Chess Olympiad 2008 round 1 live!

live updates and reports from the 2008 Dresden Chess Olympiad

chess olympiad susan polgar

11:00 CET

Welcome to the live updates and reports coverage of the Dresden 2008 Chess Olympiad on! In the next weeks we will closely following the events from Dresden where a record breaking 152 nations and over 1350 players will participate.

The competition was officially opened yesterday. Very similar to the Beijing Olympics model, the Olympiad in Dresden started at 8:08. One after the other on the scene came singers, cheerleaders, ice skaters, drum bangers, and many more performances. Every country in the Dresden Olympiad was represented by German school children in the Opening Ceremony. All of the children who carried the flags and country names are chess players who qualified to be at the opening ceremony through a series of tournaments. Susan Polgar was in charge of crossing the iceskating ring on high heals and with the Olympic fire in hand. Read all details at the opening ceremony photo report

Pairings open

Pairings women

Chess Olympiad innovative rules

11:05 CET

The games from the parallel senior and school tournaments are already underway in Dresden. The round 1 of the open and women sections of the Chess Olympiad start at 15:00 CET.

11:15 CET

The team of Russia is the rating favorite at the Olympiad. They have average ELO of 2756 and are led by the World Championship finalist Vladimir Kramnik. Ukraine with Ivanchuk, China with Wang Yue, and Azerbaijan with Radjabov complete the list of countries with average ELO over 2700. Among the top 10 participating nations is Hungary, who as already announced line up Peter Leko and Judith Polgar at boards 1 and 2. Bulgaria is 6th seeded, only after Veselin Topalov confirmed his participation at the Olympiad officially yesterday after the Kamsky – Topalov match letter has been sent to FIDE. The young team of France, the experienced Israel, and the dream team of USA also enter the top 10 seeded.

11:30 CET

Russia, Ukraine, and China are top seeded in the women section of the as well. Russia is only 9 points ELO away from the dream rating average of 2500. However, they will not have easy task as the teams of Kateryna Lahno and Yifan Hou are ready to attack the top position. Georgia, USA, Hungary, and Poland also bring strong teams, and who knows which will be the surprising underdog at the Olympics.

11:35 CET

Stay tuned for the pairings of round 1, we will publish as soon as they are all available.

11:50 CET

This is an Olympiad featuring many ex and current world chess champions in classical, blitz, rapid, chess960, etc. However, what more attracts the attention is the surprising and interesting duets on boards 1 and 2. We have already mentioned Peter Leko and Judith Polgar for Hungary. For England it will be Michael Adams and Nigel Short. Norway is led by Magnus Carlsen and his teacher Simen Agdestein. Bulgaria, in a similar manner, line up Topalov and his second Cheparinov. India put on top the youth of Sasikiran and Harikrishna, similar to Azerbaijan with Radjabov and Mamedyarov.

Many more teams will put their hopes on the young players and we will see Wesley So, Yifan Hou, Vachier-Lagrave, Sergey Karjakin, Dominguez Perez, Arkadij Naiditsch, and Jan Smeets in some top boards action.

12:00 CET

In a true Olympic spirit Africa has send many representing countries at the Olympics. Among them we can note the rise of chess in the region with participating GMs Slim Belkhodja, Amin Bassem and Ahmed Adly, all veteran campaigners at the World Chess Olympics. Grandmasters Zambian Amon Simutowe and Zimbabwean Robert Gwaze are the new stars, it will be interesting to see how they perform at such a major event.

12:15 CET

Latest info from Dresden: pairings will be available at 13:00 CET. As soon as we have them at the Chessdom office we will post them. Stay tuned!

