The closing ceremony that rocked Batumi

by Sagar Shah
10/8/2018 – The closing ceremony of the Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 was a power-packed one. Prizes were not only given to the top three performing teams and their players, but there were so many other medals, including individual board medals and also gold medals for teams in Groups A to E. We bring you videos, photos and descriptions to give you a feel for how wonderfully this closing ceremony was conducted. | Pictured: The Chinese men and women's team took the front two rows in the auditorium | Photos: Amruta Mokal

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A pictorial report

We saw some great fighting chess from September 24th to October 5th at the Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018. Right until the final game ended we were not sure who had won the event. In the open section China, USA and Russia tied with the same points on the top — 18/22 — while in the women's section it was China and Ukraine with 18/22. It was the Sonneborn Berger (SB) which would break the ties between the teams. Caissa smiled upon China and they won the gold medal in both the sections! A great moment indeed for Chinese chess.

Top 5 teams in open section

Rk. Team Team
1 China CHN
2 United States of America USA
3 Russia RUS
4 Poland POL
5 England ENG

Top 5 teams in women's section

Rk. Team Team
1 China CHN
2 Ukraine UKR
3 Georgia 1 GEO1
4 Russia RUS
5 Hungary HUN

The closing ceremony was held at the Batumi Art and Musical Centre. It was a jam-packed hall with people standing in the balconies to get a glimpse of the grand show! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Some amazing Georgian dances were on display at the closing ceremony | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Traditional Georgian singers in between the Olympiad logos! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Chinese women's team and support staff share the frame with two former Women's World Champion Zhu Chen and Maia Chiburdanidze | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The most adorable chess couple in the town! Sopiko Guramishvili (left) who was commentating at the event and Anish Giri, who won the individual bronze medal on board one | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The Poles fought at the Olympiad like true warriors and beat USA and Russia. However, at the end they had to settle for the fourth spot. Of course, they were not happy to return home without a medal, yet like true gentlemen, they kept smiles on their faces. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The President of the Georgian chess Federation Giorgi Giorgadze with his wife. Did you know Giorgi is a strong grandmaster? He has a FIDE Elo of 2584! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Although Arkadij Dvorkovich won the FIDE presidential elections, he has apparently maintained good relations with his competitor Georgios Makropolous. On the right is newly re-elected ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili. As you can see from the picture, the Olympiad had ended but his work had not! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

A great chess player, a competent chess arbiter, and a prominent chess administrator, Oleg Romanishin (left), Olexandr Prohorov (centre), Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Board Prizes

Board 5 prize

The top performers on board five: Bronze (right): FM Jennifer Yu and GM Christian Bauer; Silver (left): WGM Olga Girya and GM Ilya Smirin; Gold (centre): WFM Alshaeby Boshra and GM Anton Korobov | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The top performers on board four: Bronze (right): GM Bela Khotenashvili and GM Rauf Mamedov; Silver (left): WGM Lei Tingjei and GM Bu Xiangzhi; Gold (centre): Marina Brunello and GM Daniel Fridman | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The top performers on board three: Bronze (right): IM Ana Matnadze and GM Kacper Piorun; Silver (left): WGM Huang Qian and GM Vladimir Kramnik; Gold (centre): WIM Khanim Balajayeva and GM Cori Jorge | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The top performers on board two: Bronze (right): GM Aleksandra Goryachkina and GM Teimour Radjabov; Silver (left): GM Irina Krush and GM Ian Nepomniachtchi; Gold (centre): GM Mariya Muzychuk and GM Nguyen Ngoc Truongson | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The top performers on board one: Bronze (right): GM Nana Dzagnidze and GM Anish Giri; Silver (left): GM Hoang Thanh Trang and GM Fabiano Caruana; Gold (centre): GM Ju Wenjun and GM Ding Liren | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The board prizes at the closing ceremony captured in the video

The two best chess players of this entire Olympiad were GM Cori Jorge, who had a rating performance of 2925 and Ju Wenjun who performed at an Elo of 2661. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Category prizes

The Open section had 184 teams. There are five sections and hence each section from A to E has 37 teams (184/5). In the women's section we have 151 teams and hence there are 30 teams in each section. These are the teams that performed better than all other teams in their category.

Kosovo won the top prize in the E-group (women's section)

South Sudan won the top prize in the E-group (open section) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

El Salvador took home the gold medal in the D-group (women's section) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Afghanistan won the top prize in the D-group (open section) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The team from Kyrgyzstan won the gold medal in the C group (women's section) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The team of Ecuador won the top prize in the C-group (open section) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The young team of Uzbek women created the sensation of the tournament when they beat Russia in the second round. They won the gold medal in the B-group. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Egypt won the top prize in the B-group (open section) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Russian women could have easily won the silver by beating China in the final round, but they drew a completely won match and instead had to settle for the top prize in the A category | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Poland missed out on the medal by a whisker. They had to be content with the Group A prize for their fourth-place finish (open section) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Top three teams in the open section: China (gold, centre), USA (silver, left), Russia (bronze, right) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Top three teams in the women's section: China (gold, centre), Ukraine (silver, left), Georgia 1 (bronze, right) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The medal ceremony caught on video!

Juga is a singer and songwriter. She has composed a song on chess named "Oh Capablanca". It was thoroughly enjoyed by the spectators! ChessBase recently got an exclusive sneak peak at a new acoustic version.

The Chinese team with the Nona Gaprindashvili Cup which is awarded to the country that has the highest cumulative score between the men's and women's team. China scored 18+18 = 36. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Georgian team thrilled with their bronze medal! Five players with GM Evgeny Romanov (behind the players), GM Elizbar Ubilava and GM Zurab Sturua | Photo: Amruta Mokal

That's what everyone was playing for! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The power couple: WGM Huang Qian with GM Bu Xiangzhi. Both of them had decided to work together with the black pieces. Huang played nine games with the black pieces. Bu was also slated to play a majority of the games with black pieces, but then was given white as Li Chao and Wei Yi were not doing so well. For Bu and Li this was the first gold medal. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Ding Liren quickly checks "WeChat" to see if he has received any more congratulatory messages before going on stage to get another medal! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Li Chao is definitely thrilled with his medal in this selfie with WGM Zhang Jilin, who scored 7/9 for the Australian team at the Women's Olympiad | Photo: Amruta Mokal 

Lei Tingje with Huang Qian | Photo: Amruta Mokal 

The Olympiad gives players from lesser known countries to mingle with the best in the business! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The ceremony of passing over the right to Khanty Mansiysk to hold the next FIDE World Chess Olympiad in 2020 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Arkadij Dvorkovich's address at the closing ceremony of the Batumi Olympiad 2018, the new FIDE President's first address to the chess community

The Batumi Olympiad was excellently organized by the Georgian Chess Federation. We hope that you enjoyed our coverage and we will look forward to treating you with similar or higher quality content from Khanty Mansiysk 2020! | Photo: Amruta Mokal


Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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