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29th Chess Olympiad

The official logo for the Olympiad.

The 29th 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 November 16 and December 4, 1990, in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia (present-day Serbia).

This time around, the political controversy surrounded the Baltic states - Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania - who had all recently declared their independence from the Soviet Union and wanted to send their own teams to the Olympiad. The Yugoslavian hosts, however, followed the decree from Moscow and refused to accept their entries. Despite a petition from several top players they weren't allowed to play. This meant that big names like Jaan Ehlvest, Lembit Oll, Alexei Shirov, and, last but not least, former world champion Mikhail Tal could not appear at the Olympiad.

Incidentally, this would also turn out to be the last Olympic appearances of the "old" Eastern Bloc countries: East Germany, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. The latter finished in style by winning their sixth consecutive gold medals and 18th overall, even without Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov who were in the midst of their fifth and final world championship match. Instead, the last Soviet team was led by Ivanchuk and Gelfand - two of the co-signers of the pro-Baltic petition. They still won in style, well ahead of the United States and England.

Open event

A total of 108 teams from 106 different nations played a 14-round Swiss system tournament. For the first time, the host nation got the right to field two additional teams. All three Yugoslavian sides finished in the top 30.

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 Buchholz
1 Soviet Union Ivanchuk, Gelfand, Beliavsky, Yusupov, Yudasin, Bareev 2645 39
2 United States Seirawan, Gulko, Christiansen, Benjamin, Fedorowicz, De Firmian 2599 35½ 452.5
3 England Short, Speelman, Nunn, Adams, Chandler, Hodgson 2604 35½ 450.5
# Country Average
rating
Points Buchholz MP
4 Czechoslovakia 2530 34½
5 Yugoslavia 2576 33 460.0
6 China 2521 33 444.0
7 Cuba 2526 33 440.5
8 Iceland 2451 32½ 452.0
9 West Germany 2549 32½ 451.0
10 India 2488 32½ 449.0
11 Sweden 2439 32½ 441.5
12 Netherlands 2561 32½ 435.0
13 Yugoslavia "B" 2534 32½ 433.0
14 Bulgaria 2514 32 451.5
15 France 2493 32 433.0
16 Israel 2533 32 431.0
17 Hungary 2553 32 427.5
18 Poland 2476 32 421.5
19 Mexico 2463 32 414.5
20 Colombia 2424 31½ 429.5
21 Philippines 2443 31½ 427.0
22 Peru 2381 31½ 421.0
23 Scotland 2381 31½ 418.5
24 Finland 2449 31½ 416.5
25 East Germany 2509 31 446.0
26 Yugoslavia "C" 2506 31 441.0
27 Chile 2456 31 436.5
28 Indonesia 2416 31 425.0
29 Argentina 2439 31 423.5
30 Canada 2451 31 418.5
31 Spain 2495 31 417.0
32 Romania 2483 31 412.5
33 Brazil 2471 30½ 420.5
34 Australia 2454 30½ 415.0
35 Italy 2409 30½ 412.0
36 Switzerland 2501 30 427.5
37 Norway 2473 30 425.0
38 Denmark 2498 30 424.0
39 Austria 2465 30 417.5
40 Albania 2386 30 417.0
41 Egypt 2376 30 416.5
42 Wales 2301 30 391.5
43 New Zealand 2295 29½
44 Vietnam 2201 29 405.5 17
45 Mongolia 2349 29 405.5 14
46 Singapore 2370 29 396.0
47 Turkey 2346 29 394.5
48 Ecuador 2240 29 376.0
49 Greece 2450 28½ 427.5
50 Paraguay 2343 28½ 405.0
51 Bangladesh 2363 28½ 403.5
52 Tunisia 2329 28½ 403.0
53 Belgium 2369 28½ 396.5
54 Costa Rica 2276 28½ 392.0
55 Portugal 2411 28 439.0
56 Pakistan 2295 28 397.5
57 Uruguay 2295 28 395.5
58 Iran 2256 28 392.0
59 Ireland 2306 28 391.0
60 Luxembourg 2249 28 387.5
61 Thailand 2230 28 377.5
62 Angola 2324 28 377.0
63 Syria 2291 27½ 395.0
64 Bolivia 2230 27½ 378.5
65 Barbados 2235 27½ 372.0
66 Japan 2226 27½ 369.0
67 United Arab Emirates 2216 27 383.0
68 Yemen 2200 27 369.5
69 Morocco 2259 26 390.0
70 Algeria 2218 26 384.5
71 Puerto Rico 2244 26 380.5
72 Lebanon 2241 26 366.5
73 Malaysia 2228 26 362.5
74 Trinidad and Tobago 2200 26 361.5
75 Guatemala 2230 26 337.0
76 Venezuela 2285 25½ 386.0
77 Dominican Republic 2235 25½ 378.5
78 Uganda 2296 25½ 361.5
79 Faroe Islands 2240 25 381.0
80 El Salvador 2268 25 374.5
81 Nigeria 2203 25 366.5
82 Cyprus 2206 25 346.5
83 Hong Kong 2240 24½ 364.0
84 Jamaica 2218 24½ 351.5
85 Andorra 2213 24½ 350.0
86 Libya 2201 24½ 345.5
87 Guernsey and Jersey 2218 24 362.5 11
88 Zimbabwe 2209 24 362.5 6
89 Qatar 2229 24 362.0
90 Zambia 2209 24 349.0
91 Netherlands Antilles 2246 24 345.0
92 Mali 2203 24 341.0
93 Sudan 2201 23½ 358.5
94 Bahrain 2200 23½ 347.5
95 Malta 2210 23½ 343.0
96 Haiti 2204 23 357.5
97 Fiji 2200 23 326.0
98 San Marino 2200 22 326.5
99 British Virgin Islands 2200 22 326.0
100 Panama 2200 22 323.5
101 United States Virgin Islands 2226 22 317.0
102 Liechtenstein 2200 22 315.5
103 Honduras 2200 22 282.0
104 Botswana 2200 21½ 323.5
105 Bahamas 2201 21½ 314.0
106 Bermuda 2200 21
107 Mauritius 2200 20
108 Kenya 2201 18

