Reports | September 09, 2012 16:59

Gold for Armenia and Russia at 40th Olympiad

Gold for Armenia and Russia at 40th Olympiad

Armenia and Russia won the gold medals at the 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey. In the Open section Armenia, who also won in 2006 and 2008, edged out Russia on tie-break. Ukraine, the winner of 2010, finished in third place. In the women's section Russia surpassed China on tie-break; bronze went to Ukraine.

Levon Aronian wears the Armenian flag as his country wins Olympic gold | All photos by David Llada, Arman Karakhayan and Anastasiya Karlovich courtesy of FIDE & the official website

Event Olympiad | PGN: Open & Women via TWIC
Dates August 28-September 9, 2012
Location Istanbul, Turkey
System Team Swiss, 11 rounds
Players Open, top 10: Aronian, Kramnik, Radjabov, Karjakin, Nakamura, Caruana, Ivanchuk, Grischuk, Topalov, Kamsky
Women, top 10: A.Muzychuk, Hou Yifan, Zhao Xue, Dzagnidze, Lahno, T.Kosintseva, Ju Wenjun, N.Kosintseva, Cmilyte, Zatonskih
Rate of play

90 minutes for 40 moves + 30 minutes to finish the game + 30 seconds increment from move 1

Tie-break 1) Match points 2) Sonneborn-Berger without lowest result 3) Game points
Extra No draw offers before move 30

We'd like to start this report with a suggestion to the organizers of the 2014 Tromsø Olympiad. Please have someone write a script (we can do it for you!) that automatically creates the "live final standings" based on entering individual board results, so that throughout the day one can follow who is leading based on what tie-break exactly. And, Norwegians, invest in a big screen that will show these virtual standings in the playing hall.

Obviously we're referring to the weird situation that while the decisive games of the Olympiad's last round were about to finish, nobody was sure what the effect would be. Even after all the top boards were finished, nobody in the press room was absolutely sure who won the medals. Well Mr Usain Bolt, we'll tell you in an hour how fast you were this time.

Well, as you know by now it was Armenia who won their third gold medal ever. After clinching bronze in Manila '92, Bled '02 and Calvia '04 they emerged victorious in both Turin '06 and Dresden '08, and now again in Istanbul. It was Levon Aronian who led his team to its success, scoring the gold medal on board one with a score of 6.5/9. But it was mostly a team effort, as Sergei Movsesian immediately noted when we congratulated him with his game that decided the last match:

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Sergei Movsesian

Before the start of the round China had the best tie-break of the three leading countries (besides Armenia and Russia). However, they also had the toughest opponents: Ukraine, who won gold in 2010. Vassily Ivanchuk's quick and pretty win on board one was a heavy blow for the Chinese:

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Vassily Ivanchuk (r.) crushed Wang Hao on board one

With draws on board two and three, Pavel Eljanov's win meant a 3-1 final score:

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Russia, however, did win their last match (3-1) and so they ended on the same number of match points as Armenia: 19. Sergey Karjakin beat Daniel Fridman and Vladimir Kramnik won against Arkadij Naidisch:

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Silver for the Russian men

After their rollercoaster ride in rounds 9 and 10, the USA finished well with a 2.5-1.5 win over Poland. Radek Wojtaszek added another strong GM, Hikaru Nakamura, to his list of scalps (which got him the silver medal on board one) but Ray Robson and Gata Kamsky scored wins. The latter had a few scary moments:

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Because the first tie-break was the sum of Sonneborn-Berger points (match points of each opponent, excluding the opponent who scored the lowest number of match points, multiplied by the number of game points achieved against this opponent) the medal distribution depended much upon the final round results of Armenia and Russia's opponents. For example, the Argentina vs Netherlands match (1-3) helped Armenia, because they beat the Netherlands while Russia won against Argentina.

Netherlands - Argentina: 3-1

In many countries certain fees for the players depend on their results in the Olympiad, and this also counted for the Netherlands. After their bad start the Dutch eventually finished on 6th place, which meant that they have achieved "Olympic A status" for another year. (Although Ivan Sokolov noted that the Dutch first need to await the result of Loek van Wely's doping test!)

