Chess tournaments Chess strategy Computer chess Chess players FIDE Chess variants Chess rules and history

36th Chess Olympiad

Official logo of the Olympiad

The 36th Chess Olympiad, organized by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) and comprising an open and a women's tournament, as well as several events designed to promote the game of chess, took place between October 14 and October 31, 2004, in Calvià on the Spanish island of Majorca. There were 129 teams in the open event and 87 in the women's event. In total, 1204 players were registered (some of whom did not play, though).

Both tournament sections were officiated by international arbiter Ignatius Leong (Singapore). Teams were paired across the 14 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; 2. Match points; 3. The Sonneborn-Berger system; and 4. The Median Buchholz system.

The time control for each game permitted each player 90 minutes for all their moves, with an additional 30 seconds increment for each player after each move, beginning with the first.

Open event

The open division was contested by 129 teams representing 125 nations. Spain, as hosts, fielded three teams, whilst the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) and the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA) each provided one squad.

Led by first board Vasyl Ivanchuk, the seventh highest-rated player at the tournament, who recorded 9½ points over 13 rounds, and second reserve Sergey Karjakin who, aged just 14 years, won 6 of his 7 games (surrendering a draw only to American Gregory Kaidanov), Ukraine scored all four possible points in each of their first three matches before "only" defeating Russia 2½-1½ in the fourth round, eventually accumulating a nearly insurmountable three-point lead after the penultimate round. The Ukrainian team nevertheless scored three points against France and claimed their first title, three points ahead of Russia, who had entered the tournament as the top seed, having brought four of the tournament's nine highest-rated players, and as defending six-time champions.

Armenia, one of just four teams to draw a match with Ukraine, paced by second board Levon Aronian, who did not lose in 12 games, and third board Rafael Vaganian, who scored 8½ points in 11 games, lost 1½-2½ to Russia in the eighth round. Ultimately, on the strength of a 3½-½ final round defeat of Georgia, they tied Russia's 36½ points. Armenia were placed after Russia, though, on the Buchholz tie-breaker system employed by the Olympiad, and finished, as in the previous Olympiad, with the bronze medals. Hosts Spain, led by Alexei Shirov, just managed to squeeze into the top ten.

Notable absentees from the tournament were the no. 1 player in the world, Garry Kasparov, as well as classical World Champion Vladimir Kramnik and his challenger Peter Leko, who were just finishing their championship match (Kramnik retained his title with a 7-7 tie). FIDE Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov was present, however, and led Uzbekistan to 14th place by going undefeated in his 8 games (+4-0=4).

