Without Russia (Bor) or China (Covid), the Chess Olympiad in Chennai (India) was made up of young achievers. Champions Uzbekistan’s top three boards are no more than 20 years old; And the top three spots are India B, bronze, 18. Silver goes to a tight-knit team of Armenia. USA lost, India A. Ukraine, Georgia and India are 5th after winning medals for women. And on the fourth board, Spain’s Jaime Santos won the individual bronze. The next two editions will be held in Budapest (2024) and Uzbekistan (2026).
“We’re so tired, we can’t believe we won the Olympiad,” Nodirbek Yakubov (bronze with 8 points out of eleven on the 2nd board) and Dzhongir Vajitov (gold, 6.5/8) managed to say almost in unison. Very excited. 4th) in the press room minutes after beating the Netherlands 3-1 in the last round. Nodirbek Abdusatorov (1st place silver with 8.5/11), Zavojir Sindarov (3rd place 6.5/10) and Shamsidin Vozhitov (3.5/4 as substitute) are the other three champions. Uzbekistan are the only team unbeaten in 188 matches. He won silver in the first Olympiad after the collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago (Manila, 1992), of which he was a part.
In all likelihood, while their bronze would be a historic milestone, India B’s prodigies must have been frustrated as four of their five players were under 18. Thanks to computers calculating millions of moves per second and databases containing more than eleven million best-sorted games and five-time champion Viswanathan Anand, the immense rise of chess in India led to an increase in pre-eminence in chess. In the world, make something unimaginable two decades ago possible: three seats on stage filled with two young people.
But his first board (individual gold with 9 points out of 11, ahead of Abdusathorov and world champion Magnus Carlsen), Tomaraju Gukesh, will never forget what happened this Monday, when he lost the winning position – he also rejected. Draw- against Abdusatoro. Otherwise, Gukesh, Nihal Sarin, Rameshbabu Pragnananda, Bhaskaran Athiban and Raunak Sadwani would have lifted the title today and achieved yet another impressive feat.
Chess is very popular (compulsory subject in schools) in the three medal winning countries and especially in Armenia. It imbues its players (Sarkisian, Melkumian, Ter-Sahakyan, Manuel Petrosian and Hovhannisian) with a strong team spirit that is found in very few teams with specialists. Today they beat Spain, a defeat by Shirov and a draw by Vallejo, Anton and Jaime Santos. He climbed the individual podium in his first Olympics, establishing himself as the third best Spaniard next to Shirou with 2,681 points. Spain ranked 12th (from 4th on the initial list); and 21st place for women (12th).
Apart from the age of the winners and the important locations, this Olympiad will go down in history for the impressive and spectacular organization assembled in four months to replace the planned venue, Moscow. With the chess craze visible everywhere, India will be remembered for its extraordinary hospitality to the 3,000 chess players from more than 190 countries (the International Federation of Chess Federations, FIDE, held a conference bringing together 199).
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