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33rd Chess Olympiad

Official logo of the Olympiad

Official mascot of the Olympiad

The 33rd Chess Olympiad, organized by FIDE and comprising an open and a women's tournament, took place between September 26 and October 13, 1998, in Elista, Kalmykia, Russia. There were 110 teams in the open event and 72 in the women's event.

The Olympiad was the first international chess event to be held at Chess City. Construction of the complex was not complete by the start of the tournament, and some FIDE members were concerned that the facilities would not be ready in time, including the airport, telephone system, player housing, and the "Chess Palace" to be used as the main playing hall.

Reported human rights abuses by FIDE and Kalmykia president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov led to calls for a boycott from Valery Borshchev, a member of the Duma. The British government did not call for a boycott but confirmed "reliable reports of human rights problems" and suggested that Kalmykian authorities might use publicity from Olympiad participation by foreign teams for its own purposes. Three nations were signed up but chose to stay away: Denmark, Norway, and Slovakia.

The opening ceremony took place as scheduled, but the Chess Palace was still covered in scaffolding and was missing many windows. The first round was delayed, one free day was eliminated, and the tournament was shortened to 13 rounds from the planned 14. The organizers worked around the clock and playing conditions improved as the tournament progressed, although the main playing hall was not properly heated. Living conditions, food and drink, and telephone service were generally reported to be acceptable.

Both tournament sections were officiated by International Arbiter Geurt Gijssen (Netherlands). Teams were paired across the 13 rounds of competition according to the Swiss system. The open division was played over four boards per round, whilst the women's was played over three. In the event of a draw, the tie-break was decided by 1. the Buchholz system; and 2. match points.

The time control for each game permitted each player 100 minutes to make the first 40 of his or her moves, then an additional 50 minutes to make the next 20 moves, and then 10 minutes to finish the game, with an additional 30 seconds devolving on each player after each move, beginning with the first.

In addition to the overall medal winners, the teams were divided into seeding groups, with the top finishers in each group receiving special prizes.

Open event

The open division was contested by 110 teams representing 106 nations. Russia, as hosts, fielded an unprecedented four teams (Russia "C" was referred to as "Team Kalmykia" and Russia "D" was a youth team), whilst the International Braille Chess Association provided one squad.

Even without their strongest players, the "Three Ks" (PCA world champion Garry Kasparov, FIDE champion Anatoly Karpov and Vladimir Kramnik), Russia were still favourites, and the team did win their fourth consecutive title. The United States improved another spot from the previous Olympiad and finished second, and Ukraine took the bronze medals, beating Israel on tiebreak.