Open event
# Country Players Average
rating
Points Buchholz
1 Ukraine Ivanchuk, Ponomariov, Volokitin, Moiseenko, Eljanov, Karjakin 2680 39½
2 Russia Morozevich, Svidler, Grischuk, Dreev, Khalifman, Zvjaginsev 2718 36½ 460.0
3 Armenia Akopian, Aronian, Vaganian, Lputian, Sargissian, Minasian 2660 36½ 459.0
4 United States Onischuk, Shabalov, Goldin, Kaidanov, Novikov, Gulko 2623 35
5 Israel Gelfand, Sutovsky, Smirin, Avrukh, Huzman, Roiz 2670 34½
6 India Viswanathan Anand, Krishnan Sasikiran, Pendyala Harikrishna,
Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Abhijit Kunte, Chanda Sandipan
2655 34
7 Cuba Domínguez, Bruzon, Delgado, Nogueiras, Arencibia, Quezada 2596 33½
8 Netherlands Van Wely, Sokolov, Tiviakov, Timman, Van den Doel, Nijboer 2641 33
9 Bulgaria Georgiev, Delchev, Cheparinov, Spasov, Chatalbashev, Radulski 2584 32½ 453.0
10 Spain Shirov, Vallejo Pons, Illescas Córdoba, Cifuentes Parada, Romero Holmes, Arizmendi Martinez 2643 32½ 439.5
# Country Average
rating
Points Buchholz MP
11 Greece 2569 32½ 427.5
12 Poland 2624 32 445.5
13 Switzerland 2559 32 442.5
14 Uzbekistan 2550 32 440.5
15 Yugoslavia 2568 32 435.0
16 Germany 2617 32 430.0
17 Slovenia 2575 32 427.5
18 Belarus 2609 32 424.0
19 Philippines 2502 32 422.5
20 Romania 2590 32 417.5
21 Georgia 2621 31½ 462.0
22 Azerbaijan 2615 31½ 450.5
23 France 2621 31½ 449.0
24 China 2612 31½ 438.5
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2532 31½ 428.0
26 Kazakhstan 2483 31½ 425.0
27 Lithuania 2542 31½ 420.0
28 Denmark 2563 31½ 419.5
29 Czech Republic 2589 31 445.0
30 England 2653 31 427.0
31 Hungary 2614 31 425.5
32 Estonia 2544 31 423.5 17
33 Latvia 2539 31 423.5 15
34 Argentina 2544 31 419.5
35 Australia 2488 31 418.5
36 Moldova 2589 30½ 432.5
37 Slovakia 2545 30½ 431.0
38 Canada 2494 30½ 426.0
39 Norway 2549 30½ 419.5
40 Chile 2486 30½ 407.5
41 Bangladesh 2485 30½ 396.5
42 Macedonia 2521 30 419.0
43 Ireland 2454 30 403.0
44 Spain "B" 2494 29½ 424.0
45 Sweden 2569 29½ 422.0
46 Croatia 2562 29½ 415.5
47 Iceland 2496 29½ 413.5
48 Indonesia 2397 29½ 408.0
49 Finland 2456 29½ 406.5
50 Turkey 2365 29½ 404.0
51 Vietnam 2515 29 416.5
52 Scotland 2497 29 411.5
53 Iran 2460 29 405.0
54 Mexico 2473 29 403.0
55 South Africa 2387 29 395.0 16
56 Colombia 2427 29 395.0 13
57 IPCA 2348 29 394.5
58 Belgium 2444 28½ 406.5
59 Brazil 2481 28½ 406.0
60 Italy 2476 28½ 400.5 14
61 Tajikistan 2303 28½ 400.5 12
62 Austria 2444 28½ 396.5
63 Dominican Republic 2354 28½ 387.0 14
64 Ecuador 2431 28½ 387.0 13
65 Bolivia 2332 28½ 383.5
66 Peru 2410 28½ 355.0
67 Singapore 2437 28 403.5
68 Andorra 2400 28 393.0
69 Pakistan 2298 28 381.5
70 Malaysia 2241 28 370.0
71 Mongolia 2381 27½ 402.0
72 Portugal 2424 27½ 401.0
73 Kyrgyzstan 2341 27½ 397.0
74 Albania 2410 27½ 385.5
75 Faroe Islands 2281 27½ 377.0
76 Morocco 2342 27½ 356.0
77 Venezuela 2354 27 398.0
78 Paraguay 2305 27 390.0
79 Costa Rica 2399 27 386.0
80 Tunisia 2363 27 384.5
81 Spain "C" 2334 27 383.5
82 Luxembourg 2325 27 381.5
83 Iraq 2276 27 369.5
84 Uruguay 2370 26½ 397.5
85 New Zealand 2316 26½ 383.0
86 Nicaragua 2281 26½ 375.5
87 Guatemala 2252 26½ 372.0
88 Japan 2136 26½ 351.0
89 Wales 2289 26 382.5
90 Lebanon 2337 26 379.0
91 Sri Lanka 2188 26 368.5
92 Thailand 2264 26 367.5
93 Honduras 2226 26 365.0
94 Puerto Rico 2212 26 358.0
95 Botswana 2174 25½ 358.5
96 Kenya 1986 25½ 340.5
97 IBCA 2358 25 370.5
98 Barbados 2279 25 368.5
99 Libya 2260 25 358.5
100 Angola 2245 24½ 376.5
101 Hong Kong 2141 24½ 363.0
102 Palestine 2070 24½ 362.5
103 Jamaica 2184 24½ 355.5
104 Uganda 2187 24½ 350.0
105 Monaco 2137 24½ 347.0
106 Nepal 2179 24½ 301.0
107 Panama 1906 24 352.5
108 Namibia 2186 24 336.0
109 Cyprus 2202 23½ 360.5
110 Liechtenstein 2119 23½ 348.5
111 Mauritania 2207 23½ 341.0
112 San Marino 2122 23½ 301.0
113 Malta 2157 23½ 300.5
114 Macau 2127 23½ 299.0
115 Afghanistan 1866 23½ 248.0
116 Trinidad and Tobago 2137 23 357.5
117 Suriname 2201 23 344.5
118 British Virgin Islands 1904 23 314.5
119 Netherlands Antilles 2098 22 293.5
120 Nigeria 2152 22 276.5
121 Jersey 2170 21½ 313.5
122 Fiji 2003 21½ 282.5
123 Guernsey 1812 21
124 Aruba 1832 20½
125 Bermuda 1824 18½ 1
126 Rwanda 1750 17
127 Papua New Guinea 1866 15½ 1
128 United States Virgin Islands 1600 13½
129 Seychelles 1766 11½

