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38th Chess Olympiad

Logo of the Chess Olympiad 2008

The 38th 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 12-25 November 2008 in Dresden, Germany. There were 146 teams in the open event and 111 in the women's event. In total, 1277 players were registered.

Both tournament sections were officiated by international arbiter Ignatius Leong (Singapore). In a change from recent Olympiads, the number of rounds of the Swiss system were reduced from 13 to 11 with accelerated pairings. For the first time, the women's division, like the open division, was played over four boards per round, with each team allowed one alternate for a total of five players. In another first, the final rankings were determined by match points, not game points. In the event of a draw, the tie-break was decided by 1. Deducted Sonneborn-Berger; 2. Deducted sum of match points; 3. Game points.

The time control for each game permitted each player 90 minutes their first 40 moves and 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an additional 30 seconds increment for each player after each move, beginning with the first. As a new rule, no draws by agreement were permitted before 30 moves had been completed. Yet there were games drawn as soon as the 16th move, formally drawn by repetition against which there was no rule. In addition, players who were not present at the board at the commencement of a round automatically forfeited the game. This rule was implemented to align chess with other sports events.

Open event

Dresden Olympiad Scene

The open division was contested by 146 teams representing 141 nations. Germany, 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. Morocco were signed up, but never appeared for their first round match and were disqualified.

Defending champions Armenia, once again led by Levon Aronian, clinched their second consecutive title. Despite being seeded only eighth, they won nine out of eleven matches, drew against fourth-placed Ukraine and lost only (1½-2½) to runners-up Israel, captained by Boris Gelfand. The Israelis finished one point behind Armenia. The United States, led by Gata Kamsky, took the bronze medals on a better tie break score than Vasyl Ivanchuk and the rest of the Ukrainian team after defeating Ukraine (3½-½) in the last round.

Once again, the Russian team under captain Vladimir Kramnik were the pre-tournament favourites but finished disappointingly in fifth place. Kramnik, having recently lost a world championship match, performed well below his rating, as did the rest of the team, except alternate Dmitry Yakovenko who won the reserve board.

Arguably the biggest surprise of the tournament was Vietnam, who weren't even seeded in the top 30, but still managed to finish in ninth place, aided somewhat by the new tournament structure which allotted them some weaker opponents, although they did manage a 2-2 result against China. The German hosts finished 13th, while India, without World Champion Viswanathan Anand, had to settle for 16th place.

