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37th Chess Olympiad

Official logo of the Olympiad

The 37th 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 May 20 and June 4, 2006, in Turin, Italy. There were 148 teams in the open event and 103 in the women's event. In total, 1307 players were registered.

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; 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 tournament venue: The Oval Hall

The open division was contested by 148 teams representing 143 nations. Italy, as hosts, fielded three teams, whilst the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA), the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA), and the International Committee of Silent Chess (ICSC) each provided one squad. Somalia and Sierra Leone were signed up, but never arrived.

Led by first board Levon Aronian, the second highest-rated player at the Olympiad, and first reserve Gabriel Sargissian, who scored 10 points in 11 games, Armenia improved on their third place performance at the 36th Olympiad, claiming their first ever gold medals by a full two points over the silver medallists China, whose fourth board Wang Yue went undefeated, winning eight games and drawing four. Armenia ended the tournament without having lost a match, winning 10 and drawing three, including in the final round against Hungary, when four draws were cursorily recorded. Aronian was the only Armenian player to lose a game during the tournament, falling in the fifth round to Vladimir Kramnik of Russia.

Reigning classical World Champion Kramnik, playing internationally for the first time in six months, scored 6½ points in his nine games, recording the best rating performance of any player. His Russian team, though, did not perform as expected; fielding six of the tournament's 17 strongest players on rating , Russia held second place, just behind Armenia, through the seventh round but lost matches to France (1½-2½), the United States (1½-2½), and, in the final round, Israel (1-3), and ultimately finished sixth; the worst Olympic result ever for a Soviet or Russian side.

Although they defeated the United States (2½-1½) in the penultimate round, Israel had to settle for a tie for third place; the Americans claimed the bronze medals on Buchholz tiebreaks. Hungary, seeded 16th, finished fifth, thanks to strong performances from third board Ferenc Berkes and fourth board Csaba Balogh, while India, who entered the tournament seeded second, finished in 30th place, with first board Viswanathan Anand (former and future World Champion) and fourth board Surya Shekhar Ganguly both scoring just 50%. Even without FIDE World Champion Veselin Topalov, Bulgaria still managed to clinch a top ten result, finishing in ninth place.

