Armenia and Georgia win gold at Olympiad

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Armenia wins 38th OlympiadArmenia repeated their Olympic success of two years ago in Turin by winning gold at the 38th Olympiad in Dresden as well. Georgia, led by former world champion Chiburdanidze, won gold in the women's section. Final report with games, results, standings, prize giving and a video the full press conference given by the Armenian team.

Yet again, Armenia became the grandiose winners of the Chess Olympiad by beating the Chinese team in the last round, while Ukraine quite surprisingly lost, no, got smashed by the Americans, who won bronze in similar mission-impossible fashion as two years ago.

Israel took bronzesilver medals and its board one Boris Gelfand won individual silver ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú he was overtaken by Hungary's first board Peter Leko in the last round by the smallest of margins possible: on point in rating performance. Topalov, who was in the race for gold, lost to Shirov in the penultimate round and didn't play in the last ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú he took bronze.

A great result for Armenia who played almost all of their matches with Aronian, Akopian, Sargissian, and Petrosian; the oldest player of the team is actually "board 5" Minasian who played just a single game. Amazingly, in a total of 44, the winners only lost 2 games, which were both scored in their lost match against Israel!

Not only Ukraine underperformed, but what to think of the Russian team, who again didn't win medals. Team captain Alexander Bakh had the highest rated players at his disposal but couldn't get them to find a good team spirit - exactly what the Armenians do have.

Israel did very well, with a mostly young team (and no Sutovsky or Smirin) led by the experienced Boris Gelfand who found his biggest form since the world championship last year. The Netherlands had the same team setting, where Van Wely and four young GMs played quite well. They had excellent chances to draw their last-round match against Israel, but L'Ami couldn't convert an ending with a bishop against two pawns - from hindsight that ending might have always been a draw.

The same success for the Americans was seen in the women's section where they also ended third after beating France 2?Ǭ?-1?Ǭ? in the last round. Ukraine robbed Poland, in clear first, from any medals at all, beating them with the same score but it's Georgia that's going home with the medals of gold, because after their 3-1 victory over Serbia it turned out they had collected just five Sonneborn-Berger points more.

The winning team was led by the legendary former world champion Maia Chiburdanidze who won the gold medal; silver went to Martha Fierro Baquero and third to Hou Yifan (amazingly, the only prize that went to China this year).

Georgia drew with Hungary and Russian and then lost to Poland in round 4 to 6, to drop heavily in the standings. After scoring no less than three 4-0's in a row, versus Spain, Moldova and Slovenia, they got back into the real world and then proved to be able to beat strong teams as well: China 1?Ǭ?-2?Ǭ? and in the last round Serbia 3-1. Except for the Armenians, Chiburdanidze got the biggest applause at the prize giving.

Like their male collegeagues, the Dutch women played slightly better than their starting rank and especially board one Peng played well, but in the last round, like L'Ami, she was a bishop up but couldn't win it. And therefore against Russia they also went down 1?Ǭ?-2?Ǭ?.

And so the 38th Chess Olympiad has come to an end. An Olympiad with a record-breaking number of participating federations: 146 teams in the open section and 111 teams in the women's. And an Olympiad that won't be forgotten easily because of the many rule changes, of which some were clearly more succesful than others.

There were a total of 13,083 paying spectators coming to the venue (cheapest tickets were 4,50 Euro) and the organizers said to have made nearly 50,000 Euros. There were 25,000 liters of mineral water given to the players, 24 tons of food, 24,000 cups of coffee and there were 25,920 overnight stays. The tournament website had 52 million visitors website. Despite some obvious mistakes, which kind of took away a bit of the friendliness sometimes, this Olympiad can be called a successful one. If only Karen Asrian could have enjoyed it.

