Russia and Ukraine Do Well in 39th World Chess Olympiad   Leave a comment

With 20 points under its belt, Russia is first on the women’s side of the 39th World Chess Olympiad, which ended in the oil city of Khanty-Mansiysk in Western Siberia on October 3rd. The triumph is this country’s first of its kind in 24 years. In their closing round, the Russian women routed their rivals from Bulgaria 4-0. One veteran team member is the world champion in women’s chess Alexandra Kosteniuk (pictured):

“This difficult and long-awaited victory is all the more heartening for the brilliant score of the Russian team. This is my sixth Olympiad and probably the best in terms of team spirit and mutual support. This helped the team overcome setbacks and come out on top in the end.”

Yuri Dohonian is the team’s top coach: “Indeed, there were unfortunate setbacks, suggesting the girls could have performed even better. Their team is a formidable force, which is second to none in women’s chess.”

Contrary to expectations and in spite of spectacular initial progress at the Olympiad, the Russian men came second to their rivals from Ukraine. Their captain Yevgeni Bareyev attributes this to unexpected strength shown by Spain. A Spain-Russia match ended in a 2-2 draw, giving the best count to the Ukrainians.


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