2012 Chess Olympiad (Istanbul, Turkey)

2012 Chess Olympiad (Istanbul, Turkey)

Chess Fans & Supporters,


The time has come! The premier chess tournament is here! More than 160 federations are expected to trek across the globe to partake in this two-week festival. Many of the top players will be defending their flags and it is expected to be a competitive fight for the team medals. The Ukraine is the defending champion and Armenia has won in 2006 and 2008.

Top seed Russia has not won gold since 2002, but will be one of the favorites along with China, USA and Hungary. Several key players are missing including Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and Viswanathan Anand (India). Nevertheless, the rest of the stars will shine bright in Turkey!

Part of the Olympiad spirit will include teams sent from far and wide to defend their nation’s colors. While this event will feature professionals, it is not the sole focus of this event. Olympiad tournaments are festive celebrations that show the true universality of chess.

The biennial event demonstrates the widespread acceptance of chess as a venerable activity that is played from the dusty rural back roads to urbanized “megacities”. We will uncover new sensations and present players who have been dying to tell their stories. The Chess Drum will be in Istanbul to bring the action live beginning September 3rd.

~ Dr. Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum


  1. From Isaac Babu Odiah Aug 27 06:38PM +0300


    Uganda’s National Chess team has arrived safely in Istanbul, Turkey to take part in the 40th World Chess Olympiad which starts with first round games on Tuesday 28th August 2012 at 3 pm.

    The team comprising of Grace Kigeni, Ivy Amoko, Goretti Angolikin, Phiona Mutesi, Arthur Ssegwanyi, Harold Wanyama, Patrick Kawuma, Elijah Emojong, Bob Bibasa and Robert Katende arrived Istanbul at 12:30 pm aboard Qatar Airways and was received and ushered into the Green Park Merter Hotel by UCF President Vianney Luggya. Luggya and Vice President, Stephen Kisuze travelled with Turkish Airlines and arrived Istanbul, a day earlier.

    Three more members of the Ugandan contingent Rita Nsubuga Nansonve and Christine Namaganda who will be led by UCF General Secretary, Christopher Turyahabwe are expected in Istanbul tomorrow morning.

    The team’s travel was made possible courtesy of support from National Medical Stores, National Council of Sports, Civil Aviation Authority, Sports Outreach Ministries and Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways.

    We will keep you posted on the results. The official tournament website is https://www.chessolympiadistanbul.com

    Vianney Luggya
    in Istanbul
    Uganda Chess Federation
    P.O. Box 2355, Kampala – Uganda.

    1. Many thanks for the information. Please give us a daily update on the team activities and morale.

  2. China vs Zambia , France vs Zimbabwe , Botswana vs Argentina , montenegro vs kenya. I hope all the african teams facing very strong opposition in the first round will resist being beaten by 4-0 margins.

  3. Best result I have seen today is Uganda 3.5 – 0.5 Latvia
    Congratulations to the guys…made all of us proud!

  4. Latvia 3-1 uganda, thanks to emojong’s scalp of a 2494 Gm. Argentina 3-1 Botswana, thanks to oatlhotse’s scalp of a 2606 Gm. Chumfwa salvages half a point for zambia by holding Gm wang yue(2685). Zimbabwe fails to resist 4-0 beating whilst kenya commendably snatches half a point from the tough montenegro. Overall result for african teams, not too bad in my opinion.

  5. These are good results for African teams despite the losses. Mark Crowther of TWIC has posted the China-Zambia result and I told him that Chumfwa is quite strong and that many African masters are woefully under-rated. Let us hope that Africa will shine this Olympiad!

  6. Drum Report: Round #1

    Russia vs. Dominican Republic
    Photo by Anastasiya Karlovich.

    After a spectacular opening, the wait is over and the fireworks in Istanbul have begun! In the Olympiad, the first round usually pits the strong and mighty against the weak and humble. However, in the days of databases and powerful engines, players can come to the board well-prepared against stronger opposition. The preparation may reduce the gap by as much as 100-150 ELO points as players rated 300-400 points can remain competitive until move 30 or 40.

    Full Report: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2012/08/29/2012-chess-olympiad-round-1/

  7. Videos of Round #2 Action!

    Video by Vijay Kumar for chessdom.com.

    Video by Robert Fontaine for Europe-Echecs.com.

    Interview with GM Salem Saleh (UAE)

    Video by Vijay Kumar for chessolympiadistanbul.com.

  8. Daaim,

    Keep up the good work. Looking forward to seeing you in Istanbul soon. Here is a clip of one of our recent team meetings. “Interesting” match today in the Open/Men’s section against our brothers and Caribbean neighbours, Barbados. Back to the Jamaican “Olympiad Village”!

    Link: https://youtu.be/YZCCVsVx1lQ

  9. Drum Report: Round #3

    GM Hou Yifan
    Photo by Arman Karakhayan.

    The plot is thickening as the titans are starting to clash. The USA looks strong with another convincing win over Venezuela 3½-½ with Kamsky, Onischuk and Robson winning. Robson, 18, is delaying his freshman year at Webster University and is making the most of it. The young star is 3/3 along with Kamsky. They will get India next, a team they defeated in Khanty Mansiysk.

    Full Report: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2012/08/31/2012-chess-olympiad-round-3/

  10. Drum Report: Round #4

    Sharany Iyengar (Kenya)
    Photo by Arman Karakhayan.

    The contenders are beginning to rise to fore as many of the heavyweights are now facing off in crucial contests. Russia got a crucial win by beating China handily 3-1 with Grischuk crushing Wang Yue and Jakovenko grinding Li Chao down slowly. Russia keeps their perfect score and sits atop the field along with the Ukraine, Hungary and Armenia.