12:50 CET

This Chess Olympiad will be quite innovative regarding the rules. One of the most peculiar is the “no short draw” rule implementation. According to article 3.1 from the Players and Captains section, “Draws are NOT allowed before the completion of Black’s 30th move. This shall be superseded by Article 9.1 of the Laws of Chess. In case of doubts, the Chief Arbiter’s interpretation shall be final and without appeal.” (read full info about the no short draw rule). Besides, in the first round, two `imaginary` match points shall be added, for pairing purposes only, to each of the teams in the top half of the initial list. That means that in an Olympiad with 120 teams, the pairings for the first round will be 1-31, 2-32, 3-33 … 29-59, 30-60 and then 61-91, 62-92, 63-93 etc. (instead of 1-61, 2-62, 3-63 etc. in previous Olympiads). Details about this rule and the board number changes at the Olympiad rules section.

13:15 CET

Still no news from the playing hall about the pairings, nor from the official website. If any of our attentive readers have information about the team or board pairings, please, send it to our contact form. Also, feel free to send news and comments or anything connected to the Chess Olympiad.

13:17 CET

Right as we said that reaction came from Dresden. The pairings are now available, top board will be Russia – Switzerland. Stay tuned for full list in a few seconds!

Pairings open section

Russia : Switzerland

Germany 1 : Scotland

Vietnam : Ukraine

China : Philippines

Former Yug Rep of Macedonia : Azerbaijan

Hungary : Iran

Germany 2 : Bulgaria

France : Montenegro

Latvia : Israel

Armenia : Italy

Iceland : United States of America

Germany 3 : Spain

India : Canada

Egypt : Romania

England : Turkey

Estonia : Cuba

Georgia : Finland

Australia : Czech Republic

Norway : Austria

Bangladesh : Netherlands

Poland : Ireland

Brazil : Serbia

Belarus : Colombia

Venezuela : Croatia

Slovakia : Portugal

Morocco : Moldova

Greece : Mexico

Paraguay : Slovenia

Bosnia & Herzegovina : Ecuador

Costa Rica : Sweden

Argentina : Qatar

Belgium : Denmark

Uzbekistan : Indonesia

Palestine : Kazakhstan

Lithuania : Mongolia

New Zealand : Trinidad & Tobago

Sri Lanka : Faroe Islands

Malaysia : Libya

Cyprus : Tajikistan

Dominican Republic : Barbados

Surinam : IPCA

Turkmenistan : Mauritius

Albania : Singapore

Algeria : Liechtenstein

South Korea : Kyrgyzstan

United Arab Emirates : Guernsey

Aruba : Yemen

IBCA : Angola

Hongkong : South Africa

Bolivia : Macau

Full pairings list

Women section

Russia : Azerbaijan

Argentina : Ukraine

China : Croatia

England : Georgia

France : Moldova

Italy : Armenia

United States of America : Montenegro

Kazakhstan : Hungary

Poland : Austria

Ecuador : Serbia

India : Switzerland

Iran : Germany

Bulgaria : Norway

Luxembourg : Slovenia

Slovakia : Turkey

Uzbekistan : Romania

Netherlands : Colombia

Estonia : Czech Republic

Greece : Mongolia

Germany 2 : Sweden

Israel : Portugal

Germany 3 : Spain

Lithuania : Philippines

ICSC : Vietnam

Cuba : Canada

Australia : Belarus

Latvia : Bosnia & Herzegovina

Venezuela : Syria

United Arab Emirates : Mexico

Denmark : Lebanon

Tajikistan : El Salvador

Kyrgyzstan : Malta

Paraguay : Bangladesh

Brazil : Trinidad & Tobago

Qatar : Turkmenistan

IBCA : Panama

Japan : Iceland

Dominican Republic : Chinese Taipei

Macau : Indonesia

IPCA : Fiji

Ireland : Finland

Albania : Botswana

Angola : Scotland

Bolivia : Surinam

Tunisia : South Africa

Algeria : South Korea

Afghanistan : Guatemala

New Zealand : Aruba

Barbados : Wales

Uruguay : Honduras

Full pairings list women section

13:45 CET

The round 1 of the Chess Olympiad 2008 starts in 1 hour and 15 minutes. All games will be live on the official site, but in case transmission fails we will try to keep live scores updates of the matches.