Individual medals

Women's results

65 teams from 63 different nations took part. Like the open event, the women's competition featured three Yugoslavian teams, all of which finished in the top 20. Lebanon were signed up, but didn't show up. Their first three matches were listed as forfeit, after which they were officially withdrawn.

In the event of a draw, the tie-break was decided first by using the Buchholz system, then by match points.

For the second Olympiad in a row, the Hungarian team beat the Soviet Union, although only on tie break this time. Once again, all three Polgár sisters (Zsuzsa, Zsófia, and Judit) were in the team - and they all won their respective boards. The best individual performance, however, came from Soviet reserve Arakhamia who registered a perfect 12/12 score and an unbelievable 2935 performance rating.

# Country Players Average
rating
Points Buchholz
1 Hungary Zsuzsa Polgár, J. Polgár, Zsófia Polgár, Mádl 2492 35 344.5
2 Soviet Union Chiburdanidze, Gaprindashvili, Galliamova, Arakhamia 2438 35 340.5
3 China Xie Jun, Peng Zhaoqin, Qin Kanying, Wang Lei 2302 29
# Country Average
rating
Points Buchholz MP
4 Bulgaria 2258 26
5 Yugoslavia 2312 25
6 United States 2357 24½
7 England 2235 24 351.5
8 Greece 2242 24 337.0
9 Romania 2275 24 334.0
10 Yugoslavia "B" 2260 23½ 342.5
11 East Germany 2248 23½ 328.0
12 Netherlands 2157 23½ 303.5
13 Mongolia 2112 23½ 293.5
14 Poland 2257 23 347.0
15 Argentina 2187 23 332.0
16 Cuba 2173 23 329.5
17 West Germany 2225 23 319.5
18 Israel 2132 23 308.5
19 Czechoslovakia 2250 22½ 345.5
20 Yugoslavia "C" 2173 22½ 329.5
21 Vietnam 2000 22½ 322.0
22 Denmark 2120 22 310.0
23 Norway 2032 22 302.0
24 France 2090 22 296.0
25 Scotland 2012 22 295.0
26 Brazil 2102 22 292.0
27 Spain 2198 21½ 319.5
28 Switzerland 2133 21½ 310.5
29 Austria 2073 21½ 299.5
30 Sweden 2022 21½ 298.0
31 Australia 2073 21½ 295.5
32 India 2150 21 312.0
33 Finland 2040 21 305.0
34 Bangladesh 2063 21 252.0
35 Albania 2000 20½ 312.0
36 Italy 2055 20½ 289.0
37 Indonesia 2042 20½ 286.0
38 Ireland 2047 20½ 275.5
39 Wales 2005 20 297.0
=40 Mexico 2000 20 278.5 13
=40 New Zealand 2000 20 278.5 13
42 Belgium 2032 20 276.5
43 Ecuador 2000 20 269.5
44 Syria 2000 20 264.0
45 Egypt 2007 20 262.0
46 Turkey 2050 19½ 288.0
47 Dominican Republic 2048 19½ 275.0
48 Portugal 2003 19½ 274.5
49 Malaysia 2002 19½ 262.5
50 Zambia 2000 19½ 221.5
51 Bolivia 2000 19 282.5
52 Uruguay 2003 19 270.5
53 Puerto Rico 2000 19 227.0
54 Canada 2063 18½ 286.0
55 Venezuela 2000 18½ 277.0
56 United Arab Emirates 2003 18
57 Algeria 2000 17½ 261.5
58 Jamaica 2005 17½ 236.5
59 Zimbabwe 2000 17½ 223.0
60 Angola 2000 15½ 219.0
61 Netherlands Antilles 2000 15½ 201.0
62 Nigeria 2000 15
63 Malta 2000 14½
64 Botswana 2000 11½
65 United States Virgin Islands 2000 10

Individual medals

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