Here's the full press conference given by the Armenian team, as well as all other videos from Dresden:

Results and standings in both the Open and Women's sections:

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Medal winners:

Open section

Board 1: Gold Peter Leko | Silver Boris Gelfand | Bronze Veselin Topalov Board 2: Gold Vladimir Akopian | Silver Paco Vallejo | Bronze Vassilios Kotronias Board 3: Gold Gabriel Sargissian | Silver Vugar Gashimov | Bronze Tiger Hillarp Persson Board 4: Gold Dragisa Blagojevic | Silver Aleksandr Delchev | Bronze Daniel Fridman Board 5: Gold Dmitry Jakovenko | Silver Maxim Rodshtein | Bronze Ferenc Berkes

Women's section

Board 1: Gold Maia Chiburdanidze | Silver Martha Fierro Baquero | Bronze Hou Yifan Board 2: Gold Anna Zatonskih | Silver Natalia Zhukova | Bronze Lilit Mkrtchian Board 3: Gold Nadezhda Kosintseva | Silver Rusudan Goletiani | Bronze Ildiko Madl Board 4: Gold Joanna Majdan | Silver Oleiny Linares Napoles | Bronze Maia Lomineishvili Board 5: Gold Natalia Zdebskaja | Silver Mary Ann Gomes | Bronze Alina Motoc

Here's a selection of round 11 games for replay:

Kirsan first move

Ilyumzhinov waiting to make the last first move

Wang yue

Can China do it this time?¢‚Ǩ¬¶?


Last preparations: a quick kiss for Pia Cramling from the daughter?¢‚Ǩ¬¶


?¢‚Ǩ¬¶or even more important last-minute things


Quite some chaotic moments on stage but hey, it's the last round

Serzh Sargsyan

President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia had travelled to Dresden to support his players


Tigran Petrosian, who decided the match by beating?¢‚Ǩ¬¶

Li Chao

...China's board four Li Chao


Ukraine ended disappointingly with a terrible loss against the USA who repeated their fantastic last-round trick of two years ago, winning bronze again

Press conference

The Armenian team during the press conference that started at 19:00 hrs, an hour before the prize giving

Press conference

And of course they already posed before the photographers


The prize giving started a few minutes after eight, first with a cultural part; percission drum?¢‚Ǩ¬¶


?¢‚Ǩ¬¶some ballet?¢‚Ǩ¬¶


?¢‚Ǩ¬¶and some musician from Khanty-Mansyisk, where the next Olympiad will be held, to bring us a bit in the mood already?¢‚Ǩ¬¶


?¢‚Ǩ¬¶all watched by hundreds of participants from many different countries


And then the official part started, naturally with a speech by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Board five men

The men's board five medal winners: Ferenc Berkes (Hungary, bronze), Dmitry Jakovenko (Russia, gold) and Maxim Rodshtein (Israel, silver)

Board four women

The women's board four medal winners: Oleiny Linares Napoles (Cuba, silver), Joanna Majda (Poland, gold), Maia Lomineishvili (Georgia, bronze)

Board three men

The men's board three medal winners: Daniel Fridman (Germany, bronze), Dragisa Blagojevic (Montenegro, gold), Aleksandr Delchev (Bulgaria, silver)

Board three women

The women's board three medal winners: Rusudan Goletiani (USA, silver), Nadezhda Kosintseva (Russia, gold), Ildiko Madl (Hungary, bronze)

Board two men

The men's board three medal winners: Tiger Hillarp Persson (Sweden, bronze), Gabriel Sargissian (Armenia, gold), Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan, silver)

Board two women

The women's board two medal winners: Natalia Zhukova (Ukraine, silver), Anna Zatonskih (USA, gold), Lilit Mkrtchian (Armenia, bronze)

Board two women

The men's board two medal winners: Vassilios Kotronias (Greece, bronze), Vladimir Akopian (Armenia, gold), Paco Vallejo (Spain, silver)

Board one women

The women's board one medal winners: Martha Fierro Baquero (Ecuador, silver), Maia Chiburdanidza (Georgia, gold), Hou Yifan (China, bronze)

Board one men

The men's board one medal winners: Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria, bronze), Peter Leko (Hungary, gold), Boris Gelfand (Israel, silver)


Chiburdanidze won the best rating performance prize


Sargissian won the best rating performance prize


Nona Gaprindashvili just handed out her prize to a Ukraine representative, for finishing first in the combined sections


Bronze medals: USA


Silver medals: Ukraine


Gold medals: Georgia


Bronze medals: USA


Silver medals: Israel


Gold medals: Armenia (again with their President supporting them)


Arshak Petrosian showing the cup to everyone

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