    Full Report: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2012/09/01/2012-chess-olympiad-round-4/

  11. Drum Report: Round #5

    Levon Aronian keeping his teammates relaxed before facing the Ukraine.
    Photo by Arman Karakhayan.

    The plot thickens. At the first break and at the midway point, Armenia has made the climb to the top ekeing out slim 2½-1½ victories. This round Armenia dispatched defending Olympiad champion Ukraine pushing them in a dead heat with Russia who beat Hungary 2½-1½.

    Full Report: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2012/09/02/2012-chess-olympiad-round-5/

  12. Drum Report: Round #6

    Philippines got a key win today.
    Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

    On The Chess Drum’s first day on site at the 40th Chess Olympiad, nothing could convey the electricity in the air more than being person and feeling the tension of the pending battles. Armenia-Russia was the battle of the day as a throng of people crowded around the board in anticipation.

    Full Report: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2012/09/03/2012-chess-olympiad-round-6/

  13. Daaim,
    There is this RULE at the Olympiad that affords a player with +2600 perfomance rating (RP) to become a GM instanteneously. Of course barring a few other simplier formalities.

    It has always been my belief that African teams must plan around this chance and take advantage of it instead of ignoring it. Otherwise these trips are pointless. I dont buy the exposure nonsense arguement.

    Right now the RSA team has IM. Kenny Solomon at the casp of this glory! He was at an RP of 2703. To my deductions he blindly went on a path that defeats this opportunity, i.e. sitting out against a weak team and playing against strong player when he needs to just run the clock to get to N=9! He lost and the RP slipped to 2599, he bounced back beating a GM so he has ONE HAND on the Grandmaster Glory again!
    Someone who reads this being in Istanbul MUST tell the SA team to work towards this GOAL at once! Pleeeeeeeeease!

    Well done Kenny! I feel am excited for your prospects!

  14. Hi Daaim
    I believe I am right. A while back, in previous Olympiads, there were some practical examples to boot. I will recheck!


    I want to take this time to request Africa to stand up and observe this moment as the crowning of the second GM in south of the Sahara, Mr Kenny Solomon.

    I need not wait for the official results because it ought be cristal clear in everyones mind that the man deserves this diadem.

    To those behind his success, you too are heros. CHESSA, Sponsors, family and friends, mentors, girlfriend, everybody…his dog, thank you. You have done it for Africa.
    To my friend Watu and the Chess team of the Republic of Mozanzi, Siabonga!. Its definatly through your support.

    Kenny, hat off, I humble before your zealiousness and strong will. You have it on record now, if anything in my heart, your legacy. I can only imagine how difficult it is especially when you are in Africa. Well done and congradulations, GM.

    One more thing kenny, If president Zuma does not give you a wife, come to Botswana.


    I am touched.

    Ndawana Mosenya

  16. Gees, Kenny Solomon is a gem. He is untouchable just like Ignatious Njobvu from Botswana. Sub Saharan teams are playing their hearts out this year

  17. Drum Report: Round #7

    Nakamura got a rousing win today.
    Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

    With only four rounds remaining, the favorites are rising to the top. Russia, China, the Ukraine, Armenia and the USA have the top five spots after seven rounds. Armenia lost ground with a loss to China as Wang Yue beat back Sergei Movesesian’s attack in a double-edged slugfest.

    Full Report: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2012/09/04/2012-chess-olympiad-round-7/

  18. I believe that if kenny solomon gets a GM norm in this event, it will be his second. Thus he will need to get a third GM norm in some other event for him to earn the Grandmaster title.

  19. Drum Report: Round #8

    China on the “long march”.
    Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

    Wow! What a tragedy for Vassily Ivanchuk who sat at the board after his draw with Kramnik with his head in his hands. Ivanchuk had to win to save the Russia-Ukraine match and may have had a bit of a chance in his rook ending. Once the position showed a draw Ivanchuk was said to have screamed out in anguish. As a result Russia, moved a full match up on six other teams.

    Full Report: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2012/09/05/2012-chess-olympiad-round-8/

  20. Here is the analysis of that Kenny accomplished. He earned 5.5/10 scoring even with nine GMs (3+ 3- 3=). At the Olympiad you cannot earn the GM title outright in one tournament. However, Kenny’s NORM counts as a 20-game norm or two norms. Kenny has one GM norm, so he qualifies for three norms. He now has to get a 2500 ELO and is now GM-elect. He is not officially a GM and his IM title will remain on his profile until he can reach 2500. This should be feasible given his location and access to strong tournaments.

  21. Drum Report: Reflections at Istanbul Olympiad


    I have always wanted to visit Turkey. It is one of those places that one reads about in school. The Ottoman Empire and the vision of Kemal Attaturk are those I had known about, but to see the famous Blue Mosque was something I had to witness. The 40th Chess Olympiad was held in the history city of Istanbul, Turkey and two years ago I pledged that I would get my chance.

    Full Report: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2012/09/16/reflections-in-istanbul-olympiad/

  22. Olympiad book copied from Olimpbase.org?

    As I began to read the book, I immediately noticed a familiarity with material from olimpbase.org, an excellent website chronicling of team events done by Wojiech Bartelski of Poland. I had communicated with “Wojtek” on occasion and was very familiar with his work. It appeared, upon initial glance, that the information had been taken from the olimpbase site with the format intact.

    Full Report: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2012/09/19/olympiad-book-copied-from-olimpbase/

  23. Drum Interviews @ Istanbul Olympiad

    Hilda Vukikomoala and Kieran Lyons of Fiji.

    Olympiad tournaments are full of interesting personalities ranging from professional players, to enthusiastic organizers and to national champions in tiny chess countries. The Chess Drum was able to get 12 interviews during the games including its third with three-time Olympic champion Levon Aronian.

    Full Report: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2012/09/22/drum-interviews-istanbul-olympiad/

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