Medal Winners in Istanbul Olympiad

The Istanbul Olympiad will be remembered as one of the greatest chess events ever. There were problems at the beginning, but these were not the fault of the organizers. The problems were with the bulletins, the web site and the publishing of games. However, these were problems with FIDE Commerce, which was publishing the bulletins and putting up the web site.

Istanbul was not prepared for this event, but being such a large city with such vast resources available at such low prices, they were able to fix everything after just a few days.

However, a serious problem arose during the last two days regarding the press room. On November 11, which was a free day for the players but a meeting day for the General Assembly, they closed the press room at 4:00 PM which was the same time that the meeting finished. Therefore, I and the other journalists present could not transmit our reports on the meetings.

Medal Winners from Womens World Chess Olympiad
Medal Winners from Womens World Chess Olympiad: Front row from right to left: Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi (India) (wearing colorful sari), Xie Jun (China), Zhu Chen (China), Eman Al-Rufei (Iraq), Nana Ioseliani (Georgia), Nino Khurtsidze (Georgia), Rocio Vasquez Ramirez (Ecuador), and I don't know the next ones

Worse yet, on the last day, which was November 12, the awards ceremony which was scheduled to start at 7:00 PM started late due to the difficulty in calculating who had won the board prizes, and then just after the ceremony had finished and the banquet had started, the press room people received urgent messages that the press room was being closed and we all had to remove our computer equipment.

This caused outrage on the part of Leontxo Garcia, a journalist from the Spanish newspaper El Pais, and Arvind Aaron of the Hindu Times, both of whom had not finished their reports for their respective newspapers.

The organizers failed to understand that the most important report of the Olympiad is the last report where the final results are provided.

As a result, I was unable to finish and put out my reports on the last two days of play and the last three days of meetings. I typed this in an Internet cafe in Istanbul.

Please bear with me. I will do these reports when I can finally get a good location.

The only thing I was able to get done on the final two days is I added a few photos to my beauty contest of FIDE girls, which I realize that nobody will be interested in.

The press room people were not able to get a list of prize winners, so here is my list based upon my handwritten notes.

Board One - Men

Utut Adiano - Indonesia - Gold Medal
Amon Simutowe - Zambia - Silver Medal
Rustam Kasimdzhanov - Uzbekistan - Bronze Medal

Board two men

Ruslan Ponomariov - Ukraine - Gold Medal
Kevin Spraggett - Canada - Silver Medal
Alexander Morozevic - Russia - Bronze Medal

Board Three men

Dragoljub Jacimovic - Macedonia - Gold Medal
Oswaldo Zambrana - Bolivia - Silver Medal
Rustem Dautov - Germany - Bronze Medal

Board Four men

Ashot Anastasian - Armenia - Gold Medal
Marcel Mannhart - Leichtenstein - Silver Medal
Bartosz Socko - Poland - Bronze Medal

First Reserve Men

Taleb Moussa - United Arab Emirates - Gold Medal
Hameed Kadhi - Yemen - Silver Medal
Zulzaga Byambaa - Mongolia - Bronze Medal

Second Reserve Men

Alexei Barsov - Uzbekistan - Gold Medal
Dawit Wondimu - Ethiopia - Silver Medal
Alexander Grischuk - Russia - Bronze Medal

Board One Women

Viktorija Cmilyte - Lithuania - Gold Medal
Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi - India - Silver
Medal Xie Jun - China - Bronze Medal

Board Two Women

Zhu Chen - China - Gold Medal
Eman Al-Rufei - Iraq - Silver Medal
Nana Ioseliani - Georgia - Bronze Medal

Board Three Women

Nino Khurtsidze - Georgia - Gold Medal
Wang Lei - China - Silver Medal
Rocio Vasquez Ramirez - Ecuador - Bronze medal

Reserve Women

Zahira El Ghaby - Morocco - Gold Medal
Laura Moylan - Australia - Silver Medal
Zaynab Mammadyarove - Azrebaijan - Bronze Medal

Best performance rating men Alexander Morozevich - Russia

Best performance rating women Zhu Chen - China

Missing from this list was the player who had the best result of the entire event: Judit Polgar who scored 10 points from 13 games against an all-grandmaster field.

Leontxo Garcia of Spain had calculated that Polgar had won the silver medal for board three, but apparently she was beaten out by players who scored 7 out of 9 against a much weaker field.

I believe that only nine games is enough to be eligible for a board prize on boards one through four, which is awarded on the basis of percentage score, not the total number of points. Seven games are required to be eligible for a prize for reserve player.

Also, Polgar was counted as a man for purposes of this event so she could not win the prize for best performance rating among women and she was beaten by a fraction of a point by Alexander Morozevich for the best performance rating among the men.

Sam Sloan

John Donaldson reports:

Alexander Morozevich, who played board two for Russia, turned in the best result of the event with a performance rating of 2804 by virtue of his 7.5/10 score versus an average rating of 2611. Right behind him were Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria (PR 2797), 17-year-old Ruslan Ponomariov (PR 2785) of Ukraine, the German duo of Artur Yusupov (PR 2782) and Rustem Dautov (PR 2776) and Judit Polgar of Hungary (2772). Polgar's result was particularly impressive as she scored 10 points from 13 games. The Olympiad goes 14 rounds and it is very rare to have a player on a contending team participate in more than 10 rounds. She was truly the Ironwoman of the event!

I am now in Istanbul, where the World Chess Olympiad is taking place. I am issuing daily press reports on the developments in the Olympiad. Here are my daily press reports so far:
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