Open event
# Country Players Average
rating
Points Buchholz
1 Armenia Aronian, Akopian, Asrian, Lputian, Sargissian, Minasian 2682 36
2 China Bu Xiangzhi, Zhang Zhong, Zhang Pengxiang, Wang Yue, Ni Hua, Zhao Jun 2628 34
3 United States Kamsky, Onischuk, Nakamura, Ibragimov, Kaidanov, Akobian 2656 33 392.5
4 Israel Gelfand, Smirin, Sutovsky, Avrukh, Huzman, Mikhalevski 2663 33 380.5
5 Hungary Almási, Gyimesi, Berkes, Balogh, Ruck, Horváth 2610 32½
6 Russia Kramnik, Svidler, Grischuk, Morozevich, Bareev, Rublevsky 2730 32 410.5
7 France Bacrot, Lautier, Sokolov, Fressinet, Vachier-Lagrave, Bauer 2665 32 396.0
8 Ukraine Ivanchuk, Volokitin, Karjakin, Eljanov, Moiseenko, Efimenko 2680 32 390.5
9 Bulgaria Georgiev, Cheparinov, Delchev, Spasov, Petkov, Iotov 2633 32 385.0
10 Spain Shirov, Vallejo Pons, Illescas Córdoba,
Arizmendi Martinez, San Segundo Carrillo, Narciso Dublan
2628 32 377.5
# Country Average
rating
Points Buchholz MP
11 Czech Republic 2596 31 399.0
12 Netherlands 2646 31 396.0
13 Uzbekistan 2554 31 389.5
14 Georgia 2610 31 388.0
15 Germany 2621 31 381.0
16 Cuba 2598 30½ 386.0
17 Sweden 2549 30½ 381.0
18 Moldova 2578 30½ 376.5
19 England 2627 30½ 366.0
20 Denmark 2577 30 396.0
21 Poland 2593 30 381.0
22 Greece 2582 30 379.0
23 Slovenia 2547 30 378.5
24 Azerbaijan 2643 30 377.5
25 Croatia 2559 30 373.5
26 Romania 2610 30 372.0
27 Switzerland 2555 30 367.5
28 Latvia 2516 30 357.5
29 Australia 2479 30 351.0
30 India 2688 29½ 391.5
31 Norway 2577 29½ 376.0
32 Brazil 2573 29½ 371.5
33 Macedonia 2517 29½ 366.0
34 Canada 2482 29½ 357.0
35 Italy 2493 29½ 354.5
36 Belarus 2598 29 381.0
37 Yugoslavia 2542 29 376.0
38 Turkey 2540 29 372.5
39 Vietnam 2533 29 372.0
40 Indonesia 2489 29 369.5
41 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2521 29 367.5
42 Lithuania 2530 29 360.5
43 Slovakia 2536 28½ 373.5
44 Philippines 2538 28½ 369.5
45 Iceland 2560 28½ 368.0
46 Estonia 2487 28½ 355.0
47 Mexico 2449 28½ 354.0
48 Italy "B" 2375 28½ 353.5
49 Iran 2472 28 375.5
50 Portugal 2481 28 362.5
51 Argentina 2532 28 361.5
52 Scotland 2479 28 358.0
53 Kazakhstan 2348 28 345.5
54 Tajikistan 2165 28 331.0
55 Qatar 2472 27½ 354.0
56 Ireland 2455 27½ 352.0
57 Colombia 2437 27 362.5
58 Egypt 2448 27 360.0
59 Mongolia 2332 27 358.5
60 Bangladesh 2493 27 352.0
61 Albania 2439 27 351.5 14
62 Finland 2466 27 351.5 12
63 Dominican Republic 2314 27 351.0
64 Venezuela 2342 27 349.0
65 Chile 2438 27 340.5
66 United Arab Emirates 2327 27 324.0
67 Paraguay 2420 26½ 354.5
68 Morocco 2348 26½ 353.5
69 Algeria 2291 26½ 347.0
70 Belgium 2438 26½ 342.0
71 Bolivia 2336 26½ 327.5
72 Costa Rica 2362 26½ 324.0
73 Peru 2404 26 362.5
74 Ecuador 2439 26 349.5
75 Turkmenistan 2444 26 348.0
76 ICSC 2308 26 333.5
77 Austria 2410 26 332.5
78 Singapore 2388 26 330.5
79 Puerto Rico 2237 26 320.5
80 Malaysia 2331 25½ 364.5
81 Luxembourg 2424 25½ 350.5
82 Faroe Islands 2333 25½ 345.0
83 Italy "C" 2366 25½ 337.5
84 South Africa 2321 25½ 334.5
85 Nicaragua 2315 25½ 329.0
86 Iraq 2310 25½ 326.0
87 Andorra 2400 25½ 316.5
88 Japan 2139 25½ 314.5
89 Kyrgyzstan 2332 25 347.0
90 Tunisia 2383 25 341.0
91 Wales 2284 25 333.5
92 New Zealand 2335 24½ 342.5
93 Nigeria 2275 24½ 341.5
94 Syria 2329 24½ 338.5
95 El Salvador 2279 24½ 334.0
96 Lebanon 2255 24½ 325.0
97 Uruguay 2248 24½ 320.5
98 Barbados 2268 24½ 319.0
99 Pakistan 2074 24½ 206.5
100 Thailand 2274 24 333.0
101 Trinidad and Tobago 2217 24 314.5
102 Nepal 2191 24 312.0
103 Botswana 2212 24 305.0
104 Cyprus 2126 24 297.0
105 Jamaica 2227 23½ 329.0
106 Angola 2257 23½ 328.0
107 IPCA 2339 23½ 322.0
108 Malta 2187 23½ 304.0
109 Sudan 1968 23½ 299.5
110 Zambia 2052 23½ 222.5
111 IBCA 2339 23 322.0
112 Libya 2052 23 304.0
113 Uganda 2172 23 303.5
114 Panama 2199 23 303.0
115 Netherlands Antilles 2079 23 273.5
116 Yemen 2276 22½ 325.0
117 Guatemala 2245 22½ 320.5
118 Sri Lanka 2181 22½ 303.5
119 Brunei 2244 22½ 291.0
120 Bahrain 2115 22 307.5
121 Liechtenstein 2152 22 301.5
122 Hong Kong 2175 22 300.5
123 Kenya 2112 22 279.0
124 Jersey 2120 22 274.5
125 Palestine 2188 21½ 297.0
126 Haiti 1400 21½ 295.5
127 Monaco 2165 21½ 291.5
128 Ethiopia 1587 21½ 289.5
129 San Marino 2089 21½ 288.5
130 Suriname 2187 21½ 270.0
131 Mozambique 1576 21 296.5
132 Namibia 2147 21 292.5
133 Honduras 2140 21 289.0
134 Seychelles 1771 21 286.0
135 Macau 2117 21 281.0
136 Chinese Taipei 1572 21 259.5
137 Afghanistan 1707 20½ 297.0
138 Mauritania 2194 20½ 290.5
139 Guernsey 2017 20 280.0
140 Fiji 1793 20 259.0
141 Malawi 1400 19½ 277.5
142 Papua New Guinea 1766 19½ 263.0
143 South Korea 1910 19 288.0
144 Bermuda 1967 19 268.5
145 Aruba 2017 18
146 British Virgin Islands 1986 15½
147 Rwanda 1470 12
148 United States Virgin Islands 1753 10½

