The 2008 Chess Olympiad in Dresden attracted the large number of competing teams. An impressive sponsor lineup with government support looked very promising. The new Chess TV tool and marketing materials produced prior to the Olympiad appeared illustrious. The super stars Topalov, Carlsen, Kramnik, Ivanchuk, Aronian, Leko, Kamsky, Adams and Polgar are participating, as well as chess players from every continent.


However, feelings of the chess fans soured because of the errors in chess games generated by electronic boards, ineffective official tournament web-site, delays of the round for an hour, organizational issues, unpopular changes to FIDE rules and FIDE (World Chess Federation) disputes with top ranked chess players and their member federations. Below is the feedback of chess officials, players and journalists.


Mig Greengard (Chess Ninja) reports that “Apparently the legendary German efficiency is just a legend, at least if you can judge from the mess that is the official Dresden Olympiad website. Let's hope someone is actually collecting the score sheets. Pathetic to have such a mess even on the top boards of one of our premier events.” Read more at:


Mark Crowther
(TWIC) reports that “I can't make use of the compiled PGN files for the individual rounds from the official site. I simply don't trust them. In fact when I downloaded rounds 1-2 for the women actually had the men's games in them.”


Susan Polgar reports that “In the third round of the 2008 Dresden Chess Olympiad, the U.S. team faced South Africa. On board 3, GM Shulman has made an official complaint about a (digital) clock situation. He made a move and pressed his clock. Unfortunately, his time was still running. When he discovered this glitch, he reported to the arbiter and the clock was replaced. But the same problem continued. He asked to be moved to a different board because he believes that the (electronic) board which connects to the clock is malfunctioning.” Read more at: website operated by Werner Stubenvoll works well and has some neat features. Susan Polgar and Paul Truong are in charge of English media. They took hundreds of great photos, which they had to place on a public web-site. The official Chess Olympiad website has no Photo Gallery, but only links to Google Picasa.

Ryan Emmett (Chess) reports “Oh the delicious irony, after FIDE had insisted that all players should turn up exactly on time for their games or be defaulted, the second round was delayed by an hour due to errors by the organizers.” Read more at:


Robert Fontaine (Europe Echecs) reports in his Round 2 video that eight men teams and two women teams left the Chess Olympiad.


Ian Rogers reports: “Dresden 2008 has also been hamstrung by logistical and other difficulties that have sometimes overshadowed the good work. The biggest problem – impossible to overcome – is that the playing hall is simply too small. With some players’ hotels being considerable distances from the playing hall, there has been mounting stress as late trams.” Read more at:


It is reported that "Chairman of the FIDE Swiss Pairings Committee Krause said the pairings for the Chess Olympiad Round 3 were a 'catastrophe'."


Peter Doggers (Chessvibes) reports that “FIDE is failing terribly in dealing with the Topalov-Kamsky match in a correct and transparent way. It’s also clear to virtually everyone that the FIDE President and his staff have generally ruined the whole system in the past ten years or more, despite their efforts to organize a lot of events.” Read more at:


Gata Kamsky (currently FIDE rated #16) in an open letter calls for the USCF board unity over a dispute with FIDE in regards to his match with Veselin Topalov (currently FIDE rated #1). He states: “FIDE's entire purpose, for the chess players, for fairness has been changed into a special interest group organization and I personally believe that any negotiations with FIDE rulers or tsars, or whatever you like to call them, will be unsuccessful. The time for the negotiation is over and the only way to fight FIDE is to expose their mistakes, and perhaps fight them in a court of law if and when FIDE broke the law.” Read more at:


Mig Greengard, ICC commentator and Chess Ninja author claims: “If FIDE could be sued for incompetence it would have gone bankrupt long ago.” Read more at:


Bill Goichberg, USCF President in an open letter states that “The chess world and the media will not be so easily fooled. It is apparent that FIDE made a public commitment, and now is seeking to back out for no valid reason. A guarantee is not subject to being revoked at the whim of the guarantor.” Read more at:


Peter Doggers also reports that “The third FIDE Grand Prix tournament, scheduled for 13-29 December in Doha, Qatar was suddenly cancelled. FIDE hastily moved the event to Elista, Russia and the participants have been informed this morning.” Here we go again.


“Chief arbiter Ignatius Leong stated that only four players were forfeited during the Oympiad but this is clearly not true; many others have reported at least ten forfeits. In the last round a Gabon player arrived in time, went to the toilet or for a coffee and came back to see that he was forfeited in the mean time. More of such examples are known, and it’s a shame.”


Alexey Shirov wrote an open letter LET US BAN FIDE: "I don’t know how many times I have said to myself," says the world class GM and world championship runner-up, "that it makes no sense at all to keep getting involved in chess politics and that I should just concentrate on my work. But the recent FIDE 'developments' possibly made many late great champions turn in their graves. That means the living chess players should speak out."


This unofficial 2008 Chess Olympiad website is our attempt to serve chess fans by providing them an easy to use, informative and enjoyable web portal, where they can follow the results, replay chess games, play chess and have fun.


Chess Quotes

And for the chess-player the success which crowns his work, the great dispeller of sorrows, is named "combination."

-Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941)

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