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22nd Chess Olympiad

Official logo of the Olympiad

The 22nd Chess Olympiad, organized by FIDE, took place between October 26 and November 10, 1976, in Haifa, Israel. For the first time, the event comprised both an open and a women's tournament.

Another first was the change in format. The growing number of teams (74 at the previous Olympiad) had made it impossible to continue with the previous system of round-robin preliminary and final groups, so beginning in Haifa, the open event was played as a Swiss system tournament (the women's event had fewer participants and did not use the Swiss system until 1980).

The first Swiss system Olympiad ended up with significantly fewer teams, however. International politics once again interfered in the world of sports, as a large number of FIDE member nations withdrew in protest against the Olympiad being held in Israel, a country many of them didn't recognize. Among the nations that stayed away from Haifa were all of the Arab countries, some of which took part in the alternative Against Chess Olympiad instead. Other absentees were the entire Eastern Bloc, including most of the usual medal candidates. A number of Eastern European players had recently defected, however, and now represented various Western countries.

In the absence of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Hungary, the US team had the highest average rating and had to be considered favourites, even without Bobby Fischer. In the end, they lived up to expectations and won the gold medals, by half a point. The Netherlands and England took home the silver and bronze, respectively.

Open event

Forty-eight nations played 13 rounds. In the event of a draw, the tie-break was decided first by match points, then by using the Buchholz system.

Open event
# Country Players Average
rating
Points
1 United States Byrne, Kavalek, Evans, Tarjan, Lombardy, Commons 2535 37
2 Netherlands Timman, Sosonko, Donner, Ree, Ligterink, Kuijpers 2490 36½
3 England Miles, Keene, Hartston, Stean, Mestel, Nunn 2463 35½
# Country Average
rating
Points MP Buchholz
4 Argentina 2513 33
5 West Germany 2485 31
6 Israel 2490 29½
7 Switzerland 2391 29
8 Canada 2428 28½ 15
9 Spain 2399 28½ 12
10 Colombia 2365 28
11 Norway 2331 27½ 16
12 Sweden 2453 27½ 15 376.5
13 Italy 2385 27½ 15 361.5
14 Wales 2355 27½ 15 359.0
15 Paraguay 2216 27½ 14
16 Chile 2356 27½ 13 380.5
17 Australia 2390 27½ 13 367.5
18 Austria 2405 27½ 13 366.0
19 Finland 2374 27½ 13 346.5
20 Philippines 2418 27 17
21 New Zealand 2216 27 15
22 Iceland 2426 27 13
23 Venezuela 2275 26½ 13
24 Belgium 2326 26½ 11
25 Denmark 2340 26½ 10
26 France 2320 26 14 351.0
27 Dominican Republic 2200 26 14 300.5
28 Uruguay 2203 26 13
29 Honduras 2200 26 9
30 Thailand 2200 25½ 12
31 Iran 2303 25½ 11 367.5
32 Costa Rica 2200 25½ 11 324.0
33 Scotland 2321 25½ 10
34 Guernsey 2200 25 14
35 Ireland 2214 25 12
36 Luxembourg 2250 24½ 13
37 Guatemala 2200 24½ 12 321.0
38 Japan 2200 24½ 12 296.0
39 Hong Kong 2245 24½ 12 291.5
40 Bolivia 2200 24½ 11
41 Bermuda 2200 24
42 Andorra 2200 23
43 Monaco 2200 22
44 Faroe Islands 2201 21½
45 Papua New Guinea 2200 18
46 United States Virgin Islands 2200 15½
47 British Virgin Islands 2203 13½
48 Netherlands Antilles 2200

Individual medals

Women's results

Twenty-three nations took part in the women's Olympiad. From four preliminary groups the teams were split into three finals. Israel, led by former World Championship challenger Kushnir, proved to be bad hosts by claiming the gold for themselves, ahead of England and Spain.

Preliminaries

Finals

Final A
# Country Players Average
rating
Points MP
1 Israel Kushnir, Kristol, Podrazhanskaya, Nudelman 2182 17
2 England Hartston, Jackson, Pritchard, Caldwell 2115 11½ 8
3 Spain Ferrer, García, Pino García Padrón, Canela 1890 11½ 7
# Country Average
rating
Points MP
4 United States 2112 10½
5 Netherlands 2182
6 West Germany 2070 9
7 Australia 1958
8 Denmark 1917
Final B
# Country Average
rating
Points MP
9 Canada 1907 13½
10 Italy 1800 12
11 Argentina 1800 11½
12 Ireland 1897 10½
13 Finland 1852 10
14 France 1880 6
15 Colombia 1800 5
16 Philippines 1800 7
Final C
# Country Average
rating
Points MP
17 Switzerland 1875 12 10
18 Austria 1940 12 9
19 Sweden 2012 11½
20 Japan 1830 11
21 Scotland 1810
22 Wales 1800
23 New Zealand 1800

Individual medals

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