Olympiad: opening ceremony and pairings round 1
Last night the 40th Chess Olympiad was officially opened at the WOW Convention center in Istanbul, Turkey. The drawing of lots resulted in the black pieces for top seed Russia in round 1 of the Open section while China will start with the white pieces in their first match in the Women's section.
The opening ceremony seen from the audience | All photos courtest of FIDE & the official website
Before the opening ceremony a captains meeting was held, led by Chief Arbiter Panagiotis Nikolopoulos from Greece. He announced that 158 teams were registered, of whom 128 attended the meeting. They were told a few strict rules, some of which seem to be the result of the cheating scandal two years ago. For example, each team will receive four green cards for the players who will be in the lineup for the respective round. The 5th/reserve player will not be allowed in the playing hall. He/she can observe the play from the spectators' stand. Then, captains should stay behind their players at all time, and no visual contact is allowed. Again the zero tolerance rule shall be in effect, so players cannot arrive late at their boards at all. And, at this Olympiad draw offers before the 30th move are not allowed.
At 21:30 local time the opening ceremony took off at the WOW Convention center, Istanbul's largest congress center that also offers accommodation. The ceremony began with the national anthem of Turkey, followed by a tribute to historical top chess players, similar to what was shown at the start of Anand-Gelfand in May. A cultural program followed with traditional music and dances.
Three officials came on stage: FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the Minister of Youth and Sports Suat Kilic and the Turkish Chess Federation President Ali Nihat Yazici.
Ilymzhinov pointed out a new record, with 161 federations participating, but apparently he was using old data. He was quoted on the official website saying the correct number 158, which is still a record - according to Olimpbase 149 federations participated two years ago.
Yazici emphasized the development of chess in Turkey and mentioned staggering statistics: the number of chess players now exceeds 235,000 while 60,000 (!) chess trainers and coaches work in the chess clubs. Kilic promised to continue supporting the Turkish Chess Federation in the future, in order to see chess "globally around the country".
After the official anthem of FIDE and the rising of the "Gens Una Sumus" flag, the Chief Arbiter performed the drawing of colors together with the Minister. In round 1 the top seeded team in the Open section, Russia, will play with the black pieces on board one. In the Women's section, China will start with the white pieces on board one.
The opening ceremony concluded with an element which is standard at the Olympic Games: fair play and sportsmanship oaths by players and trainers.
Just like two years ago, at the 39th Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, the ceremony of the 40th edition could also be followed online. The organizers have hired the same tv crew that has been responsible for the recent top chess events in Russia, Chess.TV, and their first broadcast was offered in no less than four languages. They'll cover the rounds in Russian and English, with commentary by GMs Sergey Shipov and Evgeny Miroshnichenko.
In general it looks like this Olympiad will be the best covered Olympiad so far. Besides an official website the organizers also use a Facebook page, a Twitter account and there are even smartphone apps!
Round 1 pairings
The pairings of the first round, which starts at 15:00 local time (14:00 CET or 08:00 EDT), have been published. The first thing that strikes is that the captains didn't always enter their line-ups in order of rating.
