1300 players from 144 countries took start at the Chess Olympiad

The 39th Chess Olympiad started today in Khanty-Mansiysk, the capital of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug-Ugra. There are 148 men’s teams and 114 women’s teams from 144 countries competing for the main trophy in team chess events.

A symbolic first move on the first boards of the Russian men's and women's teams was made by Natalya Komarova, the Governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug. “When making this move I was as nervous as if I have to play – and win! – this game”, said Natalya Vladimirovna afterwards. Together with the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov she examined the playing halls of the Olympiad.

As a rule, in the early rounds of such massive competitions the strongest teams play against the weaker ones, and the main question is whether the favorites win their matches with the perfect score. 39 teams in the men’s tournament won their matches 4-0; 19 teams collected 3,5 points, including the Russia-1 (Alexander Grischuk drew his game on the first board).

43 teams won their matches 4-0 in the women’s tournament, including the Russia-1 team, which will play against Bosnia and Herzegovina in the second round.