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Lebanon in Chess Olympiads

Lebanon in Chess Olympiads: Statistics and Curiosities

First of all, let me take the opportunity to wish for the Lebanese Olympic teams (Men and Women) all the luck in the Tromso Olympiad (Norway). Men’s team is composed of: FM Faisal Khairallah, FM Antoine Kassis, FM Amr ElJawish, FM Ibrahim Chahrour and Bassel Charaf (Captain: GM Nikolay Ligky). Women’s team is composed of: WIM Knarik Mouradian, WFM Elena Nekrasova, WFM  Maya Jalloul, WFM Youmna Makhlouf and Danielle Bedrossian (Captain: Roland Akhrass). I am sure that the players will do the upmost of what they can, crowing the efforts that the Lebanese Chess Federation (LCF) has initiated during the last couple of years in preparation for the biggest Chess event ever.

During the last couple of days, I was taking a look at some Lebanese Olympic history, and was surprised (positively and negatively) by some interesting information. I felt the urge need to share them with you. I will use the term (Record) to indicate a certain Lebanese performance, being a good one, in order to motivate the Olympic teams ’players to break it. I will start from the general and historical performances, and conclude with the individual ones.

  1. The first Olympiad that the LCF took part was Munich 1958. Lebanon and Tunis were the first Arab federations to participate in it.
  2. LCF participated in 23 Men Olympiads (with Tomso it will be 24), and 8 Women ones. Men’s Olympiads were: Munich 1958, Leipzig 1960, Havana 1966, Lugano 1968, Siegen 1970, Skopje 1972, Nice 1974, La Valletta 1980, Lucerne 1982, Thessaloniki 1984, Dubai 1986, Thessaloniki 1988, Novi Sad 1990, Manila 1992, Moscow 1994 (an unforgettable one), Yerevan 1996, Elista 1998, Bled 2002, Calvia 2004, Turin 2006, Dresden 2008, Khanty-Mansiysk 2010 and Istanbul 2012.
  3. Women’s ones: Thessaloniki 1988, Novi Sad 1990, Yerevan 1996, Elista 1998, Bled 2002, Calvia 2004, Dresden 2008 and Istanbul 2012.
  4. In the Men’s Olympiads, the Lebanese players scored 552.5 points from 1384 played games (39.9%), in 346 matches, scoring 264 match points.
  5. The Men games are distributed as follows: 373 wins, 359 draws, and 652 losses.
  6. The Men matches scores are distributed as follows: 110 wins, 44 draws, and 192 losses.
  7. In the Women’s Olympiads, the players scored 112.5 points from 304 played games (37%) in 94 matches, scoring 64 match points.
  8. The Women games are distributed as follows: 80 wins, 65 draws, and 159 losses.
  9. The Women matches scores are distributed as follows: 28 wins, 8 draws, and 58 losses.
  10. The best ranking was achieved in Dubai 1986 (49th place from 90 teams), winning 8 matches, drawing one, and losing 5. (Please Please Please: Beat this Record). The team was composed of: Frank Loheac-Ammoun, Samir Sursock, Mounir Tawbeh, Tony Abi Shaaya, Nabil El Khechen and Haitham Omar (Elo average: 2239). The players scored 29 points from 56 games (51.8%, winning 22 games, drawing 14 and losing 20) against opponents’ Elo average of 2267.

11.  The second best ranking was achieved in the new millennium in Bled 2002 (74th place from 134 teams), winning 6 matches, drawing 2, and losing 6. The team was composed of: Fadi Eid, Ahmad Najjar, Faisal Khairallah, Antoine Kassis and Nassim Sakr (Elo average: 2282). The players scored 28 points from 56 games (50%, winning 21 games, drawing 14 and losing 21) against opponents’ Elo average of 2298.

12.  The strongest Men’s team was the Dubai 1986 one (see point 10 above).

13.  The strongest Men’s team in the new millennium was the one who participated in Calvia 2004 Olympiad, with Elo average of 2337. It was composed of; Faisal Khairallah, Ahmad Najjar, Fadi Eid, Antoine Kassis, Abdo Somoff and AbdelAziz ElMahmoud. The team ended in the 89th position from 128 participants, winning 5 matches, drawing 2 and losing 7.

14.  The strongest opponent team beaten by the Lebanese Men was the team of Brazil (Elo average: 2561) during Bled Olympiad. The score was (Brazil 1.5 – Lebanon 2.5) (see point 11 above).

