2004 Chess Olympiad: Ukraine and China bag Gold!

The results of the 36th Chess Olympiad had both the expected and unexpected. Firstly, the Ukraine was not figured to win the gold medal over the powerful Russian team. While Russia had trouble establishing a rhythm, the undefeated Ukrainians were led by Vassily Ivanchuk (9-3, TPR 2819) and led throughout the tournament. Beside Ivanchuk's stunning performance, the team was bolstered by a gold-medal performance by reserve player, Sergey Karjakin (6-, TPR 2929).

The Chinese women were going into this Olympiad as defending champions and have dominated women's chess for the past several years. Having scored 11-1 in Bled, 19-year old
WGM Zhao Xue had another stunning Olympiad turning in a 10-2 result for the gold medal on board #3. Former World Champion, GM Xie Jun led the assault on the women's field, but was vigorously pursued by the USA, Russia, India and Georgia. The Chinese women led by as many as six match points and never looked back.

Ukraine - Men Olympiad Champions: (L-R) Vassily Ivanchuk, Ruslan Ponomariov, Andrei Volokitin, Alexander Moissenko, Sergey Karjakin, Pavel Eljanov, Vladimir Tukmakov (captain)

Ukraine - Men Olympiad Champions

(L-R) Vassily Ivanchuk, Ruslan Ponomariov, Andrei Volokitin, Alexander Moissenko, Sergey Karjakin, Pavel Eljanov, Vladimir Tukmakov (captain). (Photo by Daaim Shabazz)
China - Women Olympiad Champions: (L-R) Ye Jiangchuan (captain), Xie Jun, Xu Yuhua, Zhao Xue, Huang Qian

China - Women Olympiad Champions

(L-R) Ye Jiangchuan (captain), Xie Jun, Xu Yuhua, Zhao Xue, Huang Qian
(Photo by Daaim Shabazz)

Posted by The Chess Drum: 1 November 2004