparashvili, who tried to get the attention of the organisers on the stage, was wrestled to the floor and dragged to jail by a group of security agents. He had been detained for 48 hours until finally released. Azmaiparashivili claims he had been a victim of a brutal attack for no reason. On the contrary the Spanish police claimed that he had conducted himself in a way that provoked the ire of the organisers and the security personnel.


Another incident concerned the last round match between Georgia and Armenia. There were rumours about the alleged dumped match. The teams were similar in strength, but Azmaiparashvili was missing and for some people the games were played surprisingly weak by the Armenians. The Israeli Chess Federation submitted the official protest against violation of fair play rules, but apparently it left imperceptible.


For the very first time in the history of the Olympiads there were some players punished for refusing to submit for the doping control. Points gained by Shaun Press of Papua New Guinea and Bobby Miller of Bermuda were deducted from their teams' final scored to push Papua NG down from 117th to 126th and Bermuda down from 123rd to 124th.


No one managed 10 wins. Among few who won 9 games was a 14-year-old girl from Hong Kong Anya Corke!