25th Chess Olympiad: Lucerne 1982

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Basic data

25th Chess Olympiad
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 29th October - 16th November 1982
City: Lucerne, Switzerland
Venue: Ausstellung-Festhalle Allmend
Head of Organizing Committee: Mr. Armand Wyrsch (SUI)
General Secretary: Mr. Alfred N. Becker (SUI)
Chief Arbiter: IA Lothar Schmid (GER)
Teams participating: 92 (incl. Switzerland "B"; Mauritania and The Gambia did not arrive)
Players participating: 545 (incl. 62 GMs, 93 IMs and 21 FMs)
Games played: 2580 (24 games were forfeited incl. 3 mutual forfeits)
Competition format: Four board 14 round Swiss.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Buchholz; 3. Match points
Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours 30 minutes, then 1 hour for each next 16 moves
Downloadable game file: 82olm.zip

Tournament review

Switzerland were honoured to become hosts of the Chess Olympiad after 14-year break as the 1968 Olympiad was held in nearby city of Lugano. Lucerne is in close vicinity of the Alps and surrounded by charming countryside. The playing conditions were good as well as accommodation and transport. As much as a record of 94 teams applied, of which 2 (the African sides Gambia and Mauritania) did not arrive at Lucerne. Scrupulous Lothar Schmid of West Germany once again served as a Chief Arbiter. The computers were more and more in use every year. This time it was "Mephisto CVC" that assisted the organizers.

The Soviets had two K's in the squad (Karpov and Kasparov on top boards) and it was more than obvious that whoever wants to challenge them undertakes nearly impossible task. Hungary, who tackled with the Soviets so successfully last years and USA, the chronic bronze medal winners were listed as another major sides. Who else? Young but already experienced English team once again were hoping to at least level their all time best from Haifa. Yugoslavia haven't forgotten dismal 15th from Buenos Aires yet ex officio must have been put among the favourites. Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and West Germany were another set of teams that shouldn't stay forgotten. For the first time we have seen Guernsey and Jersey sending one team.

