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23rd Chess Olympiad

Official logo of the Olympiad

The 23rd Chess Olympiad, organized by FIDE and comprising an open and a women's tournament, as well as several other events designed to promote the game of chess, took place between October 25 and November 12, 1978, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

After the boycott two years earlier, the Eastern Bloc countries were back, including the Soviet team who, as usual, were huge favourites - but in the end they had to settle for the silver medal. Hungary, led by Lajos Portisch, caused quite an upset by taking the gold medals by a full point. The United States took the bronze.

Open event

Sixty-five nations played a 14-round Swiss system tournament. To make for an even number of teams, the Argentine hosts also fielded a "B" team. In the event of a draw, the tie-break was decided first by using the Buchholz system, then by match points.

Open event
# Country Players Average
rating
Points
1 Hungary Portisch, Ribli, Sax, Adorján, Csom, Vadász 2570 37
2 Soviet Union Spassky, Petrosian, Polugaevsky, Gulko, Romanishin, Vaganian 2620 36
3 United States Kavalek, Browne, Lein, Byrne, Tarjan, Lombardy 2553 35
# Country Average
rating
Points Buchholz
4 West Germany 2540 33
5 Israel 2509 32½ 442.5
6 Romania 2468 32½ 422.5
7 Denmark 2416 32 440.5
8 Poland 2449 32 437.0
9 Spain 2429 32 430.5
10 Switzerland 2484 32 426.0
11 Canada 2388 32 422.5
12 England 2508 31½ 452.5
13 Bulgaria 2486 31½ 437.0
14 Netherlands 2538 31½ 432.5
15 Yugoslavia 2558 31 438.0
16 Sweden 2453 31 437.5
17 Argentina 2409 31 418.0
18 Cuba 2486 30½ 437.0
19 Austria 2389 30½ 417.0
20 China 2273 30½ 413.5
21 Mexico 2361 30½ 393.5
22 Finland 2389 30 421.0
23 Colombia 2359 30 400.5
24 Philippines 2405 29½ 407.0
25 New Zealand 2270 29½ 396.0
26 Indonesia 2346 29½ 394.0
27 Brazil 2355 29½ 393.5
28 Iceland 2480 29 423.0
29 Chile 2395 29 417.0
30 Australia 2399 29 408.0
31 Norway 2409 29 398.0
- Argentina "B" 2329 28½ 413.0
32 Paraguay 2278 28½ 411.5
33 Scotland 2309 28 404.5
34 Venezuela 2253 28 401.5
35 Syria 2200 28 373.0
36 France 2358 27½ 425.0
37 Uruguay 2270 27½ 381.5
38 Dominican Republic 2229 27½ 380.5
39 Sri Lanka 2200 27½ 373.5
40 Hong Kong 2235 27½ 367.0
41 Wales 2324 27 403.5
42 Peru 2271 27 399.5
43 Guyana 2200 27 369.0
44 Japan 2200 27 359.0
45 Luxembourg 2219 27 353.0
46 Faroe Islands 2200 27 346.0
47 Belgium 2223 26½ 374.5
48 Guatemala 2200 26½ 358.0
49 Morocco 2200 26½ 356.0
50 Tunisia 2279 26 390.0
51 Ecuador 2266 26 381.5
52 Bolivia 2213 26 368.0
53 Trinidad and Tobago 2200 26 356.5
54 Jordan 2200 26 327.5
55 Jamaica 2200 25½
56 Puerto Rico 2214 25 373.0
57 Malaysia 2200 25 365.5
58 Libya 2200 23½ 321.0
59 Mauritania 2200 23½ 319.5
60 Andorra 2200 22½
61 United States Virgin Islands 2200 22
62 Bermuda 2200 20½
63 Zaire 2200 16
64 United Arab Emirates 2200 12½ 328.5
65 British Virgin Islands 2213 12½ 327.5

Individual medals

Women's results

Thirty-two nations took part in the women's Olympiad. From four preliminary groups the teams were split into four finals. In the event of a draw, the tie-break was decided first by match points, then by using the Sonneborn-Berger system.

The Soviet team was back, and led by newly crowned world champion Chiburdanidze they secured the gold medals in a superior display, as well as all four individual board prizes. On the reserve board, Akhmilovskaya won all of her ten games, the only perfect score in Olympiad history. Hungary and West Germany took silver and bronze, respectively.

Preliminaries

Finals

Final A
# Country Players Average
rating
Points MP S-B
1 Soviet Union Chiburdanidze, Gaprindashvili, Alexandria, Akhmilovskaya 2370 16
2 Hungary Verőci-Petronić, Ivánka, Makai, Kas 2260 11 8 43.00
3 West Germany Laakmann, Fischdick, Hund, Weichert 2143 11 8 37.50
# Country Average
rating
Points MP
4 Yugoslavia 2197 11 7
5 Poland 2147 10½
6 Spain 2043 6
7 Bulgaria 2175 4
8 England 2130
Final B
# Country Average
rating
Points MP
9 Sweden 2072 15 13
10 Romania 2183 15 11
11 Netherlands 2140 10
12 Argentina 1953 7
13 France 1935 4
14 United States 2110 9
15 India 1800
16 Australia 1975
Final C
# Country Average
rating
Points MP S-B
17 Denmark 1967 13 9 42.25
18 Canada 1907 13 9 41.25
19 Colombia 1880 12
20 Brazil 1807 11½ 9
21 Finland 1893 11½ 8
22 Scotland 1813 1
23 Japan 1802
24 Mexico 1800
Final D
# Country Average
rating
Points MP S-B
25 Wales 1880 17½
26 Iceland 1800 13½
27 Venezuela 1800 12
28 Bolivia 1800 10½ 7 34.25
29 Uruguay 1800 10½ 7 26.00
30 New Zealand 1800 10½ 7 25.25
31 Monaco 1800
32 Puerto Rico 1800 4

Individual medals

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