Home Chess News 2016 Baku Olympiad – Day 1

2016 Baku Olympiad – Day 1


President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev opened the first round of Chess Olympiad by making the honorary move 1.d4 in the game Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – Rodwell Makoto of the match Azerbaijan-Zimbabwe at the Crystal Hall in Baku Azerbaijan.

The sad news was that 8 African federations were missing from the pairing.  There was no confirmation whether these teams would make it to Baku in time for round 2.

CaptureOn top board Russian easily overcame Nigeria to win 4-0 while the big news for Africa was Sudan holding much stronger Bulgaria to a 2-2 draw.

On Board 2 GM Momchil Nikolov of Bulgaria lost to FM Abubaker  Tagelsir of Sudan while on Board 4 IM Martin Petrov of Bulgaria went down against 2183 rated Abdelazeez Mohamed Abdalla of Sudan.

This was a fine performance from a fairly new federation.

Our good neighbours Tanzania lost 3.5 to 0.5 against Monaco.

Geoffrey Mwanyika on Board 2 for Tanzania.

The other highlight was the fight on board 1 between Deng Cypriano Rehan (1899) of South Sudan and IM Helgi Dam Ziska 2546 of Faroe Islands.  South Sudan would have caused a major upset had Cypriano won his game.

A historic photo for Sudan Sudan. Their first Olympiad match against Faroe Islands.

Deng Cypriano Rehan of South Sudan with a mean look hunting for his win!

Somalia also faced baptism by fire when they went down 4-0 to Ecuador a team that featured 1 GM and 3 IM’s.

Farah Ali Abdullahi of Somalia against IM Bryan Macias Murillo of Ecuador in a game that he lost.
Team Zambia await Team Gambia.

Burundi lost 4-0 to Dominican Republic when Zambia whitewashed Gambia 4-0.

South Africa crushed Swaziland 4-0.

Swaziland (left) vs South Africa.

We have a few photos of Team Kyrgyzstan as well.

Team Kyrgyzstan with their beautiful hats.


Top board for Team Kyrgyzstan Ladies – the charming Alexandra Samaganova.

I spent part of the morning in Old City and took some photos as well.

Maiden Tower in Old City, Baku. See the open air chess board.

With lots of little shops one can find a surprising number of things as shown below!

Those who love Soviet history will recognise the statues of Lenin.

The exhibition hall was busy with various stalls from different suppliers and I was lucky to bump into Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan of China.

The ever friendly Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan of China.

We hope to bring you daily reports from the Baku 2016 Olympiad with special focus on Africa over the next few days.


2016 Baku Olympiad Day 1.

2016 Baku Olympiad Day 2.