14:00 CET

Some of the top matches today:

GM Svidler – GM Kortchnoi

GM Arkadij Naiditsch – GM Jonathan Rowson

GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son – GM Vassily Ivanchuk

GM Ni Hua – GM Wesley So

GM Judith Polgar – GM Maghami Ehsan Ghaem (Leko absent on board 1)

GM Georg Meier – GM Ivan Cheparinov (Topalov also takes a rest day)

GM Levon Aronian – GM Fabiano Caruana

GM Hannes Stefansson – GM Gata Kamsky

GM Ahmed Adly – GM Nisipeanu

GM Magnus Carlsen – GM Markus Ragger

GM Zhao Zong-Yuan – GM David Navara

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk – WGM Zeinab Mamedjarova

IM Carolina Lujan – GM Kateryna Lahno

WGM Yifan Hou – WGM Valentina Golubenko

IM Jovanka Houska – IM Nana Dzagnidze

IM Anna Zatonskih – WIM Jovana Vojinovich

GM Antoaneta Stefanova – WIM Ellen Hagesaether

IM Yelena Dembo – WGM Munguntuul

IM Harika Dronavalli – WIM Heinatz

14:20 CET

The Indian media has wide coverage of what is going on in Dresden. However, their main concern is the absence of Anand and pessimism seems to be filling the media reports. With the current solid play of Sasikiran and Harika at the European Club Cup surely India stands to be one of the favorites of the Chess Olympiad.

14:35 CET

This is the spectacular playing hall that will soon be full of players, coaches, journalists, and accompanying people.

olympiad playing hall

14:45 CET

15 minutes to the start of the games and players have started entering the playing hall.

14:55 CET

Now the playing hall is quite busy, with arbiters ready to start the clocks when instructed by the tournament directors.

Several readers have asked why Morozevich is playing board 3. The decision of the boards list is made by the Russian captain Alexander Bakh, we will surely ask around for more information.

15:05 CET

And the games have started! The players are not in a hurry in the opening moves, trying to get comfortable with the size and atmosphere of the event. No short draws are allowed, so a lot of action expects us today! Live games will be available here.

olympiad dresden campomases

First move by the Honorary FIDE President in the game Svidler – Kortchnoi 1.e4

15:15 CET

Magnus would consider a top-20 result in the Open group a success despite the pre tournament 19th rank as there are many strong teams with only a slightly lower average rate (for instance Netherlands, Poland, Serbia and Belarus to mention those above 2600).
Russia is top ranked with an amazing 2756 average rating, USA is no 10 with 2673 while Germany on 11th has 2647 and is only 36 points ahead of Norway.
, comments Henrik Carlsen.

At this moment Magnus is cruising smoothly through the opening of his game against Markus Ragger, who will surely put up a fight today.

15:24 CET

First result of the day! Jorge Picado from Nicaragua wins against Vital Keith from the Seychelles to open the Chess Olympiad results. The moves : 1. e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nh5 5.g4 0-0 6.gxh5 gxh5 7.Qxh5 b6 8.Bd3 Re8 9.Qxh7+ Kf8 10.Bh6 Bxh6 followed by 11.Qh8#

15:30 CET

Barileng Gaealashwe from Botswana follows Jorge Picado and scores against Kofi Leonard from Ghana, however, this time on time forfeit as the Ghana player did not show up. The same type of victory was registered in a much stronger match GM Sanduleac won on forfeit against IM Karim.

15:50 CET

The World champion Vishy Anand may not be here, but his long time second Peter Heine Nielsen is doing a very good job and already has a nice position. At the meantime Viktor Kortchnoi puts up a good fight against Svidler.

15:55 CET

Julissa Figueroa scores for Guatemala in the women section. She has won her game against Niloofar Nayab! Only 9 moves were enough after a blunder from her opponent. Guatemala – Afganistan 1:0

The women of Egypt are already two points ahead after victories of AlGohary Maiada and WGM Mona Khaled. Their match will probably be the first decisive one of the day.

16:00 CET

The new Chess Olympiad rules seem to have an immediate effect. No short draws are seen, while the new pairing system produces some very interesting games on the top boards in the first rounds.