1 Bermuda actually scored 22 and Papua New Guinea 23 points, but because some of their players refused to submit to doping tests, the points scored by those players were deducted from the final scores: 3½ points from Bermuda and 7½ from Papua New Guinea.

Group prizes

In addition to the overall medals, prizes were given out to the best teams in five different seeding groups - in other words, the teams who exceeded their seeding the most. Overall medal winners were not eligible for group prizes.

Group Prizes
Group Seeding
range
Team Seed Overall
finish
A 1-25 United States 10 4
B 26-51 Switzerland 29 13
C 52-77 Ireland 54 43
D 78-103 Tajikistan 83 61
E 104-129 Japan 112 87

Individual medals

Women's results

The women's division was contested by 87 teams representing 84 nations. Spain, as hosts, fielded two teams, whilst the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) and the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA) each provided one squad.

China, led by first board Xie Jun (ex-World Champion) and second board Xu Yuhua (future champion), entered the competition as top seed and defending triple champions and quickly took the lead, conceding just two draws in their first five matches They then defeated the silver and bronze medallists from the previous Olympiad, Russia and Poland (each 2-1), in the sixth and eighth rounds, respectively. Eventually they carried a six-point lead into a tenth round match with second placed United States.

Susan Polgar (another ex-World Champion), who entered the tournament as the second highest-rated player and achieved the best performance rating of all, drew Xie Jun, while Irina Krush won her second board game against Xu Yuhua. A draw by Anna Zatonskih against Zhao Xue gave the Americans a 2-1 win over the Chinese team. In rounds eleven and twelve, China drew Hungary and lost to Georgia, whilst the US team defeated Slovakia and then scored a 2½-½ victory over Hungary, drawing within three points of China with two rounds remaining. China, though, defeated sixth-seed India and 12th-seed Slovakia in the final two rounds, scoring four points to preserve what was ultimately a three-point win and to clinch the Vera Menchik Trophy for a fourth consecutive time.

Second-seed Russia were led by Nadezhda Kosintseva, who won top honours on the first reserve board for scoring 10 points in 12 rounds. The Russians were only in eighth place after ten rounds but had advanced to fourth place entering the penultimate round, where they faced Georgia, who they trailed by half a point. Although first board Maya Chiburdanidze (ex-World Champion) and second board Nana Dzagnidze, who both scored 8½ points for their team over the event, drew their matches, third board Lela Javakhishvili lost to Kosintseva, giving the Russian team a half-point lead over Georgia; although Georgia defeated Ukraine 2½-½ in the final round, Russia managed to secure two points against France, equalling Georgia's total and winning the bronze medals on tie-breaks.

