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43rd Olympiad Batumi 2018

43rd Olympiad Batumi 2018

With an average rating of 2239, the Lebanese (Men) team will be heading in the coming days to Batumi, to participate in the 43th chess Olympiad (23rd of September till 5th of October) the most prestigious chess event ever, awaited by all the chess players around the world. Regrettably  no women team also for the second consecutive time, due most probably to lack of active women players to form a team of minimum 4 members, as well as to national women championships (last one is dated in 2012 which was won by Suzanne Mouradian).

The Open (Men) section will consist of 185 (!) teams, and the host country will be represented by 3 ones. Having rating average of 2239, the Lebanese team will be seeded in the 102nd position (!) reflecting how far the national teams of their countries have improved.

The top seeded team is the USA one, with average Elo rating of 2772 (no  typo mistake), with Russia as number 2 (Elo average: 2264), followed by China (2756), Azerbaijan (2748) and India (2724) (Yes, Anand is going to playJ , as well as Caruana, Kramnik, Ivanchuk, but no Carlsen).

The Women section will consist of 151 teams, with Russia (Elo Av: 2523) as top seeded, followed by Ukraine (2486), China (2485), Georgia 1 (2484) and India (2458). As you noticed, dear reader, India is seeded as 5th in both sections.

Notice that the Bulgarian flag is missing in each section due to some problems with the Fide. I will let the reader investigate by himself about those problems.

Back to the Lebanese team.

The Olympic team is composed of (not in any specific order):

IM Fadi Eid (2328), FM Amr ElJawish (2276), FM Antoine Kassis (2173), the new comers CM Maroun Tomb (2177) and Mahdi El Kaoury (2106). And the Captain is: IM Tibor Karolyi. The chief of delegation will be the LCF member Mr. Khaled Bdih, accompanied by IA Elias Khairallah as sector arbiter.

It’s a smart move from the LCF to assign to the famous experienced trainer and author the responsibility of taking care of the national team during the Olympiad. Even if some training sessions for a short period of time before the start of the Olympiad are taking place, I am sure that the LCF board will make another smart one by taking profit of the huge experience of Mr. Karolyi in future work with him, as he is famous for development of talents in the young generation. Enough to know that his nick name in the chess circle is: GM maker.

Before embarking on the statistics and curiosities of the Lebanese Men team in the history of the Olympiads (in the same way that I did in the 2014 and 2016 articles), let me wish all the good luck for the team, and I am sure that they will try the upmost of what they can, with support of the LCF board members and clubs, players, friends and Lebanese people.

What follows is a briefing of the players in their historical Olympic participation:

1. IM Fadi Eid:

Rating: 2328, took part in 10 Olympiads, during which he played 114 games, scoring 56 points, with a percentage of 49% (+39 = 34 -41)

(By the way, his son, GM Christopher Repka, with an Elo rating of 2523, is leading the team of Slovakia on board 1 !!)

2.FM Amr El Jawich:

Rating: 2276, the current champion of Lebanon,  took part in 4 Olympiads, during which he played 35 games, scoring 16 points, with a percentage of 46% (+13 =6 -16)

3. FM Antoine Kassis:

Rating: 2173, took part in 11 Olympiads (a Lebanese record!), during which he played 104 games, scoring 53.5 points, with a percentage of 51.5% (+38 =31 -35).

4. Maroun Tomb:

Rating: 2177, and resident in Canada. This is his first Olympiad. His recent years’ performance will be added value to the team.

5. Mahdi El Kaoury:

Rating: 2106. This will be his first Olympiad. Being in the 3rd position in the final standing of the 2017  Lebanese Individual championship is telling something about his capacity as a player.

Now let’s look at some historic records of the Lebanese Olympic team, and add some useful info that I used in the 2014 and 2016 articles and update them accordingly (I am trying to motivate the players to break those records):

  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 25 Men Olympiads and 9 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, Istanbul 2012, Tomso 2014 and Baku 2016.

  3. Women’s ones: Thessaloniki 1988, Novi Sad 1990, Yerevan 1996, Elista 1998, Bled 2002, Calvia 2004, Dresden 2008, Istanbul 2012 and Tomso 2014.

  4. In the Men’s Olympiads, the Lebanese players scored 591.5 points from 1452 played games (40.7% – improving of 0.3% from the last one!!), in 368 matches, scoring 286 match points.

  5. The Men games are distributed as follows: 400 wins, 383 draws, and 689 losses.

  6. The Men matches scores are distributed as follows: 119 wins, 48 draws, and 201 losses.

  7. In the Women’s Olympiads, the players scored 133 points from 348 played games (38.2% – improving!!) in 105 matches, scoring 74 match points.

  8. The Women games are distributed as follows: 96 wins, 74 draws, and 178 losses.

  9. The Women matches scores are distributed as follows: 32 wins, 10 draws, and 63 losses.

  10. The best ranking was achieved in Dubai 1986 (49th place from 90 teams), winning 8 matches, drawing one, and losing 5. (a record to be beaten). 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 5 Olympiads: 1988, 1996, 1998, 2012 and 2014 (19 points from 49 played games, 38.8%).

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

21.  Knarik Mouradian took part in 4 Women Olympiads: 1996, 2002, 2004 and 2014, 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 59.6% record from the Women Olympiads games (28 points from 47). Another record.

22.  Youmna Makhlouf also took part in 4 Women Olympiads: 2002, 2004, 2012 and 2014 (9 points from 30 games – 30%).

23.   Antoine Kassis is holding the record of the Olympic player with 11 Olympiads participation in his chess career and among the Lebanese Olympic players. Fadi Eid hold the record of participation in 10 Olympiads, followed by Sand Samir Sursock with the record of participation in 9 Olympiads.

24.  Ahmad Najjar ‘s record of the highest score percentage (58.8%, 30 points from 51 games during 5 Olympiads) was beaten by FM Ibrahim Chahrour during the Tromso Olympiad ok: one not 5), scoring 6 points from 10 games, a 60% record.

25.  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:

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

27.  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.

28.  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.

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

30.  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.

31.  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?

Now, dear Olympic players, after those statistical records above, I hope that every one of you will break a least one of the mentioned records.

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