Analysis of Drum Predictions for 36th Olympiad

Looking back on the results of the 36th Chess Olympiad, one would say that I didn't do too badly with my predictions. While most players and analysts picked Russia merely because of the rating lineup, there is a lot more to teams than talent. As a former semi-professional sports writer, I have seen the most bizarre occurrences in team events… inexplicable defeats, losing streaks, inspired victories by "underdogs," spectacular performances and the list goes on. In Mallorca, the Ukraine had inspiration in many quarters and  proved (once again) that team chemistry and a steady leader is more important than a team full of superstars.

Here is a table of the predictions and the actual occurrence:

Drum  Predictions

Top African Teams - (1) South Africa (2) Tunisia (3) Morocco
Top Asian Teams - (1) India (2) China (3) Vietnam, Philippines (tie)
Top Caribbean Teams - (1) Cuba (2) Barbados (3) Jamaica
Top Latin American Teams - (1) Brazil (2) Argentina (3) Chile
Top Middle Eastern Teams - (1) Israel (2) Iran (3) Turkey

Actual Positions

Top African Teams - (1) South Africa (2) Morocco (3) Tunisia
Top Asian Teams - (1) India (2) China (3) Bangladesh
Top Caribbean Teams - (1) Cuba (2) Dominican Republic (3) Puerto Rico
Top Latin American Teams - (1) Argentina (2) Mexico (3) Columbia
Top Middle Eastern Teams - (1) Israel (2) Turkey (3) Iran

Dr. Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum

Posted by The Chess Drum: 5 November 2004