Czech Republic's David Navara played in all rounds and won gold at board 2 with 9.5/11. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan was the best on board 3 with 8.5/10 while France's Vlad Tkachiev won gold for board 4. Officially he was board 5, but Dmitry Jakovenko played 9 games and scored 7 points to win the gold medal for reserve players.

Also in the women's section China missed out on the gold medals in the last round. They did win (2.5-1.5 against Bulgaria) but Russia's 4-0 sweep over Kazakhstan plus the scores of their opponents eventually resulted in a higher tie-break for the Russian ladies, who thus sucessfully defended their title. Among the ladies it was perhaps easier to accept the result, because here the medals wouldn't have been distributed differently if board points were the first tie-break.

Here's the last-round game by Nadezhda Kosintseva, who won the gold medal for board 3.

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Team captain Sergei Rublevsky cheers for his girls

China won gold at boards 1 (Hou Yifan), 2 (Zhao Xue) and 4 (Huang Qian). The board 5 gold medal went to Russia's Natalija Pogonina.

And so the Russian men yet again started as the favorite but couldn't manage to repeat their last victory, in 2002 in Bled. The Armenians, who went through the event as cheerful as always, showed extreme happiness as they celebrated, together with the women's time, with a dinner at the Choppers bar right next to their hotel.

After a concert by Sertab Erener (which lasted a few songs too long) the closing ceremony started with the categories prizes. Some teams had no idea that they won such a prize, and nobody understood why the category A existed. This was basically a prize for numbers 4, 5 and 6 in the Olympiad, while the main idea of having gold, silver and bronze medals seems to be that 4, 5 and 6 don't get a prize! The prize giving ended with all individual board prizes and, last but not least, the team medals.

Tigran Petrosian, Gabriel Sargissian, Sergei Movsesian (behind FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov), Levon Aronian and team captain Arshak Petrosian

Although we have been focusing on the top players (as we always do here at ChessVibes), the Olympiad was so much more than that. With 158 different federations and close to 1500 in one playing hall, we have only been able to tell a fraction of what happened. However, thanks to some stories that were told at the after party (again at Choppers) we can end with two small anecdotes from the lower regions.

To start with, here's the wonderful story about Papua New Guinea's Craig Skehan as told by Shaun Press on his blog:

In the field of sporting achievement, there are a number of streaks that seem to go on forever. Cal Ripkin's consecutive game record in Baseball, Edwin Moses winning streak in Athletics, Australia's domination of the Ashes spring to mind. But eventually such streaks must come to an end, but when they do it is often considered an historical moment (or a sign that the world is about to be destroyed).
Within the world of chess, the name Craig Skehan isn't that well known, except for the collectors of Olympiad statistics (or readers of this blog). For Craig has held the record for the most number of games without a win in the Olympiad. This is a record that stretches back to 1986 and extends over 6 Olympiads. In that time he played 59 games (defaults not counting) for a record of 10 draws and 49 losses.
But game 60 was the charm, and the streak has come to an end. Merely minutes ago his opponent from Sao Tome resigned when faced with running a and h pawns, giving Craig his first ever over the board victory at the Olympiad. Significantly it also sealed the match win for the team, giving PNG its best finish in a number of years. There were some nervous moments towards the end (eg I was convinced he would go to the toilet and lock himself in), but before a crowd of interested spectators (including GM's Bojkov, Rogers and Speelman), he managed to play the right moves to end the game.
Credit for both the teams performance, and Craig's win, should go to GM Dejan Bojkov, who served as this years Captain and team trainer. I'm not sure he realised what he was getting himself into, but he applied himself in an enthusiastic and professional manner.

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And then there was the very last match of the Olympiad: Sudan vs Botswana. While arbiters, cleaners and construction workers were waiting to clean up and empty the playing hall, these games just kept on going. Board four ended after 92 moves in stalemate, board three lasted 111 moves, board two 101 moves and board one 146 moves. At that top board, the Sudan player tried to win a drawn queen ending for well over fifty moves. At some point his opponent claimed wrongly, by first making his move and pressing the clock, so the game continued. Then the Sudan played blundered and even lost...