15.  The strongest opponent team that the Lebanese Men team faced was the USSR on at the first round of Dubai 1986. That Soviet Dream team was composed of (Kasparov, Karpov, Sokolov, Yusupov, Vaganian and Tseshkovsky). Their Elo average was: 2681. Although Kasparov and Karpov didn’t bother themselves to play against that unknown team, and although the score was a smashing 4-0, the Vaganian-Tawbeh game made history (it was adjourned with advantage to Mounir Tawbeh. The two K went down from their suites [ they were expected that their comrades will sweep those unknown players so that the match should be concluded in a couple of hours]to follow the games progress with astonishing looks at their faces, especially that the game was transmitted live on TV and of course followed in Moscow).

16.  The strongest opponent team that the Lebanese team faced in the new millennium was the Bulgarian one during the 4th round of Istanbul 2012. Their Elo average was 2678. Antoine Kassis saved the honor of the team by snatching a half point from GM Nikolov.

17.   The best rank achieved by the Women team (in comparison to the average number of the participated team) was during Calvia 2004 Olympiad. Their final ranking was 65 from 87, scoring 19.5 points from 42 games (46.4%, 14 wins, 11 draws and 17 losses), winning 5 matches, drawing one and losing 8. The team was composed of: Knarik Mouradian, Elena Nekrasova, Suzanne Mouradian and Youmna Makhlouf.

18.  The Women’s best matches’ scores were performed during the 2002 Bled Olympiad (6 wins, 1 draws, 7 losses). The team composition was: Knarik Mouradian, Suzanne Mouradian, Youmna Makhlouf and Sara Torbey.

Now, I will move to some individual records:

19.  Danielle Bedrossian participated in 4 Olympiads: 1988, 1996, 1998 and 2012 (17.5 points from 43 played games, 40.7%). The tromso 2014 will be her 5th one, a new Record.

20.  Suzanne Mouradian also took part in 4 Olympiads: 1996, 2002, 2004 and 2008.

21.  Knarik Mouradian took part in 3 Women Olympiads: 1996, 2002 and 2004, and, (pay attention to this), in Turin 2006, playing on the 4th board of the Men team!!!(Scoring 4 points from 8 games). A Record. She has a 59.7% record from the Women Olympiads games (21.5 points from 36). Another record.

22.   As Antoine Kassis is going to play in Tomso 2014, he is going to hold the record of the Olympic player with 10 Olympiads participation in his chess career and among the Lebanese Olympic players. Fadi Eid and Samir Sursock hold each one the record of participation in 9 Olympiads.

23.  Ahmad Najjar is holding the record of the highest score percentage (58.8%, 30 points from 51 games during 5 Olympiads).

24.  Bashar Kouatly hold the record of the player with the highest Elo (2475 as IM) who played for Lebanon before moving to France, and his name to the French list. So now:

25.  Fadi Eid is holding the record of the current Olympic highest rated active player on the Fide Elo list.

26.  Faisal Khairallah is holding the unbeatable record of the first Lebanese player to beat a Grand Master during an Olympiad. His victim was the Brazilian GM Darcy Lima (2533 Elo then) during the 3rd round of 2002 Bled Olympiad. Ironically, the same GM Lima was beaten by Bachar Kouatly during 1992 Manila Olympiad, but Lima was then an IM.

27.  Fadi Eid beat the Swedish GM Emmanuel Berg (Elo 2623) in the 4th round of 2008 Dresden Olympiad, the strongest opponent beaten by a Lebanese player. A Record.

28.  It is worth mentioning the 3rd GM beaten by a Lebanese player was the French Igor Nataf (Elo 2565) in the first round of 2004 Calvia olympiad.

29.  Amr El Jawish hold the record of the youngest player (Under 16 then) to play in the Lebanese Olympic team in 1010 Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad.

30.  Frank Loheac-Ammoun is the only Lebanese player who won an Olympic medal, a bronze one, on the 4th board at 1984 thessaloniki Olympiad, scoring 8.5 points from 11 games. An impressive Olympic record. Can anyone beat it?


There are a lot of other interesting things about Lebanese Olympic players. I think that what I mentioned above will be enough to motivate the players, and the captains alike, to break some records.


Lebanon in Chess Olympiads (till Tromso 2014): Statistics and Curiosities

First of all, let me take the opportunity to wish for the Lebanese Olympic team (Men) all the luck in the Baku Olympiad (Azerbaijan) (which will start on the 1st of September). Unfortunately this time there will be no Women Lebanese team to take part. I will pass over this issue, and let the LCF …

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