Newly crowned World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova disappointed as captain of the Bulgarian team, scoring only 5½ points in 11 games. Bulgaria eventually finished in 14th place.

# Country Players Average
rating
Points Buchholz
1 China Xie Jun, Xu Yuhua, Zhao Xue, Huang Qian 2514 31
2 United States Polgar, Krush, Zatonskih, Shahade 2490 28
3 Russia Kosteniuk, T. Kosintseva, Kovalevskaya, N. Kosintseva 2491 27½ 346.0
4 Georgia Chiburdanidze, Dzagnidze, Javakhishvili, Lomineishvili 2470 27½ 339.0
5 France Skripchenko, Marie Sebag, Silvia Collas, Sophie Milliet 2417 25½
6 Hungary Mádl, Vajda, Gara, Lakos 2376 25 348.5
7 Slovakia Repkova, Pokorna, Hagarova, Borošová 2377 25 337.0
8 England Hunt, Houska, Richards, Buckley 2293 25 334.5
9 India Humpy Koneru, Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi, Dronavalli Harika, Nisha Mohota 2435 24½ 352.0
10 Poland Radziewicz, Soćko, Dworakowska, Zielinska 2428 24½ 340.0
# Country Average
rating
Points Buchholz MP
11 Armenia 2374 24½ 330.5
12 Netherlands 2372 24½ 317.5
13 Lithuania 2311 24 329.5
14 Bulgaria 2410 24 329.0
15 Sweden 2301 24 327.0
16 Yugoslavia 2406 24 324.5
17 Germany 2365 24 323.5
18 Ukraine 2456 23½ 342.0
19 Slovenia 2288 23½ 325.5
20 Romania 2408 23½ 318.5
21 Vietnam 2308 23½ 317.0
22 Azerbaijan 2317 23 325.0
23 Latvia 2294 23 323.0
24 Cuba 2303 23 321.0
25 Israel 2247 23 320.5
26 Moldova 2296 23 313.5
27 Belarus 2278 23 308.0
28 Czech Republic 2308 22½ 313.5
29 Greece 2343 22½ 311.5
30 Argentina 2274 22½ 302.0
31 Switzerland 2250 22½ 298.0
32 Uzbekistan 2235 22½ 293.0
33 Kazakhstan 2317 22 315.5
34 Iran 2208 22 313.5
35 Mongolia 2263 22 313.0
36 Estonia 2229 22 290.0
37 Colombia 2115 21½ 303.0
38 Norway 2149 21½ 302.5
39 Croatia 2243 21½ 299.5
40 Malaysia 2084 21½ 299.0
41 Canada 2123 21½ 277.0
42 Finland 2144 21 299.0
43 Spain 2242 21 297.0
44 Spain "B" 2187 21 296.5
45 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2146 21 293.0
46 Italy 2213 21 292.0
47 Australia 2243 20½ 306.0
48 Philippines 1940 20½ 295.0
49 Portugal 2124 20½ 292.0
50 Venezuela 2147 20½ 288.5
51 Iceland 2148 20½ 288.0
52 Wales 1975 20½ 285.0
53 Turkey 2082 20½ 283.5
54 Brazil 2072 20½ 282.5
55 Austria 2122 20 292.0
56 Macedonia 2002 20 288.5
57 Mexico 2134 20 281.5
58 Kyrgyzstan 1760 20 279.0
59 Indonesia 1775 20 277.5
60 Guatemala 1748 20 276.0
61 Peru 2138 20 274.5
62 Albania 1749 20 265.0
63 Ecuador 2224 19½ 295.0
64 Denmark 2133 19½ 289.0
65 Lebanon 1942 19½ 282.0
66 IPCA 2080 19½ 270.0
67 Iraq 1704 19½ 229.5
68 South Africa 1875 19 291.0
69 Bangladesh 2120 19 276.5
70 Tajikistan 1600 19 261.5
71 Bolivia 1763 19 259.0
72 Costa Rica 1764 19 226.5
73 Botswana 1884 19 220.5
74 Luxembourg 1981 18½ 292.5
75 IBCA 1875 18½ 257.0
76 Puerto Rico 1878 18½ 231.5
77 Dominican Republic 2023 18 275.5
78 New Zealand 1899 18 242.0
79 Sri Lanka 1600 18 233.0
80 Ireland 1891 17½
81 Fiji 1600 16½
82 Libya 1695 13½
83 Japan 1716 12½
84 Trinidad and Tobago 1600 12 209.0
85 Honduras 1600 12 206.5
86 Kenya 1600 11
87 United States Virgin Islands 1600 8

