2010 Chess Olympiad Pictorial: Arrivals, opening and day one

by Albert Silver
9/22/2010 – The start of the Olympiad from the arrival, to the check-ins, not to mention the spectacular opening ceremony, are items that could certainly be described in words, but where pictures speak volumes more. In the following pictorial, with generous contributions from a variety of sources, we share the story on the start of the mammoth event all in pictures.

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The 2010 Chess Olympiad takes place from September 21st to October 3rd in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. It is an 11-round Swiss System team event, in which each team has four players with one reserve.

Time control: 90 minutes/40 moves + 30 minutes + 30 seconds/move as of move one.

Game start: rounds 1-10 at 9 AM UTC (5 AM New York / 2 AM Pacific daylight), and round 11 at 5 AM UTC (1 AM New York / 10 PM Pacific daylight)

Rest day: September 26th (after round 5) and October 2nd (after round 10).

2010 Chess Olympiad Khanty-Mansiysk pictorials


Magnus Carlsen at the airport, ecstatic over his new acquisition,
a children's chess book taught with cartoon animals.

His team mate, Jon Hammer admiring the book, understanding the difference between
him and the world number one.

Norwegian Ellisiv Reppen and Frode Urkedal have a fit of artistic frenzy in front of one
of the hotel's chess art displays.

Players were greeted at the airport by these lovely ladies dressed in traditional attire
with regional specialties.

The weary but delighted Jamaican women's team arriving through customs.

The players and delegations were received by the well-organized hotel and
tournament staff.

A night view of the Olympic hotel.

Opening ceremony

The opening ceremony was a spectacular bonanza of bright colors.

It included numerous choreographed pieces...

with backdrops in varied visual sets.

There were traditional dances...

not to mention the sempiternal living chess game, which reproduced the "Immortal
game" from Anderssen-Kieseritzky.

Naturally, in the traditional Olympic spirit, there was a march in which all the nations
were represented by a banner bearer.

Day one

Danish Jakob van Glud (front) and Allan Stig Rasmussen waiting for the round's start.

The Iraqi team (left) were unsurprisingly whitewashed by the number two seed
Ukrainian national squad.

The Chinese team, number three rated, dropped a half-point on board four against
Kyrgyzstan which was but one of several first-round surprises.

Certainly less expected was world number eight, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, held to a
draw by South African IM Kenny Solomon, who yielded no fewer than 362 Elo to his
grandmaster opponent.

Natalya Komarova, the governor of Khanty-Mansiysk, and a key force in making the
Olympiad happen, together with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, greeting one of the tournament's
youngest players. Could anyone help us identify him?

The team of ICSC (International Committee of Silent Chess), the team for the hearing
impaired, facing Rwanda.

Another very young competitor.

The playing hall with the first round in full sway.

Pictures are courtesy of FIDE, Jan Gustafsson, and Silje Bjerke (sjakkhuset.no)


Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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