|Bo.||78||Dominican Republic||Rtg||-||1||Russia||Rtg||0 : 0|
|1/1||IM||Munoz Santana, Jose Lisandro||2428||-||GM||Grischuk, Alexander||2763|
|1/2||IM||Pinal, Nelson||2322||-||GM||Karjakin, Sergey||2785|
|1/3||FM||Puntier, William||2312||-||GM||Tomashevsky, Evgeny||2730|
|1/4||FM||Fernandez, Francis||2289||-||GM||Jakovenko, Dmitry||2722|
|Bo.||2||Ukraine||Rtg||-||79||Iraq||Rtg||0 : 0|
|2/1||GM||Ponomariov, Ruslan||2734||-||FM||Abdul, Ahmed Abdulsattar||2314|
|2/2||GM||Volokitin, Andrei||2709||-||FM||Ahmed, Ali Layth||2360|
|2/3||GM||Eljanov, Pavel||2693||-||IM||Al-Ali, Hussein||2329|
|2/4||GM||Moiseyenko, Aleksandr||2706||-||FM||Salih, Akar Ali||2282|
|Bo.||80||Bolivia||Rtg||-||3||Armenia||Rtg||0 : 0|
|3/1||GM||Zambrana, Osvaldo R||2471||-||GM||Movsesian, Sergei||2698|
|3/2||FM||Gemy, Jose Daniel||2345||-||GM||Akopian, Vladimir||2687|
|3/3||IM||Cueto, Jonny||2282||-||GM||Sargissian, Gabriel||2693|
|3/4||CM||Ferrufino, Boris||2171||-||GM||Petrosian, Tigran L.||2661|
|Bo.||4||Hungary||Rtg||-||81||Kyrgyzstan||Rtg||0 : 0|
|4/1||GM||Almasi, Zoltan||2713||-||Shukuraliev, Algis||2360|
|4/2||GM||Polgar, Judit||2698||-||Maznitsin, Andrei||2283|
|4/3||GM||Berkes, Ferenc||2685||-||FM||Abdyjapar, Asyl||2365|
|4/4||GM||Balogh, Csaba||2668||-||Takyrbashev, Bolot||2195|
|Bo.||82||Jordan||Rtg||-||5||United States Of America||Rtg||0 : 0|
|5/1||IM||Khader, Sami||2392||-||GM||Kamsky, Gata||2746|
|5/2||FM||Samhouri, A.||2373||-||GM||Onishuk, Alexander||2666|
|5/3||FM||Samhouri, Bilal||2244||-||GM||Akobian, Varuzhan||2617|
|5/4||FM||Mansour, Sameer||2244||-||GM||Robson, Ray||2598|
|Bo.||6||China||Rtg||-||83||Zambia||Rtg||0 : 0|
|6/1||GM||Wang, Hao||2726||-||IM||Jere, Daniel||2382|
|6/2||GM||Wang, Yue||2685||-||Chumfwa, Stanley||2347|
|6/3||GM||Ding, Liren||2695||-||CM||Bwalya, Gillan||2256|
|6/4||GM||Li, Chao||2665||-||CM||Kayonde, Andrew||2180|
|Bo.||84||Luxembourg||Rtg||-||7||Azerbaijan||Rtg||0 : 0|
|7/1||IM||Wiedenkeller, Michael||2475||-||GM||Radjabov, Teimour||2788|
|7/2||Serban, Vlad||2280||-||GM||Safarli, Eltaj||2620|
|7/3||FM||Wagener, Claude||2261||-||GM||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||2729|
|7/4||Jeitz, Christian||2212||-||GM||Mamedov, Rauf||2634|
|Bo.||8||France||Rtg||-||85||Zimbabwe||Rtg||0 : 0|
|8/1||GM||Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||2686||-||IM||Gwaze, Robert||2454|
|8/2||GM||Fressinet, Laurent||2714||-||IM||Mandiza, Farai||2390|
|8/3||GM||Edouard, Romain||2652||-||FM||Makoto, Rodwell||2139|
|8/4||GM||Tkachiev, Vladislav||2644||-||Moyo, Dion James||2210|
|Bo.||86||Malaysia||Rtg||-||9||Netherlands||Rtg||0 : 0|
|9/1||IM||Mok, Tze-Meng||2354||-||GM||Van Wely, Loek||2691|
|9/2||IM||Lim, Yee Weng||2287||-||GM||Sokolov, Ivan||2696|
|9/3||Yeoh, Li Tian||2258||-||GM||Smeets, Jan||2608|
|9/4||Lim, Zhuo Ren||2120||-||GM||Stellwagen, Daniel||2630|
|Bo.||88||Andorra||Rtg||-||11||England||Rtg||0 : 0|
|10/1||GM||De La Riva Aguado, Oscar||2540||-||GM||Jones, Gawain||2653|
|10/2||FM||Simonet, Marc||2291||-||GM||Short, Nigel||2698|
|10/3||FM||Garcia, Raul||2193||-||GM||Howell, David||2635|
|10/4||Jose Queralto, Daniel||2133||-||GM||Pert, Nicholas||2555|
We finish off with two funny tweets:
First-round pairings are always brutal. Michael Jordan would have a better chance against the USA than Jordan.
Deja vu! The same team (Iraq), my opponent and colour like in Khanty 2010! I hope that overall result will be the same :)
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