The games started on 30th October. The Swiss system (on Swiss soil this time) means, that in round 1 the big-wigs play the poor and the average play the minnows. As much as 26 matches ended in a cold-blooded 4-0. Few favourites failed. Ghindă of Romania and Inkiov of Bulgaria were infamous exceptions. That day we had seen the only 1-0 in the history of the Olympiads, since 7 of 8 players eligible to participate in Guatemala-Senegal match were absent. USA took over the lead after second day crushing France 4-0 while USSR dropped a fraction vs Chile. Hungary, because of Sax' defeat and Czechoslovakia, who barely halved vs poor Scotland with two individual defeats were the losers of the day. Gutsy Portuguese didn't give in although Holland seemed to be dominant all over the board. Romania saw another early disappointment as Gheorghiu lost badly to Leow of Singapore. The Americans didn't enjoy their lead for too long since they were immediately replaced by almighty Soviets, who beat USA convincingly on the next day. The rest of the top table matches were more or less levelled. USSR were in the lead ahead of Germany and Yugoslavia. USSR-Yugoslavia was a key clash of round 4, as usual won by the Soviets by 2½-1½. After the games had been adjourned the Soviets offered package deal leading to a 2-2 draw, but Yugoslavia refused as they apparently overestimated their chances. USA drew Germany and England surprisingly lost to Switzerland. Czechoslovakia climbed up the table reaching a top tied with USSR thanks to hammering Sweden. Hungary lost to Argentina (Portisch defeated easily by Quinteros). The fifth round saw the clash of two leaders and Soviets emerged on the top of the table (finally) as they beat brave Czechs in a stiff match by 2½-1½ (Ftáčnik stunningly beat Polugaevsky but the Soviets recovered at boards 1 and 4). Yugoslavia suffered another major disappointment as they lost to Argentina. The Netherlands crushed Austria and Hungary, no more the #2 favourites had another bad day and were happy to share points with the Cubans. Romania's play was yet another nightmare as they were virtually wiped out by PR China (Gheorghiu suffered one more humiliating defeat losing quickly to Liu). Finland lost 0-4 to Chile, and found themselves in the bottom half of the table, a true rarity for the team with two GMs in the squad. The Dutch managed to hold down their excellent form and were the first to play the Soviets and avoid loss. A draw after tough match must be considered just for both. USA beat Argentina convincingly and enjoyed another draw in Czechoslovakia-Germany clash that let them level on points with both of those. Finland's 1-3 vs Albania hit the rock-bottom. Just before the halfway gong the Soviets sealed their lead beating West Germany and the American nations, namely USA and Canada took all their chances beating Holland and England respectively. Czechoslovakia proved their superb form (despite of dismal 2-2 vs Scotland) defeating Yugoslavia (yet another loss for poor Yugoslavs) and Hungary at last showed the form close to what let them win the trophy 4 years ago killing Denmark 3½-½. France-Poland 3½-½ speaks for itself and the Poles hardly looked like to be close to repeat their 1978 and 1980 successes. Karpov's solid win over Portisch extended Soviets' lead to a full point. Czechoslovakia lost surprisingly to USA and England destroyed ebullient France again finding their way to the medal zone. Yugoslavia won 3-1 vs Cuba - at last. Romania fully recouped their early losses at a cost of Bulgaria, who were pushed outside top 30. The Bulgarians consoled themselves that these are last three rounds that matter, and a halfway slump is less evil than a last round's lost, just to remind their 1980 debacle vs Poland that threw them away of fully deserved top 10, with no reward for great play up-to-day. Round 9 brought England's heavy loss vs Soviet Union, Speelman was the only one to survive. Hungary-Czechoslovakia was a tough and even clash, a draw should not be full satisfactory for both, yet no one deserved a win. USA beat Canada in another derby of the day. Switzerland, the host team lead by tireless Kortschnoj (German spelling is used since he is a resident of German speaking country) surprisingly climbed up to tied 3rd but were to face USSR on the next day, a battle they clearly and deservedly lost 0-4 (Kasparov beat Kortschnoj in one of most spectacular games in the history). On the same day USA halved with Yugoslavia and Hungary beat Germany by a minimal margin. Czechoslovakia sent off Romania and England produced a huge surprise ripping Holland 4-0! Poland rose from the dead wiping out strong Spain 3½-½. USSR were in huge lead with 30 points, a full 4 point advantage over USA and England followed by Czechoslovakia. With three rounds to go USSR virtually sealed their gold medals as they hammered 4-0 Argentina in the 11th round. England-USA and Yugoslavia-Hungary were both drawn. Czechoslovakia beat Poland 3-1 and regained runner-up position. Switzerland were in desperate search for lost ground and managed 3-1 over Philippines - enough for joint 7th. Far behind Soviet's back Czechoslovakia went on for a priceless win over England to amplify their silver medal position, USA beat Hungary by a small margin and Yugoslavia-Switzerland was drawn, a non-satisfactory result for both. USSR, USA and Czechoslovakia, the leading trio won 2½-1½ each. Yugoslavia's 3-1 win over England was late recovery, not too late perhaps? Hungary's desperate win over Switzerland didn't help them much. Germany's 3½-½ over India was only enough for 7th place. Bulgaria-Cuba 2-2 would stay forgotten unless amusing fear on both sides that a win might mean they would be paired vs USSR in the last round, something they desperately wanted to avoid. Finally it was Denmark who carelessly beat the Philippines 3-1 and barged into the Soviets. As usual, the last round was preceded by a rest day. Czechoslovakia's modest win over Holland (who until the end did not recove from dreadful 0-4 vs England) sealed their silver medal position. USA won bronze - again. Yugoslavia continued their final spurt beating Germany 3-1, but it proved too little to overtake the Americans. Hungary took 5th place and Bulgaria, unlike two years ago, aimed perfectly hammering Australia in the very last round and came 6th. Poland recovered from scratch and thanks to Sznapik's memorable victory over Kortschnoj once again made best use of the peculiarities of the Swiss - finishing 7th in a competition where the rating performance put them down in 18th. Gutsy Danes retained their excellent 8th tied with Cuba. England finished in decent 10th, despite of their miserable finish - a draw and three losses. Romania were lucky to see their sinusoid meet 14th round in a peak, making it overall 12th. West Germany were lying in disappointing 15th along with Sweden and the Netherlands. Switzerland dropped down to 26th with same number of 30 points as their reserve team.