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 1-30 Israel 6 4
B 31-60 Sweden 31 17
C 61-89 Italy "B" 70 48
D 90-120 Tajikistan 106 54
E 121-147 Japan 121 87

Individual medals

Women's results

Italy's Marina Brunello (12), with Olympiad mascot Ruki and Turin Mayor Sergio Chiamparino

The women's division was contested by 103 teams representing 99 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. Somalia and Sudan had registered but never showed up. Afghanistan, Uganda, and Rwanda all withdrew after forfeiting their first round matches.

Ukraine had finished in 18th place at the previous Olympiad but entered the tournament seeded second. They trailed top-seeds Russia half a point through the seventh round, despite having taken defeated the Russians in the fifth round (2-1), but took the lead in round eight, defeating Hungary while Russia managed only to draw their match with the United States. Ukraine never gave up their lead for the remainder of the tournament and all but secured the gold medals and the Vera Menchik Trophy with a twelfth round win over India (2½-½), eventually finishing 1½ points ahead of silver medallists Russia. The Ukrainian team was led by Natalia Zhukova, who scored 7½ points in her nine games, defeating the top- and second-rated players, Humpy Koneru of India and Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia. Third board Inna Gaponenko won six games, drew two, and lost only one.

Defending champions China were missing newly crowned World Champion Xu Yuhua, but still claimed the bronze medals by three points over the United States with whom they drew in the penultimate round Their third place finish was in no small part due to top board Zhao Xue, who entered the tournament seeded 22nd yet, having played in every round, went through the Olympiad undefeated, conceding only six draws in her 13 games.

The American team took fourth place on tiebreaks, just ahead of Hungary, Georgia, and the Netherlands - the Dutch team being seeded only 18th.