Open event results, #1-#10
# Country Players Average
rating
MP dSB
1 Armenia Aronian, Akopian, Sargissian, Petrosian, Minasian 2677 19
2 Israel Gelfand, Roiz, Avrukh, Postny, Rodshtein 2682 18
3 United States Kamsky, Nakamura, Onischuk, Shulman, Akobian 2673 17 362.0
4 Ukraine Ivanchuk, Karjakin, Eljanov, Efimenko, Volokitin 2729 17 348.5
5 Russia Kramnik, Svidler, Grischuk, Morozevich, Yakovenko 2756 16 375.0
6 Azerbaijan Radjabov, Mamedyarov, Gashimov, Guseinov, Mamedov 2709 16 359.5
7 China Wang Yue, Bu Xiangzhi, Ni Hua, Wang Hao, Li Chao 2714 16 357.5
8 Hungary Lékó, Polgár, Almási, Balogh, Berkes 2692 16 341.5
9 Vietnam Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, Lê Quang Liêm,
Dao Thien Hai, Nguyen Van Huy, Tu Hoang Thong
2539 16 340.0
10 Spain Shirov, Vallejo Pons, Illescas Córdoba,
Khamrakulov, San Segundo Carrillo
2644 16 337.5
Open event results, #11-end (#146)
# Country Average
rating
MP dSB dSMP
11 Georgia 2618 16 321.0
12 Netherlands 2609 15 343.0
13 Germany 2647 15 339.0
14 Bulgaria 2691 15 327.5
15 England 2629 15 320.0
16 India 2634 15 310.0
17 Slovenia 2583 15 288.0
18 Belarus 2602 14 307.0
19 Romania 2631 14 306.5
20 Serbia 2604 14 302.0
21 Norway 2611 14 300.0
22 France 2690 14 295.0
23 Cuba 2626 14 294.5
24 Greece 2585 14 292.5
25 Sweden 2576 14 286.0
26 Montenegro 2522 14 279.0
27 Croatia 2588 14 275.5
28 Canada 2500 14 272.5
29 Poland 2609 13 301.0
30 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2577 13 294.0
31 Slovakia 2587 13 290.0
32 Finland 2491 13 287.5
33 Estonia 2495 13 282.0
34 Lithuania 2548 13 278.0
35 Germany "C" 2506 13 276.5 122
36 Turkey 2496 13 276.5 121
37 Kazakhstan 2555 13 272.5
38 Czech Republic 2611 13 270.5
39 Denmark 2566 13 268.5
40 Iran 2524 13 265.0
41 Italy 2521 13 261.0
42 Germany "B" 2523 13 259.0
43 Moldova 2585 13 258.5
44 Latvia 2522 13 257.5
45 Austria 2486 13 252.5
46 Philippines 2526 13 250.0
47 Bangladesh 2486 13 249.0
48 Paraguay 2415 13 220.5
49 Colombia 2459 12 257.0
50 Uzbekistan 2557 12 256.5
51 Switzerland 2541 12 251.0
52 Indonesia 2387 12 249.5
53 Scotland 2512 12 249.0
54 Brazil 2460 12 240.0
55 Portugal 2441 12 237.5
56 Egypt 2497 12 232.0
57 Australia 2488 12 222.5
58 South Africa 2315 12 220.5
59 Macedonia 2525 12 220.0
60 Ireland 2452 12 218.5
61 Faroe Islands 2364 12 213.5
62 Singapore 2352 12 210.5
63 United Arab Emirates 2332 12 191.0
64 Iceland 2420 11 246.0
65 Pakistan 2031 11 234.5
66 Qatar 2400 11 225.5
67 Venezuela 2444 11 224.5
68 Costa Rica 2403 11 223.5
69 Argentina 2572 11 221.5
70 Belgium 2395 11 215.5
71 Tajikistan 2358 11 207.0
72 Ecuador 2408 11 206.0
73 Mongolia 2372 11 188.5
74 Mexico 2423 11 188.0
75 Luxembourg 2286 11 177.5
76 Jordan 2288 11 175.5
77 Japan 2206 11 174.5
78 El Salvador 2300 11 173.5
79 ICSC 2305 11 166.5
80 Jamaica 2217 11 165.0
81 Wales 2263 11 158.0
82 Kyrgyzstan 2337 10 222.5
83 Turkmenistan 2355 10 200.5
84 Syria 2312 10 192.5
85 Iraq 2290 10 188.5
86 Bolivia 2313 10 183.5
87 Guatemala 2263 10 182.5
88 IPCA 2358 10 178.5
89 Algeria 2340 10 174.0
90 Dominican Republic 2358 10 167.5
91 IBCA 2318 10 166.0
92 Albania 2102 10 162.5
93 Panama 2206 10 161.0
94 Sri Lanka 2169 10 160.0
95 Puerto Rico 2228 10 159.0
96 Malaysia 2362 10 157.5
97 New Zealand 2370 10 152.0
98 Angola 2231 10 151.5
99 Lebanon 2312 10 150.5
100 Thailand 2272 10 140.5
101 Palestine 2306 9 177.5
102 Nigeria 1988 9 174.0
103 Botswana 2185 9 173.0
104 Monaco 2275 9 171.0
105 Tunisia 2310 9 163.5
106 Yemen 2332 9 163.5
107 Afghanistan 2095 9 152.0
108 Nepal 2022 9 148.0
109 South Korea 2068 9 146.5
110 Andorra 2256 9 144.0
111 Libya 2145 9 141.0
112 Netherlands Antilles 2168 9 135.5
113 Malta 2177 9 134.0
114 Uruguay 2287 9 130.5
115 Jersey 1742 9 127.0
116 Nicaragua 2238 9 120.0
117 Zambia 2082 8 140.5
118 Barbados 2142 8 136.0
119 Mozambique 1775 8 132.0
120 Uganda 2175 8 126.0
121 San Marino 1907 8 124.5
122 Cyprus 2144 8 120.0
123 Namibia 1937 8 116.5
124 Ethiopia 1769 8 108.0
125 Trinidad and Tobago 2173 8 106.5
126 Guernsey 2055 8 97.0
127 British Virgin Islands 1952 8 95.5
128 Honduras 1968 7 129.0
129 Mauritania 2139 7 116.0
130 Suriname 2141 7 110.0
131 Kenya 2164 7 109.0
132 Hong Kong 2023 7 106.0
133 Papua New Guinea 1896 7 94.5
134 Macau 2020 7 94.0
135 Aruba 2034 7 92.0
136 Chinese Taipei 1846 7 85.0
137 Bermuda 1978 7 81.0
138 Malawi 1400 6 116.5
139 Liechtenstein 2086 6 88.0
140 Ghana 1400 6 77.0
141 United States Virgin Islands 1400 6 43.0
142 Gabon 1400 5 87.0
143 Fiji 1923 5 73.0
144 Seychelles 1710 5 68.5
145 Madagascar 1400 4
146 Rwanda 1608 3