Open event
# Country Players Average
rating
Points Buchholz
1 Russia Svidler, Rublevsky, Bareev, Morozevich, Zvjaginsev, Sakaev 2684 35½
2 United States Yermolinsky, Shabalov, Seirawan, Gulko, De Firmian, Kaidanov 2631 34½
3 Ukraine Ivanchuk, Onischuk, Romanishin, Malaniuk, Savchenko, Ponomariov 2638 32½ 394.0
4 Israel Alterman, Smirin, Sutovsky, Psakhis, Kosashvili, Avrukh 2593 32½ 379.0
5 China Peng Xiaomin, Ye Jiangchuan, Zhang Zhong, Yu Shaoteng, Wu Wenjin, Wang Rui 2498 31½ 389.5
6 Germany Yusupov, Dautov, Lutz, Hübner, Gabriel, Luther 2610 31½ 386.5
7 Georgia Azmaiparashvili, Giorgadze, Sturua, Bagaturov, Supatashvili, Janjgava 2601 31½ 377.5
8 Russia "B" Dreev, Filippov, Volkov, Kobalia, Yemelin, Shariyazdanov 2594 31 395.5
9 Hungary Almási, Pintér, C. Horváth, J. Horváth, Varga, Gyimesi 2588 31 375.0
10 Romania Istrăţescu, Marin, Nisipeanu, Ionescu, Nevednichy, Vajda 2548 30½ 392.5
# Country Average
rating
Points Buchholz MP
11 England 2661 30½ 390.5
12 Netherlands 2605 30½ 380.5
13 Belarus 2555 30½ 378.5
14 Latvia 2533 30½ 369.5
15 Poland 2564 30½ 361.5
16 Armenia 2630 30 397.5
17 Bulgaria 2626 30 393.0
18 Yugoslavia 2563 30 367.5
19 Kazakhstan 2519 30 359.5
=20 Sweden 2546 29½ 372.0 16
=20 Czech Republic 2565 29½ 372.0 16
22 Lithuania 2539 29½ 368.0
23 Slovenia 2515 29½ 357.5
24 Cuba 2519 29 379.5
25 Croatia 2559 29 363.0
26 France 2585 28½ 383.5
27 Uzbekistan 2525 28½ 373.5
28 Argentina 2545 28½ 372.0
29 Spain 2601 28½ 370.5
30 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2590 28½ 368.0
31 Switzerland 2509 28½ 364.5
32 Russia "C" 2470 28½ 357.5
33 India 2491 28½ 353.0
34 Mexico 2464 28½ 343.0
35 Philippines 2443 28 368.5
36 Greece 2531 28 366.5
37 Moldova 2511 28 364.5
38 Egypt 2371 28 338.5
39 Kyrgyzstan 2495 27½ 373.5
40 Estonia 2580 27½ 370.5
41 Italy 2488 27½ 360.0
42 Canada 2466 27½ 358.5
43 Azerbaijan 2474 27½ 356.0
44 Albania 2418 27½ 354.0 14
45 Finland 2420 27½ 354.0 12
46 Macedonia 2499 27½ 352.5
47 Tajikistan 2376 27½ 348.5
48 Brazil 2485 27½ 348.0
49 Mongolia 2370 27½ 341.5
50 Austria 2390 27 360.0
51 Iceland 2489 27 355.0
52 IBCA 2263 27 339.5
53 Bangladesh 2384 26½ 353.5
54 Belgium 2335 26½ 351.0
55 Vietnam 2464 26½ 348.5
56 New Zealand 2286 26½ 323.0
57 Colombia 2445 26 356.0
58 Ireland 2349 26 343.5
59 Iran 2374 26 339.0
60 Luxembourg 2339 26 333.0
61 Chile 2415 26 331.0
62 Angola 2229 26 313.5
63 Australia 2405 25½ 342.0
64 Peru 2398 25½ 337.5
65 Venezuela 2314 25½ 334.5
66 Scotland 2348 25½ 334.0
67 Portugal 2418 25½ 333.5
68 Wales 2275 25½ 320.0
69 Nigeria 2256 25½ 318.5
70 Turkey 2444 25
71 Turkmenistan 2431 24½ 352.5
72 Faroe Islands 2233 24½ 341.5
73 Iraq 2301 24½ 329.0
74 Malaysia 2075 24 321.0
75 United Arab Emirates 2223 24 316.5
76 Puerto Rico 2238 24 313.5
77 Andorra 2276 24 308.5
78 Jamaica 2066 24 307.5
79 Ecuador 2254 23½ 330.0
80 South Africa 2318 23½ 326.0
81 Zimbabwe 2184 23½ 316.0
82 Russia "D" 2215 23½ 315.5
83 Kenya 2035 23½ 302.0
84 Yemen 2246 23 328.5
85 Bolivia 2148 23 315.0
86 Libya 2000 23 301.0
87 Cyprus 2243 23 299.0
88 Singapore 2129 23 294.5
89 Qatar 2276 22½ 317.5
90 Trinidad and Tobago 2118 22½ 312.0
91 El Salvador 2076 22½ 305.5
92 Japan 2191 22½ 303.5
93 Uganda 2045 22½ 296.0
94 Lebanon 2191 22 323.0
95 Palestine 2184 22 288.5
96 San Marino 2149 22 276.0
97 Honduras 2078 22 270.0
98 Nicaragua 2151 21½ 296.5
99 Barbados 2054 21½ 272.0
100 Macau 2148 21½ 268.0
101 Botswana 2045 21
102 Malta 2134 20½ 293.0
103 Namibia 2060 20½ 273.0
104 Mali 2049 20½ 261.5
105 Jersey 2081 20 265.5
106 Afghanistan 2000 20 260.0
107 Netherlands Antilles 2043 19
108 Guernsey 2090 18½
109 Seychelles 2060 18
110 United States Virgin Islands 2000 3

Individual medals

Women's results

The women's division was contested by 72 teams representing 69 nations. Russia, as hosts, fielded three teams, whilst the International Braille Chess Association entered one squad.

China finally broke the Eastern European dominance by winning the title, led by former (and future) world champion Xie Jun and future champion Zhu Chen. Russia took the silver, whilst defending quadruple champions Georgia had to settle for bronze.