Olympiad 2012 | Top results round 11

Bo. 2 Ukraine (UKR) Rtg - 6 China (CHN) Rtg 3 : 1
1.1 GM Ivanchuk, Vassily 2769 - GM Wang, Hao 2726 1 - 0
1.2 GM Ponomariov, Ruslan 2734 - GM Wang, Yue 2685 ½ - ½
1.3 GM Volokitin, Andrei 2709 - GM Ding, Liren 2695 ½ - ½
1.4 GM Eljanov, Pavel 2693 - GM Bu, Xiangzhi 2670 1 - 0
Bo. 4 Hungary (HUN) Rtg - 3 Armenia (ARM) Rtg 1½:2½
2.1 GM Leko, Peter 2737 - GM Aronian, Levon 2816 ½ - ½
2.2 GM Almasi, Zoltan 2713 - GM Movsesian, Sergei 2698 0 - 1
2.3 GM Polgar, Judit 2698 - GM Akopian, Vladimir 2687 ½ - ½
2.4 GM Berkes, Ferenc 2685 - GM Sargissian, Gabriel 2693 ½ - ½
Bo. 1 Russia (RUS) Rtg - 14 Germany (GER) Rtg 3 : 1
3.1 GM Kramnik, Vladimir 2797 - GM Naiditsch, Arkadij 2712 1 - 0
3.2 GM Grischuk, Alexander 2763 - GM Khenkin, Igor 2656 ½ - ½
3.3 GM Karjakin, Sergey 2785 - GM Fridman, Daniel 2653 1 - 0
3.4 GM Jakovenko, Dmitry 2722 - GM Gustafsson, Jan 2610 ½ - ½
Bo. 16 Poland (POL) Rtg - 5 United States Of America (USA) Rtg 1½:2½
4.1 GM Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2717 - GM Nakamura, Hikaru 2778 1 - 0
4.2 GM Bartel, Mateusz 2654 - GM Kamsky, Gata 2746 0 - 1
4.3 GM Swiercz, Dariusz 2594 - GM Onishuk, Alexander 2666 ½ - ½
4.4 GM Macieja, Bartlomiej 2594 - GM Robson, Ray 2598 0 - 1

Olympiad 2012 | Final standings (top 30)

Rk. SNo   Team Team Rounds + = - TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4
1 3   Armenia ARM 11 9 1 1 19 397.0 29.0 155.00
2 1   Russia RUS 11 9 1 1 19 388.5 28.5 157.00
3 2   Ukraine UKR 11 9 0 2 18 363.0 29.5 147.00
4 6   China CHN 11 8 1 2 17 390.5 29.5 157.00
5 5   United States Of America USA 11 7 3 1 17 361.0 30.0 142.00
6 9   Netherlands NED 11 8 0 3 16 329.0 29.0 133.00
7 27   Vietnam VIE 11 6 4 1 16 313.5 29.0 126.00
8 25   Romania ROU 11 8 0 3 16 310.0 29.0 128.00
9 4   Hungary HUN 11 7 1 3 15 368.0 28.0 151.00
10 7   Azerbaijan AZE 11 6 3 2 15 344.0 29.0 144.00
11 15   Cuba CUB 11 7 1 3 15 338.5 30.5 130.00
12 14   Germany GER 11 6 3 2 15 334.5 26.0 148.00
13 16   Poland POL 11 7 1 3 15 313.5 27.5 138.00
14 20   Serbia SRB 11 6 3 2 15 307.0 28.5 126.00
15 22   Italy ITA 11 7 1 3 15 306.0 28.0 134.00
16 34   Sweden SWE 11 7 1 3 15 303.5 28.0 125.00
17 11   England ENG 11 6 3 2 15 300.5 26.0 137.00
18 39   Denmark DEN 11 7 1 3 15 270.5 27.0 121.00
19 23   Moldova MDA 11 6 2 3 14 348.5 29.5 129.00
20 10   Bulgaria BUL 11 7 0 4 14 321.5 28.0 134.00
21 35   Philippines PHI 11 6 2 3 14 321.0 26.0 152.00
22 29   Argentina ARG 11 6 2 3 14 316.0 25.0 146.00
23 8   France FRA 11 6 2 3 14 305.0 26.5 141.00
24 33   Uzbekistan UZB 11 6 2 3 14 303.0 27.0 138.00
25 28   Slovenia SLO 11 6 2 3 14 297.0 24.0 138.00
26 12   Israel ISR 11 5 4 2 14 296.0 25.0 136.00
27 19   Croatia CRO 11 6 2 3 14 295.5 25.0 137.00
28 30   Latvia LAT 11 7 0 4 14 295.0 26.0 136.00
29 32   Belarus BLR 11 6 2 3 14 289.5 27.0 127.00
30 42   Slovakia SVK 11 6 2 3 14 264.5 27.0 122.00

