Russian chess-players lucky start

Sep 22, 2010, 11:28 PM |

Russian chess-players lucky start


Sep 22, 2010 18:04 Moscow Time


Alexandra Kosteniuk. Photo: RIA Novosti

Russia has started its performance at the 30th World Chess Olympics with victories. The Olympics are held in Hanti- Mansiysk and have drawn the most famous representatives of this intellectual sport from 160 countries, over 2,000 participants in total.

Russia had initially sent two male and two female teams. However, at the last moment, two more male teams joined them, as two foreign teams refused to take part in the games on the very eve of the Olympics. The vacancies were filled with Russians. Nevertheless, we are going to win not due to large numbers but because of high skills, says Andrey Selivanov, the deputy chairman of the Supervisory Council of the Russian Chess Federation.

“We put forward the strongest male and female teams. Russian chess teams are always ratings favourites at Olympics but ratings favourites do not always win. Here, in Hanti-Mansiysk, on our land, the Russian Chess Federation hopes to achieve good results, to return the Olympic gold of the male team and to demonstrate the highest possible result of the female team. We hope that the Russian city of Hanti-Mansiysk will bring the Russian teams luck”.

The first day of the games showed that these hopes were coming true. The main Russian male team defeated the Irish team with a score of 3,5 to 0,5. Piotr Svidler, Sergey Koriakin and Vladimir Malakhov won their games and Alexander Grishchuk tied. The second team and the teams that joined in at the last moment also won games against the teams of Andorra, Palestine and Kenya.The first Russian female team left no chances for the participants from Bangladesh. The score was 4:0, which is not surprising.

The Russian team consists of the world champion Alexandra Kosteniuk and other famous sportswomen, such as Tatiana Kosintseva, Alisa Galiamova and Valentina Gunina. This strong team gives us a chance to hope for continued success. It is even more satisfying because neither Russian nor Soviet female chess teams have ever won the Olympics. Now a lot depends on the performance of the Georgian and Chinese teams, which are considered to be the Russian girls’ main competitors.

During the second round the women will play against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Turkey. The men will play against chess-players from Serbia, Venezuela, Holland and Montenegro.