# Country Players Average
rating
Points Buchholz
1 China Xie Jun, Zhu Chen, Wang Pin, Wang Lei 2480 29
2 Russia Matveeva, Kovalevskaya, Shumiakina, Stepovaya-Dianchenko 2438 27 295.0
3 Georgia Chiburdanidze, Ioseliani, Arakhamia-Grant, Khurtsidze 2480 27 289.5
4 Netherlands Peng Zhaoqin, Sziva, Bosboom-Lanchava, Jap Tjoen San 2325 23½ 290.0
5 Bulgaria Stefanova, Voiska, Velcheva, Aleksieva 2387 23½ 277.0
6 Romania Corina Peptan, Foişor, Cosma, Olǎraşu 2398 23 299.0
7 Yugoslavia Marić, Bojković, Vuksanović, Manakova 2422 23 293.5
8 Hungary Lakos, Mádl, Grábics, Medvegy 2383 23 279.5
9 Russia "C" Demina, Kosteniuk, Kharashkina, Gelashvili 2205 23 275.0
10 United States Belakovskaia, Krush, Epstein, Donaldson-Akhmilovskaya 2355 23 271.5
# Country Average
rating
Points Buchholz MP
11 Poland 2428 22½ 300.5
12 Ukraine 2430 22½ 289.0
13 Latvia 2183 22½ 282.5
14 Vietnam 2258 22½ 281.0
15 India 2252 22½ 266.5
16 Germany 2345 22 283.0
17 Estonia 2292 22 281.5
18 Israel 2322 22 281.0 14
19 Greece 2247 22 281.0 13
20 England 2323 22 269.0
21 Armenia 2288 21½ 277.0
22 Moldova 2322 21½ 274.5
23 Kazakhstan 2258 21½ 272.5
24 Czech Republic 2262 21 281.0
25 Uzbekistan 2203 21 280.0
26 Russia "B" 2358 21 271.5
27 France 2237 21 251.0
28 Cuba 2298 20½ 284.0
29 Croatia 2263 20½ 272.0
30 Azerbaijan 2052 20½ 265.5
31 Argentina 2188 20½ 256.0
32 Belarus 2253 20 269.0
33 Finland 2157 20 267.0
34 Macedonia 2110 20 257.0
35 Sweden 2120 20 256.5
36 Slovenia 2223 20 256.0
37 Lithuania 2198 19½ 280.5
38 Spain 2222 19½ 269.5
39 Slovakia 2227 19½ 267.5
40 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2240 19½ 265.5
41 Bangladesh 2097 19½ 254.0
42 Turkmenistan 2227 19½ 251.5
43 Turkey 2022 19½ 233.0
44 Austria 2098 19 257.5
45 Mongolia 2192 19 247.5
46 Mexico 2098 19 244.0
47 Australia 2080 18½ 253.5
48 Philippines 2000 18½ 247.5
49 IBCA 2080 18½ 241.5
50 United Arab Emirates 2000 18½ 208.0
51 Ireland 2000 18½ 190.5
52 Switzerland 2127 18 245.0 11
53 Brazil 2080 18 245.0 10
54 Venezuela 2133 18 244.5 13
55 Portugal 2068 18 244.5 9
56 Iran 2008 18 222.0
57 Iraq 2063 18 219.5
58 Colombia 2025 17½ 232.5
59 El Salvador 2000 17½ 202.0
60 Scotland 2017 17 246.0
61 Italy 2045 17 239.0
62 South Africa 2000 17 217.5
63 Nigeria 2000 17 213.5
64 Wales 2037 16½ 224.5
65 Puerto Rico 2000 16½ 192.0
66 New Zealand 2023 15½
67 Botswana 2000 15
68 Angola 2000 13
69 Japan 2017 12
70 United States Virgin Islands 2000
71 Lebanon 2000
72 Macau 2000

Individual medals

Overall title

The Nona Gaprindashvili Trophy is awarded to the nation that has the best average rank in the open and women's divisions. Where two or more teams are tied, they are ordered by best single finish in either division and then by total number of points scored.

The trophy, named after the former women's world champion (1961-78), was created by FIDE in 1997 and awarded for the first time in Elista.

# Team Open
division
Women's
division
Average
1 Russia 1 2
2 China 5 1 3
3 Georgia 7 3 5
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