# Country Players Average
rating
Points Buchholz
1 Ukraine Zhukova, Lahno, Yanovska-Gaponenko, Ushenina 2441 29½
2 Russia Kosteniuk, T. Kosintseva, N. Kosintseva, Kovalevskaya 2499 28
3 China Zhao Xue, Wang Yu, Shen Yang, Hou Yifan 2408 27½
4 United States Zatonskih, Krush, Goletiani, Baginskaite 2414 24½ 307.0
5 Hungary Hoang Thanh Trang, Mádl, Vajda, Gara 2426 24½ 306.0
6 Georgia Khurtsidze, Dzagnidze, Javakhishvili, Lomineishvili 2430 24½ 305.5
7 Netherlands Peng Zhaoqin, Bosboom-Lanchava, Schuurman, Muhren 2344 24½ 276.5
8 Armenia Mkrtchian, Danielian, Aginian, Andriasian 2402 24 299.0
9 Slovenia Muzychuk, Srebrnič, Krivec, Novak 2348 24 286.0
10 Czech Republic Jacková, Čedíková, Sikorová, Blažková 2302 24 270.5
# Country Average
rating
Points Buchholz MP S-B
11 Germany 2399 23½
12 India 2389 23 305.0
13 Bulgaria 2378 23 302.0
14 Romania 2375 23 294.0
15 Vietnam 2302 23 283.5
16 Cuba 2289 23 279.0
17 Latvia 2292 23 263.0
18 France 2366 22½ 299.5
19 Greece 2370 22½ 297.0
20 Poland 2375 22½ 293.0
21 Belarus 2262 22½ 293.0
22 Slovakia 2354 22½ 292.0
23 Lithuania 2374 22 286.5
24 Turkey 2189 22 273.0
25 Yugoslavia 2343 22 272.5
26 Philippines 2083 22 271.5
27 Iran 2222 22 271.0
28 Spain 2296 21½ 286.0
29 Israel 2329 21½ 281.5
30 Croatia 2227 21½ 281.0
31 Sweden 2191 21½ 260.0
32 Uzbekistan 2200 21½ 257.0
33 Estonia 2246 21 285.5
34 Mongolia 2264 21 282.5
35 Argentina 2265 21 273.5
36 Turkmenistan 2182 21 266.5
37 Italy 2304 21 266.0
38 Switzerland 2262 21 265.5
39 Moldova 2262 21 262.5
40 Indonesia 1919 21 257.5
41 Canada 2132 21 252.5
42 England 2231 20½ 271.5
43 Venezuela 1874 20½ 264.5
44 Malaysia 2089 20½ 259.5
45 Kazakhstan 2262 20 283.5
46 Ecuador 2269 20 280.0
47 Portugal 2117 20 258.0
48 Colombia 2137 20 256.0
49 El Salvador 2058 20 254.0
50 Iceland 2111 20 249.0
51 Azerbaijan 2123 20 244.0
52 Brazil 2081 20 238.0
53 Mexico 2137 19½ 250.0
54 Australia 2210 19½ 256.0
55 Denmark 2085 19½ 254.5
56 Finland 2134 19½ 247.5
57 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2165 19 260.0
58 Austria 2092 19 259.0
59 Norway 2182 19 258.5
60 Peru 2136 19 255.0
61 Kyrgyzstan 2137 19 254.0
62 Luxembourg 1812 19 241.5
63 Bolivia 1802 19 223.0
64 Macedonia 2137 18½ 252.5
65 Italy "B" 1945 18½ 242.0
66 South Africa 1900 18½ 236.5
67 IPCA 2056 18½ 229.5
68 Bangladesh 2090 18 260.5
69 Albania 2054 18 248.5
70 Dominican Republic 2079 18 239.5
71 Guatemala 2030 18 236.0
72 IBCA 2113 17½ 248.0
73 Scotland 1834 17½ 240.0
74 Tajikistan 1629 17½ 236.0
75 Wales 1947 17½ 234.5
76 Jamaica 1791 17½ 232.0 10 82.75
77 Sri Lanka 1863 17½ 232.0 10 80.50
78 Ireland 1747 17½ 231.5
79 Algeria 1588 17½ 227.5
80 New Zealand 1692 17½ 226.0
81 Iraq 1805 17 247.0
82 Nigeria 1590 17 233.0
83 Costa Rica 1617 17 209.0
84 Botswana 1584 16½ 231.5
85 Japan 1581 16½ 211.5
86 Malta 1400 16½ 198.0
87 ICSC 2008 16 234.0
88 Puerto Rico 1826 16 233.5
89 United Arab Emirates 1853 16 211.0
90 Panama 1400 15½
91 Chinese Taipei 1400 15 193.5
92 Qatar 1400 15 182.5
93 Suriname 1400 14½ 184.5
94 Kenya 1469 14½ 182.0
95 Fiji 1400 14 205.5
96 Angola 1400 14 192.0
97 Yemen 1400 14 179.5
98 Trinidad and Tobago 1400 13½ 176.0
99 Libya 1467 13½ 174.5
100 Namibia 1400 13
101 Netherlands Antilles 1400 12½
102 United States Virgin Islands 1400 12
103 Honduras 1400 9

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 1-20 United States 5 4
B 21-42 Czech Republic 22 10
C 43-64 Philippines 60 26
D 65-86 Indonesia 68 40
E 87-103 Algeria 87 79

Individual medals

Overall title

The Nona Gaprindashvili Trophy is awarded to the nation that has the highest toal number of game points in the open and women's divisions combined. 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
Total
1 China 34 27½ 61½
2 Ukraine 32 29½ 61½
3 Armenia 36 24 60

Participating teams

Squads representing 133 nations, three international organizations, three constituent countries, two autonomous entities, two crown dependencies, two special administrative regions, two insular areas, and one associated state were entered into the Olympiad, comprising a total of 1307 registered players (some of which did not play).

Countries that participated only in the open division are shown in dark green, while the rest of the participants are shown in light green.

FIDE Congress

Concurrent with the chess competition, the 77th FIDE Congress was held in Turin, where delegates from all the national chess federations met to transact business. Incumbent FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov faced criticisms for alleged mismanagement and corruption, primarily from Western federations, including those of the United States, England, France, and Canada, but, with the support of most Asian and African delegates, notably those representing Russia and Singapore, he staved off a challenge from Dutch businessman Bessel Kok to retain his position through 2010, winning by 96 votes to Kok's 54.

The general assembly also awarded the 38th Chess Olympiad, to be held in 2010, to Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, the site of the Chess World Cup 2005 and one of five candidates that had submitted bids. The city led after every round of the runoff voting, eventually beating Budva, Montenegro by 71-64.

Associated events

Held in conjunction with the Olympiad, though not officially sponsored by FIDE, were two computer chess events: the 14th World Computer Chess Championship, played at classical time controls, and the 14th World Computer Speed Chess Championship. The computer Junior won its fifth championship and third in five years in the slower event, while newcomer Ikarus defeated quadruple defending champion Shredder to win the blitz event.

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