16:15 CET

With the absence of Rafael Leitao on board 1 for Brazil, Darcy Lima has the honor to defend his flag. His task is not easy today, as he is against the Serbian champion Ivan Ivanisevic, who is steadily going towards the 2700 club.

16:26 CET

India media reports could turn right. A shocker for India as GM Sandipan draws against IM Noritsyn! The 200 ELO points advantage was not enough for Sandipan, who drew in 16 moves. Now it all depends on the top boards, Canada will have their chance here!

Even though players are not allowed to offer a draw before move 30, the game has reached a 3 move repetition, which is fine with the rules.

16:30 CET

Iraq is on the right track! Two wins by FM Hussein and FM Hussein give Iraq advantage over the US Virgin Islands.

16:45 CET

First photos from the round are available thanks to Chessdom’s good friend and frequent contributor Susan Polgar. Here is the team of France with Vachier-Lagrave and Bacrot, both playing solid chess today.

olympiad dresden france

16:46 CET

Anna Zatonskih and Jovana Vojinovich in another interesting game.

olympiad dresden fzatonskih

16:55 CET

GM Hamdouchi and GM Iordachescu reach a draw. This makes the score 1,5:0,5 for Moldova. It is possible that the move from this game are not available for some of the users of the official website, but the score is official.

olympiad dresden wesley so

Wesley So on the top boards of the Philippines

17:10 CET

Very equal game by Carlsen and Ragger. We are going to witness how both are dealing in the coming endgame. However, Magnus will have time advantage, as he has 53 minutes, for only 28 for Ragger after move 30.

17:15 CET

The crowd at the Chess Olympiad watching the games.

olympiad dresden the crowd watching

17:30 CET

ALexander Morozevich clinched a 25 move victory against Jenni Florian. Russia proves to be the favorite of this competition and starts with a strong victory on board 3. Morozevich seems to be in form, he will go for the gold medal for sure.

Last year, at the European analog of the Chess Olympics – the European Team Championship – Russia managed to take basically all the top spots and board medals in the men and women sections.

17:35 CET

GM Adly and GM Nisipeanu agree on a draw on move 31. This is yet another consecutive draw for the Romanian player, after he finished all his games draw at the ECC a few weeks ago.

17:40 CET

IM Hafizulhelmi Mas opens the score for Malaysia in what seems to be an easy match for his country.

17:45 CET

Carlsen is falling into a difficult position after his attack has been unsuccessful. Ragger may bring the surprise of the day!

At the same time Aronian will bring the first point for the defending champions Armenia. He declined several times the exchange sack of Caruana and is on the way to victory. Akopian is also on the way to bringing a full point to Armenia. Good for by the defending champions.

Azerbaijan score as well, Mamedyarov does not leave chances to Trajko Nedev.

17:55 CET

We might have a first round full of surprises. Besides the already mentioned, there are several games where 300 ELO lower rated opponents win. Such is the case of Chinasamy (2086) for Mauritius, who surprised IM Amanov (2357) from Turkmenistan.

18:00 CET

GM Vachier-Lagrave goes in the surprises list as well after drawing with GM Drasko Milan. It was a three moves repetition. Does Montenegro have a chance in this match?

And more surprising draws ahead. GM Kamsky draws with GM Stefansson, GM Roiz is held by GM Miezis, and GM Illescas trips against GM Naumann.

18:05 CET

The Czech Republic open their account against Australia. GM Babula wins against IM Xie. However, anything can happen in this match and the most interesting is to come.

No scores until now on the top 15 matches in the women section.

18:10 CET

Ragger has dropped his advantage against Carlsen, and the Norwegian has equalized.

18:15 CET

Scores started flying in the women section, without surprises up to now. IM Nadezhda Kosintseva had no problems against Isgandarova for a full point for Russia. Boards 1 and 2 of China – Yifan Hou and Zhao Xue – won their games against Golubenko and Medic, while the WWCC participant IM Natasha Bojkovic won against WIM Vasquez.

olympiad dresden womwn

18:30 CET

The European Club Cup champion Alexander Grischuk draws his game with Yannik Pelletier. Russia – Switzerland 1,5:0,5. GM Bagheri holds GM Balogh to keep Hungary – Iran equal.