Women's Olympiad 2012 | Top results round 11

Bo. 2 Russia (RUS) Rtg - 22 Kazakhstan (KAZ) Rtg 4 : 0
1.1 GM Kosintseva, Tatiana 2530 - WIM Nakhbayeva, Guliskhan 2291 1 - 0
1.2 IM Gunina, Valentina 2507 - WIM Dauletova, Gulmira 2267 1 - 0
1.3 GM Kosintseva, Nadezhda 2524 - WIM Saduakassova, Dinara 2216 1 - 0
1.4 GM Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2489 - WIM Davletbayeva, Madina 2165 1 - 0
Bo. 13 Bulgaria (BUL) Rtg - 1 China (CHN) Rtg 1½:2½
2.1 GM Stefanova, Antoaneta 2502 - GM Hou, Yifan 2599 ½ - ½
2.2 WGM Videnova, Iva 2317 - GM Zhao, Xue 2549 0 - 1
2.3 WGM Voiska, Margarita 2281 - WGM Ju, Wenjun 2528 1 - 0
2.4 WIM Raeva, Elitsa 2313 - WGM Huang, Qian 2449 0 - 1
Bo. 4 Ukraine (UKR) Rtg - 9 Germany (GER) Rtg 3½: ½
3.1 GM Lahno, Kateryna 2542 - IM Paehtz, Elisabeth 2483 1 - 0
3.2 IM Muzychuk, Mariya 2466 - WGM Melamed, Tetyana 2356 ½ - ½
3.3 GM Zhukova, Natalia 2442 - WGM Ohme, Melanie 2337 1 - 0
3.4 IM Ushenina, Anna 2433 - WGM Michna, Marta 2380 1 - 0
Bo. 14 France (FRA) Rtg - 6 India (IND) Rtg 1½:2½
4.1 IM Skripchenko, Almira 2442 - GM Dronavalli, Harika 2503 0 - 1
4.2 IM Milliet, Sophie 2411 - IM Sachdev, Tania 2379 ½ - ½
4.3 WGM Maisuradze, Nino 2284 - WGM Gomes, Mary Ann 2396 1 - 0
4.4 WIM Bollengier, Andreea 2253 - WGM Soumya, Swaminathan 2271 0 - 1

Women's Olympiad 2012 | Final standings (top 20)

Rk. SNo   Team Team Rounds + = - TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4
1 2   Russia RUS 11 8 3 0 19 450.0 33.0 155.00
2 1   China CHN 11 8 3 0 19 416.0 31.5 154.00
3 4   Ukraine UKR 11 7 4 0 18 408.5 30.5 154.00
4 6   India IND 11 8 1 2 17 336.0 28.0 148.00
5 10   Romania ROU 11 8 0 3 16 313.5 28.5 129.00
6 8   Armenia ARM 11 8 0 3 16 313.0 26.5 140.00
7 14   France FRA 11 7 1 3 15 347.5 29.0 147.00
8 3   Georgia GEO 11 6 3 2 15 344.0 28.5 144.00
9 26   Iran IRI 11 7 1 3 15 339.0 31.0 132.00
10 5   United States of America USA 11 6 3 2 15 326.0 29.5 133.00
11 9   Germany GER 11 7 1 3 15 316.0 27.0 144.00
12 22   Kazakhstan KAZ 11 6 3 2 15 309.0 27.0 138.00
13 21   Mongolia MGL 11 7 1 3 15 308.0 28.0 134.00
14 36   Belarus BLR 11 6 3 2 15 292.0 28.5 121.00
15 7   Poland POL 11 6 2 3 14 336.5 27.5 151.00
16 13   Bulgaria BUL 11 6 2 3 14 316.5 27.5 136.00
17 12   Hungary HUN 11 6 2 3 14 303.0 27.5 129.00
18 24   Latvia LAT 11 6 2 3 14 296.5 28.0 126.00
19 15   Cuba CUB 11 5 4 2 14 286.0 25.5 129.00
20 17   Netherlands NED 11 6 2 3 14 285.5 27.0 133.00

 

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

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Comments

S3's picture

No one to blame, just observing that he won and lost more than his team mates. During the Olympiad I was wondering about it though; his teammates seemed to use a win with white-draw with black strategy and ultra safe play, but not Grischuk although he had his share of short draws..