Group prizes

In addition to the overall medals, prizes were given out to the best teams in five different seeding groups - in other words, the teams who exceeded their seeding the most. Overall medal winners were not eligible for group prizes.

Group Prizes
Group Seeding
range
Team Seed Overall
finish
A 1-17 Georgia 4 4
B 18-34 England 27 8
C 35-51 Uzbekistan 37 32
D 52-69 Colombia 55 37
E 70-87 Kyrgyzstan 75 58

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.

# Team Open
division
Women's
division
Average
1 Russia 2 3
2 United States 4 2 3
3 Armenia 3 11 7

Controversies

Azmaiparashvili incident

Prior to the closing ceremony of the Olympiad, FIDE vice president Zurab Azmaiparashvili was arrested by the local law enforcement as he attempted to ascend the stage. Security officers, in conjunction with local police, did not permit Azmaiparashvili access to tournament organizers, and a struggle ensued after which Azmaiparashvili, having sustained several injuries, was arrested; he secured his release on bail for €500 after having been held for 40 hours, and the charges against him were later dropped.

A Georgian, Azmaiparashvili undertook to inform the presenter of the Nona Gaprindashvili Trophy that the latter ought more clearly to explain Gaprindashvili's contributions to the game of chess (Gaprindashvili had been World Champion for 17 years), but was barred by security. Azmaiparashvili and FIDE averred that Azmaiparashvili was detained and physically accosted despite his having properly and clearly [displayed] his VIP credentials , whilst representatives of the Spanish chess federation ("Federación Española de Ajedrez") and tournament organizers blamed Azmaiparashvili for the incident, saying that he without any previous provocation, assaulted [an] agent with a head butt to [the] mouth .

Drug testing

Having been formally recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1999, in preparation for prospective inclusion in future iterations of the Olympic Games, FIDE implemented (in 2001) doping restrictions consistent with those adopted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Two players, Shaun Press of Papua New Guinea and Bobby Miller of Bermuda, refused, for various reasons, to submit urine samples for analysis. Both players appeared before the FIDE Doping Hearing panel, which decided to cancel the players' performances (Press had scored 7½ points in 14 games, while Miller had scored 3½ points in 9 games), reducing the final score of Papua New Guinea to 15½ (from 23) and that of Bermuda to 18½ (from 22).

Associated events

Concomitant to the tournaments were several chess-related events planned by the organizing committee of the Olympiad, some under the auspices of FIDE; the events were known collectively as the First Chess Festival Calvià 2004. Within the festival were held simultaneous exhibitions, game demonstrations and lectures by top Spanish players, and several secondary tournaments, including one for amateur players, a rapid chess event for players aged under 16, and one for senior players.

Chess classes were introduced into the primary and secondary schools, as well as senior centers, in and around Calvià in an effort to promote chess generally, and chess films were screened on the beaches of Calvià every weeknight during the Olympiad. Chess-oriented art was displayed at an International Chess Fair, with prizes for top works awarded by a jury.

COMMENTS
Tabletop games: Rules and Strategy