18:35 CET

India trips again! Second draw, this time GM Harikrishna and GM Bluvshtein divide the point! Good game by GM Bluvshtein who held his opponent with black.

18:40 CET

GM Emanuel Berg loses his game from the 200 ELO lower rated IM Gonzalez. Sweden should be able to get the match as GM Cicak won his game, but that is surely a heavy loss for Berg and another addition to the surprises list.

However, this is not where the list finishes. Finland are destroying Georgia 2:0 as IM Sammalvuo and IM Lehtinen won against higher rated GM Izoria and GM Pantsulaia. Now Finland needs just a draw to walk away with full points.

18:45 CET

GM Vajda Levente, the second of GM Nisipeanu, brings a full point to Romania in the match against Egypt. The score is 1,5:0,5.

olympiad dresden romania

18:55 CET

Spain have finished off Germany 3 with a total score 3,5:0,5. Despite the surprising early draw, there were not any serious problems on the other boards.

Azerbaijan and Armenia increase their lead to 2:0, while Iceland and USA make a real show and are level 1,5:1,5. Now it all depends on the game GM Steingrimsson and GM Onischuk.

Bulgaria and Germany 2 is also a very interesting match. GM Cheparinov lost on board 1 from GM Meier, while the debutant GM Iotov returned the point against IM Bogner.

However, we may still call this day the round of the surprising draws, as GM Ghaem holds Judith Polgar and GM Tkachiev could not win against GM Kosic.

19:04 CET

Greece destroyed Mexico, while as expected Sweden managed to get back in the match and win 2,5-1,5 against Costa Rica.

In the women section Russia had no problems against Azerbaijan and scored 4:0, despite the interesting game between Kosteniuk and Mamedyarova. Armenia also have won their match against Italy, while 26th seeded Argentina are giving Ukraine hard time and keeping the score 1:1.

chess olympiad ukraine

Ukraine vs Argentina

19:12 CET

More surprising draws – Jakovenko vs Gallagher and Zoltan Almasi vs Moradiabadi. This leaves Russia to depend on Svidler vs Kortchnoi, while Hungary and Iran are leve 2,5-2,5.

Philippines are playing their match of the year against China. After GM Villamayor lost from GM Wang Yue, the young star GM Wesley So returned the point against GM Ni Hua. The Philippines champion IM John Paul Gomez drew with GM Li Chao and now it all depends on the game GM Wang Hao – GM Gonzalez.

chess olympiad philippines

Philippines vs China

19:20 CET

Iran holds Hungary to a draw!

GM Polgar Judit 2711 – GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan 2599 ½ : ½

GM Almasi Zoltan 2663 – GM Moradiabadi Elshan 2499 ½ : ½

GM Balogh Csaba 2616 – GM Bagheri Amir 2490 ½ : ½

GM Berkes Ferenc 2645 – GM Mahjoob Morteza 2507 ½ : ½

At the same time USA wins their match against Iceland. A real tough battle, won by Onischuk in the last game.

GM Stefansson Hannes 2575 – GM Kamsky Gata 2729 ½ : ½

GM Steingrimsson Hedinn 2540 – GM Onischuk Alexander 2644 0 : 1

GM Danielsen Henrik 2492 – GM Shulman Yuri 2616 1 : 0

IM Kristjansson Stefan 2474 – GM Akobian Varuzhan 2606 0 : 1

19:30 CET

Georgia is having difficult time losing 2:1 from Finland. In the women section the situation of the Georgians is not easier, as they are level 1,5:1,5 against 31st seeded England.

19:35 CET

Most matches are heading towards a finish. We will continue posting pictures for you and immediatelly after the round we will start publishing interviews and interesting news stories.

19:40 CET

GM Ganguly gives India a draw in hand after a victory on board 2. India seem to need Sasikiran badly. Sasikiran is in good form and surely can give quality addition to the team.