AljechinsCat's picture

I also think that Sascha played a solid, not to say a convincing tournament. It says something that he was the man determined to win at the Russian team. That he can claim a draw with black if appropriate he proved e.g. convincingly against Pono, and when you play for win with the KID and your opponent Mov is in his best-shape, things happen.

Perell's picture

Someone can explain why tomashevsky, if russia has svidler, nepom, andreikin and others?

valg321's picture

i love it when losers douse themselves with "what if..." scenarios

victorhdiaz's picture

There is no such a thing like "losers" in Olympiad. Losers are out there. Like you, like me.

valg321's picture

i wasn't referring to the players

Goendi's picture

@Peter: your suggestion is fair but not possible. The chief arbiter is responsible for the displayed standing. Once a standing is displayed, it is final (even if it is wrong). Suppose there would be an error in this "live standings" as you suggest it, then according to pairing regulations, the wrong team would win the medal.

Bartleby's picture

No problem: Display preliminary standings. The chief arbiter can still get his extra hour to calculate his possibly wrong official final result. I like the idea. Spectators and players would appreciate it.

Goendi's picture

True, but that doesn't change anything about the regulations right now :)

Perell's picture

Why anand do not plays for india, calsen for norway?
are not they patriots?

Anonymous's picture

because they were teaching kids in the US how to win Olympiads in 8 years from Now :)

S3's picture

They are patriots, but only if you pay'm enough. And Carlsen has also has to preserve his rating, he couldn't have done it at the Olympiad.

redivivo's picture

Topalov has played 3 of the last 6 Olympiads, Kramnik 4 of the last 8, Anand 2 of the last 10, Carlsen 4 of the last 5. I don't think one can conclude much about patriotism from those numbers, it's more a question of Anand not being a big fan of the Indian Chess Federation.

S3's picture

Topalov, Kramnik, and Anand have all been playing matches for the world title as well. Carlsen not.

As for patriotism, perhaps one can conclude some things from the rumour that Carlsen was payed a hansom fee to market the Tromso olympiad. A fee that would have been large enough to get all Norwegian GM's to this olympiad.

Niima's picture

Patriotism is overrated ;-)

S3's picture

overrated and overpriced.

redivivo's picture

"Among the ladies it was perhaps easier to accept the result, because here the medals wouldn't have been distributed differently if board points were the first tie-break."

Armenia scored more board points than Russia in the men's event.

Jonathan O'Connor's picture

As someone who was at the olympiad, I only saw one game being analysed afterwards (Movsesian was showing a game to a friend). Sadly, I didn't have a pass that got me into the playing area. I hope the Norwegians rectify that.

Tarjei's picture

This is how an Olympic Gold medal is celebrated in the streets of Yerevan: http://youtu.be/jHrQWXynd8c

Anonymous's picture

That is something!! Andrew Paulson would be very encouraged if he saw the Armenian people.

Rob's picture

It's hard to understand there isn't any significant book on Ivanchuk's best games. His play is powerful and original as he has shown throughout this Olympiad. I for one would be the first to buy it.

pundit's picture

Many GM's would be qualified to write such a book but perhaps they are waiting (out of respect) for Ivanchuk to write his own book when he has time (after retirement perhaps).

Bartleby's picture

@Ivanchuk's game: I was at one of the big screen that showed the internet broadcast. (An interesting meeting point for those unlucky few who could not free-pass into the playing area. My long post what I talked with Wang Hao when he saw Onischuk lose his endgame was filtered out as spam,) so I'll just write what Katerina Lahno shouted when she saw the fınal point of Ivanchuk's combination earlier than the commentators: "Mat!"

pundit's picture

For those that think it will be such a milestone if/when Carlsen surpasses Kasparov's rating record of 2851, please note that Nakamura has now passed Bobby Fischer's all time rating high of 2775. So what does it mean? It means the ratings are grossly inflated. No one can seriously argue that Nakamura is as dominant over his contemporaries as Fischer was.

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