So, after 8 years of the low ebb it was again USSR who were long ahead of the rest of the group from start to end. A 6½ point advantage speaks for itself. World Champion Karpov in his prime followed by a 19-year old prodigy from Baku Harri Kasparov, Polugaevsky, Beliavsky and legendary Tal were a dream team earning advantage of a size last seen in mid 60's. Czechoslovakia fully deserved their surprising second place. The only slip up was early 2-2 vs Scotland, hardly important in Swiss. Plachetka, Smejkal and Ftáčnik contributed most. Their #1 Hort did decent job, although not without some obstacles that he was not able to pass. They were virtually using only five men (their 2nd res. player played only once)! USA won bronze - again. Tarjan (no loss and +5) and Seirawan must be mentioned here. They lost only once (to USSR) but were unable to extricate anything more than 2½ points of a match from round 7 onwards. Yugoslavia lead by excellent Ljubojević (bronze individual medal at board 1; quite hard under rules of Swiss) managed only 4th, no consolation for 1978 debacle. Frankly speaking they did not deserve more. Surprisingly they drew very few games - by far the least number among top seeds! Hungary were hoping to retain their position, but they never looked like it (Ribli's performance was most valuable probably). Bulgaria (best: Radulov) and Poland (Kuligowski again) made advantage of their last round's wins, since they didn't play good enough to finish in the top 10 had it only been a round robin event. Denmark fought hard to finish in the top 10 as well as Cuba. Another names worth mentioning are superb youngster from Paraguay Franco Ocampos (gold at board 1), the Filipino Mascariñas (7½/9), Agdestein of Norway (an avid football player, including Norway's national team, BTW!), Roos of France (no support from his team-mates though) and Stuart Fancy of Papua New Guinea. P. Sakho of Senegal lost his first game by default, then lost to a Maltese player, but then scored amazing 11½/12 enough to grab the silver medal at his board.

The Lucerne Olympiad closed era of F. Ólafsson as a president of FIDE. Florencio Campomanes (The Philippines) was elected the new president. The 1984 Olympiad was scheduled in Thessaloniki, Greece, the root of all modern sports and not only...

Individual medals

1st Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Franco Ocampos, Zenón Paraguay PAR 11 13 84.6
2. Girault, Eric Monaco MNC 10 12 83.3
3. GM Ljubojević, Ljubomir Yugoslavia YUG 11 14 78.6

2nd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Mascariñas, Rico The Philippines PHI 9 83.3
2. Sargos, Patrick Senegal SEN 11½ 14 82.1
3. GM Kasparov, Garry Soviet Union URS 11 77.3
3. IM Jamieson, Robert Murray Australia AUS 11 77.3

3rd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Matamoros Franco, Carlos Ecuador ECU 7 9 77.8
2. Chaivichit, Suchart Thailand THA 9 12 75.0
3. IM Hebert, Jean Canada CAN 12 70.8

4th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Agdestein, Simen Norway NOR 9 12 75.0
2. Ye Jiangchuan China CHN 12 70.8
3. GM Beliavsky, Alexander Soviet Union URS 7 10 70.0
3. Huss, Andreas Switzerland SUI2 7 10 70.0
3. Gavrilakis, Nikolaos Greece GRE 7 10 70.0

1st Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. FM Roos, Daniël France FRA 9 11 81.8
2. GM Tal, Mikhail Soviet Union URS 8 81.3
3. GM Tarjan, James Edward United States USA 7 9 77.8

2nd Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Fancy, Stuart Papua New Guinea PNG 8 9 88.9
2. Kavakul, Maijai Thailand THA 6 7 85.7
3. Mungyereza, Amos Uganda UGA 10 85.0

Interesting games

One of most fascinating and famous Olympic games.
Kortschnoj, Viktor (SUI) - Kasparov, Garry (URS) 0 - 1

Hort's sensational loss didn't hinder the Czechs from taking silver.
McKay, Roderick (SCO) - Hort, Vlastimil (CSR) 1 - 0

Watch the latent power of b7 Bishop.
Polugaevsky, Lev (URS) - Ftáčnik, Ľubomír (CSR) 0 - 1