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 MP dSB
A 1-29 Ukraine 17 348.5
B 30-58 Vietnam 16 340.0
C 59-87 Paraguay 13 220.5
D 88-116 Luxembourg 11 177.5
E 117-146 Pakistan 11 234.5

Individual medals

For the first time, all board prizes were given out according to performance ratings. Accordingly, there was no overall prize, although Sargissian on the third board had the best performance of all players at the tournament:

Women's section

The women's division was contested by 111 teams representing 106 nations. Germany, 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.

Georgia won their fourth title, 12 years after the third one, narrowly defeating Ukraine on tie breaks. The two teams didn't meet during the tournament, but when the Ukrainians only drew their penultimate match against Serbia while the Georgians defeated former champions China (2½-1½), the gold was Georgia's to lose. In the last round they record a win (3-1) against the Serbian, who thus came to play a crucial role in the fight for the title, despite finishing in seventh place themselves. The Georgian team were led by former World Champion, 47-year-old Maia Chiburdanidze, who delivered a stellar performance, winning the top board with the best performance of the tournament.

The United States clinched the bronze medals on tie breaks, just ahead of Russia (with newly crowned World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk) and Poland. The German hosts finished in 21st place.

Women's section results, #1-#10
# Country Players Average
rating
MP dSB
1 Georgia Chiburdanidze, Dzagnidze, Javakhishvili, Lomineishvili, Khukhashvili 2476 18 411.5
2 Ukraine Lahno, Zhukova, Ushenina, Gaponenko, Zdebskaya 2486 18 406.5
3 United States Krush, Zatonskih, Goletiani, Rohonyan, Abrahamyan 2396 17 390.5
4 Russia Kosteniuk, T. Kosintseva, N. Kosintseva, Korbut, Pogonina 2495 17 367.0
5 Poland Soćko, Rajlich, Zawadzka, Majdan, Przeździecka 2386 17 364.5
6 Armenia Danielian, Mkrtchian, Aginian, Galojan, Andriasian 2397 16 353.0
7 Serbia Marić, Bojković, Stojanović, Chelushkina, Benderać 2386 16 318.5
8 China Hou Yifan, Zhao Xue, Shen Yang, Ju Wenjun, Tan Zhongyi 2486 15 392.5
9 Israel Klinova, Borsuk, Igla, Vasiliev, Efroimski 2304 15 325.0
10 Belarus Sharevich, Popova, Azarova, Berlin, Klimets 2278 15 317.5
Women's section results, #11-end (#111)
# Country Average
rating
MP dSB dSMP
11 Romania 2348 15 306.5
12 Italy 2245 15 280.0
13 France 2427 14 336.5
14 Hungary 2389 14 321.0
15 India 2388 14 320.5
16 Slovakia 2348 14 299.5
17 Mongolia 2161 14 289.0
18 Netherlands 2323 14 286.0
19 Bulgaria 2375 14 282.0
20 Croatia 2259 14 281.5
21 Germany 2379 14 279.0
22 Uzbekistan 2181 14 267.0
23 Spain 2296 14 266.5
24 Greece 2317 13 307.5
25 Cuba 2289 13 288.0
26 Vietnam 2292 13 272.5
27 Austria 2231 13 269.5
28 Latvia 2264 13 266.5
29 Argentina 2260 13 262.0
30 Turkey 2184 13 249.5