Slovakia, Poland, and Armenia achieve convincing victories.

chess olympiad georgiev

Germany 2 vs Bulgaria depend on the match GM Kiril Georgiev vs IM Arik Braun

Bulgaria – Norway women 2,5:1,5

GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2548 – WIM Hagesaether Ellen 2239 1 : 0

WGM Djingarova Emilia 2352 – WFM Bjerke Silje 2204 0 : 1

WGM Voiska Margarita 2318 – WFM Tjolsen Katrine 2110 1 : 0

WGM Velcheva Maria 2280 – Jorgensen Line Jin 1946 ½ : ½

chess olympiad stefanova

Stefanova (with her favorite Coca Cola) against WIM Hagesaether on board 1

19:40 CET

Gm Kortchnoi holds GM Svidler to a draw. Fine play by the Swiss team, but Russia walks away with the victory. FInal score 2,5:1,5.

China’s Wang Hao brought the victory to his team. A good match by Philippines which surely will continue strong in the matches to come.

Vietnam – Ukraine 1,5:2,5

GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son 2567 – GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2786 ½ : ½

GM Le Quang Liem 2583 – GM Karjakin Sergey 2730 ½ : ½

GM Dao Thien Hai 2510 – GM Eljanov Pavel 2720 ½ : ½

CM Nguyen Van Huy 2422 – GM Efimenko Zahar 2680 0 : 1

20:10 CET

Germany 1 with superb performance winning 3,5:0,5.

GM Naiditsch Arkadij 2678 – GM Rowson Jonathan 2596 1 : 0

GM Khenkin Igor 2647 – GM Shaw John 2469 1 : 0

GM Gustafsson Jan 2634 – IM Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan 2448 1 : 0

GM Baramidze David 2557 – GM McNab Colin A 2455 ½ : ½

chess olympiad azerbaijan

Strong start for Azerbaijan. Will this be their Olympiad?

20:25 CET

England victorious against Turkey 2,5:1,5

GM Adams Michael 2734 – GM Gurevich Mikhail 2634 1 : 0

GM Howell David W L 2593 – IM Can Emre 2464 ½ : ½

GM Jones Gawain C B 2548 – IM Erdogdu Mert 2449 1 : 0

GM Conquest Stuart C 2526 – IM Haznedaroglu Kivanc 2436 0 : 1

20:30 CET

Magnus Carlsen came back from the difficult position and managed to use the inacuracies of Ragger to bring victory to Norway! Final score 3:1

GM Carlsen Magnus 2786 – GM Ragger Markus 2518 1 : 0

GM Agdestein Simen 2588 – GM Kindermann Stefan 2517 ½ : ½

GM Lie Kjetil A 2526 – IM Atlas Valery 2465 1 : 0

GM Johannessen Leif Erlend 2545 – IM Neubauer Martin 2422 ½ : ½

20:45 CET

Usa is victorious in the women section as well, 3:1 against Montenegro.

IM Zatonskih Anna 2440 – WIM Vojinovic Jovana 2332 1 : 0

WGM Goletiani Rusudan 2359 – WIM Drljevic Ljilja 2259 1 : 0

WGM Rohonyan Katerina 2334 – WFM Stojanovic Marija R 2199 ½ : ½

WFM Abrahamyan Tatev 2286 – WFM Mijovic Aleksandra 2176 ½ : ½

chess olympiad zatonskih

IM Anna Zatonskih leads USA to a victory in round 1

20:50 CET

Montenegro stunned France for a 2:2!

GM Bacrot Etienne 2705 – GM Djukic Nikola 2519 1 : 0

GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2716 – GM Drasko Milan 2537 ½ : ½

GM Tkachiev Vladislav 2664 – GM Kosic Dragan 2511 ½ : ½

GM Maze Sebastien 2577 – GM Blagojevic Dragisa 2522 0 : 1

chess olympiad france

France could not believe the final result

Stay tuned for all the results, interviews, photos, and reports on!