Excellent tactical plot and a mate trap.
Gheorghiu, Florin (ROM) - Liu Wenzhe (CHN) 0 - 1

One of biggest individual upsets in the history of the Olympiads.
Trepp, Markus (SUI2) - Ribli, Zoltán (HUN) 1 - 0

White blocked the Queenside to rob Black of all the counter-chances.
Ivanov, Igor (CAN) - Miles, Anthony (ENG) 1 - 0

It is amazing that squeezed White pieces
trapped black Queen in the middle of the board.
Karpov, Anatoly (URS) - Portisch, Lajos (HUN) 1 - 0

If you follow Kasparov's strategy it seems to be so easy to breach Black's Kingside.
Kasparov, Garry (URS) - Nunn, John (ENG) 1 - 0

That was truly poisoned pawn...
Beliavsky, Alexander (URS) - Stean, Michael (ENG) 1 - 0

Pair of Bishops is not too much for all-out unveiling the black King.
Miles, Anthony (ENG) - Browne, Walter Shawn (USA) 1 - 0

There were many mistakes but even more thrills under serious zeitnot.
Kortschnoj, Viktor (SUI) - Ljubojević, Ljubomir (YUG) 1 - 0

Splendid day for the Puertorican.
Moraza Choisme, Manuel (PUR) - Inkiov, Ventzislav (BUL) 1 - 0

This was surprisingly close and hadn't only White lost on time, who knows...
Khan, Mohd Omer (PAK) - Hübner, Robert (GER) 0 - 1

White hoped trading pieces leads to draw.
Cooper, John Grantley (WLS) - Lobron, Eric (GER) 0 - 1

White exploited Stean's aimless play.
Wedberg, Tom (SWE) - Stean, Michael (ENG) 1 - 0

Schneider's play is always colourful.
Plachetka, Ján (CSR) - Schneider, Lars-Åke (SWE) 1 - 0

It taught White that pawn activity in the opening should be limited.
Hölzl, Franz (AUT) - Timman, Jan (NED) 0 - 1

This did not happen for the first time in the history of chess.
Nishimura, Hiroyuki (JPN) - Marko, Helmut (PNG) 1 - 0

We never publish here games with incomplete notation
but this opening trick truly deserves it.
Hussain, Shaikh Mazhar (PAK) - Zabasajja, Willy (UGA) 1 - 0

Watch the power of pair of centralized pawns.
Ree, Hans (NED) - Beliavsky, Alexander (URS) 1 - 0

White pieces proved stronger than black stud.
Mascariñas, Rico (PHI) - Jigjidsuren, Purev (MGL) 1 - 0

Black did not stick it out and blundered short before time control.
Portisch, Lajos (HUN) - Hort, Vlastimil (CSR) 1 - 0

That was quite typical attack yet always interesting to study.
Kindermann, Stefan (GER) - Foişor, Ovidiu (ROM) 1 - 0

Very original way of trading pieces proved successful.
Sargos, Patrick (SEN) - Sel, Çetin (TUR) 1 - 0

White discovered ingenious idea of earning extra passed pawn.
Christiansen, Larry (USA) - Csom, István (HUN) 1 - 0

White missed incredible chance on their 30th move. Find it!
Schneider, Lars-Åke (SWE) - Tal, Mikhail (URS) 0 - 1

Piece activity and control over black squares compensate Queen sac.
Kortschnoj, Viktor (SUI) - Sznapik, Aleksander (POL) 0 - 1


Ugandan team showed up at Lugano, the home of 1968 Olympiad, instead of Lucerne. Strangely enough they were not participating in 1968. Fortunately they arrived at Lucerne just after first round was played.


The Kenians lost their way between Zürich and Bern while travelling to Lucerne. They missed first two rounds of the event but the organizing committee generously allowed them to late-join.


The unofficial title of Miss Olympiad was almost unanimously granted to the Mexican girl Hilda Acevedo (see her photo1 and photo2. Courtesy of Armando Acevedo - proud father).


The Olympiad cost as much as 3 million Swiss franks. Circa 250,000 moves had been made there. The average cost per move was close to 11 frank then.


Najeeb Mohammed Saleh of UAE, aged 12, was the youngest of the players. Ron Blow of Guernsey, 74, was the oldest.