31 Azerbaijan 2261 13 246.5
32 Estonia 2174 13 245.5
33 Moldova 2246 13 238.0
34 Germany "B" 2159 13 236.0
35 Montenegro 2242 13 227.5
36 Czech Republic 2321 12 270.0
37 Slovenia 2359 12 260.0
38 Sweden 2317 12 258.5
39 Iran 2194 12 258.0
40 Switzerland 2210 12 257.5
41 Colombia 2179 12 255.5
42 Indonesia 2021 12 237.5
43 Philippines 2134 12 232.0
44 Luxembourg 2185 12 227.5
45 Kazakhstan 2240 12 226.5
46 Portugal 2145 12 218.0
47 Germany "C" 2142 12 208.5
48 Brazil 2077 12 196.0
49 Kyrgyzstan 2093 12 182.0
50 England 2248 11 250.0
51 Lithuania 2294 11 239.0
52 Ecuador 2223 11 230.0
53 Norway 2193 11 224.0
54 Finland 2014 11 205.0
55 Dominican Republic 2022 11 200.5
56 Scotland 1986 11 199.5
57 South Africa 1938 11 198.0
58 Turkmenistan 2063 11 194.5
59 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2110 11 193.0
60 Iceland 2029 11 191.0
61 IPCA 2018 11 180.0
62 New Zealand 1912 11 174.5
63 Australia 2122 10 209.0
64 El Salvador 2098 10 199.5
65 Canada 2124 10 190.0
66 Mexico 2106 10 184.0
67 Venezuela 2108 10 178.0
68 Guatemala 1920 10 176.0
69 IBCA 2035 10 168.0
70 Denmark 2098 10 163.5
71 Bolivia 1978 10 162.0
72 ICSC 2130 10 161.0
73 Algeria 1936 10 158.0
74 Bangladesh 2093 10 156.0
75 Tajikistan 1767 10 155.0 104
76 Syria 1808 10 155.0 96
77 Albania 2004 10 151.0
78 Sri Lanka 1850 9 169.5
79 Wales 1891 9 145.0
80 Uruguay 1882 9 140.0 107
81 Puerto Rico 1870 9 140.0 103
82 Lebanon 1802 9 139.0
83 Costa Rica 1861 9 129.0
84 Paraguay 1725 9 127.0
85 Qatar 1656 9 121.0
86 Chinese Taipei 1556 9 118.5
87 Iraq 1706 9 117.5
88 Egypt 1842 8 142.0
89 United Arab Emirates 1805 8 129.0
90 Angola 1506 8 124.0
91 Tunisia 1490 8 119.0
92 Yemen 1400 8 114.5
93 Botswana 1529 8 113.5
94 Ireland 1534 8 90.5
95 Barbados 1400 8 81.0
96 Japan 1621 7 119.5
97 Nigeria 1400 7 111.0
98 Honduras 1400 7 106.0
99 Suriname 1498 7 105.0
100 Malta 1731 7 101.5
101 Libya 1400 7 92.5
102 Pakistan 1400 7 90.0
103 Panama 1641 7 82.5
104 Macau 1554 7 79.5
105 Fiji 1551 7 74.5
106 South Korea 1469 7 66.5
107 Trinidad and Tobago 1667 7 58.0
108 Aruba 1400 6
109 Kenya 1400 5
110 Seychelles 1400 3
111 Afghanistan 1400 1

Individual medals

For the first time, all board prizes were given out according to performance ratings. Accordingly, there was no overall prize, although reborn ex-champion Chiburdanidze on the top board had the best performance of all players at the tournament:

Overall title

The Nona Gaprindashvili Trophy is awarded to the nation that has the highest toal number of match points in the open and women's divisions combined. Where two or more teams are tied, they are ordered by the same tie breakers as in the two separate events.

The trophy, named after the former women's World Champion (1961-78), was created by FIDE in 1997.

# Team MP dSB
1 Ukraine 35 755.0
2 Armenia 35 753.5
3 United States 34

Bibliography

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