The long awaited 40th World Chess Olympiad began today at the Istanbul Expo Center with the games of the first round.
A record breaking 158 teams compete in the Open Section, while the Women Section has 124 teams participating.
The Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports, Suat Kilic, made the ceremonial first move for GM Zhao Xue in the match China - Bangladesh. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the Turkish Chess Federation President Ali Nihat Yazici were present.
As usual in the events run by Swiss pairing system, the top seeded teams faced the lower rated opposition.
Most of the world's best players participating in the Olympiad sat out of the first round. Nevertheless, world #4 Teimour Radjabov played on the first board for Azerbaijan, scoring an important victory against IM Michael Wiedenkeller of Luxembourg. Azerbaijan won convincingly 4-0.
In the Open Section Ukraine began by defeating Iraq 4-0, in a reprise match of the opening of the 2010 Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad, where Ukraine won the gold medal. Is the history repeating itself for Ukraine?
USA secured a perfect 4-0 score against Jordan, while Armenia scored 3-1 against Bolivia. Bolivia's first and only Grandmaster, Oswaldo Zambrana, stunned the much higher rated GM Sergei Movsesian.
Russia gained a quick 3-0 against Dominican Republic, but in one of the longest games of the day FM William Puntier held GM Evgeny Tomashevsky to a draw.
In the Women Section the top seeded teams signed convincing victories. China, Russia, Georgia, USA, India and Poland scored 4-0 against Bandgladesh, Bolivia, Guatemala, New Zealand, FYROM and Dominican Republic, respectively.
However, WIM Lougain Dahdal of Jordan defeated IM Lilit Galojan of Armenia to reduce the losing margin to 1-3.
WFM Gabriela Maria Avelar Bonilla from El Salvador snatched a draw from the much higher rated IM Anna Ushenina from Ukraine, however Ukraine still was victorious with 3,5-0,5 match score.
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