Power, Intelligence, Spirit, Glamour

12/28/2004 – As you know, the Chinese women's team won Gold at the 36th Chess Olympiad in Calvià. It was their fourth consecutive Olympic victory, and the dream team was afforded a hero's welcome when they returned to Beijing. Posters and stamps commemorate their successes. Pictorial report...

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The New Great Wall of China

The Chinese women built a New Great Wall at the Women's Olympiad in Calvia. Chinese team dominated the women's event ahead of the United States and Russian. It was the fourth consecutive gold for the Chinese team since 1998.


The Chinese women's team during the 36th Chess Olympiad in Calvià

It was so easy in the first nine rounds the ladies from East, led by four times World Champion Xie Jun and two times World Cup Champion Xu Yuhua, the World Girls Champion Zhao Xue and new blood 18-year-old Huang Qian, that accumulating 23.5/27 points made a strong New Chinese Wall which no team could easily cross over. It was true that both the USA team, led by former Women's World Champion Zsuzsa Polgar, and then the Georgians grabbed the opportunity for a 2-1 late Chinese takeaway, but the ladies from the East were... well... very far east already, and won their last two matches decisively against other main rivals. It is truly the New Great Wall of China.


Two ex world champions face each other: Susan Polgar and Xie Jun

At the Bled Olympiad two years ago Zhao Xue took the board four gold medal with an awesome score of 11.5/12 (and very disappointed she was to concede that draw!). Now in Calvia she took the board three gold with 10/12 and a 2596 rating performance, bettered only by Zsuzsa Polgar (2622) and team-mate Xie Jun (2597). Wow...Zhao Xue! Susan Polgar has said: "I see a very bright future for Zhao Xue. She is very talented.
 

Chess Olympiad Calvià: Women's Section
Rank.
Seed
Team
Pts
TB
1 1 China 31.0 345.0
2 3 United States 28.0 350.5
3 2 Russia 27.5 346.0
4 4 Georgia 27.5 339.0
5 8 France 25.5 340.5
6 13 Hungary 25.0 348.5
7 12 Slovakia 25.0 337.0
8 27 England 25.0 334.5
9 6 India 24.5 352.0
10 7 Poland 24.5 340.0
11 14 Armenia 24.5 330.5
12 15 Netherlands 24.5 317.5

The four consecutive Olympiad gold medals team:
Board 1: Grandmaster Xie Jun 2569 (Beijing)
Board 2: Women Grandmaster Xu Yuhua 2487 (Hangzhou, Zhejiang)
Board 3: Women Grandmaster Zhao Xue 2487 (Jinan, Shangdong)
Reserve: Women International Master Huang Qian 2371 (Chongqing)
Chief Coach: Grandmaster Ye Jiangchuan 2649 (Taiyuan, Shangxi)

Triumphant return to China


Xie Jun, Xu Yuhua, Zhao Xue and Huang Qian, during the Olympiad in Calvià


Two times world cup champion WGM Xu Yuhua in Calvià


Four times world champion Xie Jun in Calvià


The Olympic Gold Medal team arrives at Beijing Airport and is greeted by the heads of the Chinese Chess Association, the Chinese Chess Academy, Beijing Chess Academy, Children and Media.


The team (with trainer Ye Jiangchuan) pose for photographers at Beijing Airport


Boards one and two of the team: Xie Jun and Xu Yuhua


World Girls Champion Zhao Xue


Xie Jun, Xu Yuhua, Zhao Xue and Huang Qian in the celebration which took place in the Chinese Chess Academy


The Chinese Chess Academy prized 200,000 yuan (€17,984 or $24,200) to the team for its "achievement of dream and glory"


Chief coach Ye Jiangchuan said in the celebration that he will lead his ladies to take the quest for gold medal for the fifth time in Turin, Italy, the 2006 Olympiad


Pictures of the team for the new calendar and stamp to celebrate the fourth consecutive Olympiad gold medal. The two posters are entitled POWER and INTELLGENCE


And these two posters read SPIRIT and GLAMOUR

Pictures by courtesy of Beijing Aigo Chess Club, Sina.com.cn and the Chinese Chess Association. Text by Zhang Fang, chess fan, freelance writer, dramatist, poet and historian, who lives in Belgium.

Previous stories by Fang Zhang


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