News & Reports Aug 9, 2014 | 12:59 PMby Tarjei Svensen

The best players of the Chess Olympiad (so far)

The Chess Olympiad is first of all a team competition, but for many of the players the board prizes are also just as prestigious. The best players on each board of each section in Tromsø can win gold, silver or bronze medals.

Let’s take a quick look at the most valuable players so far after at least five games:

The Open section

GM Valentin Iotov (Bulgaria): 5.5/6. Performance: 2899

Valentin Iotov | photo: Georgios Souleidis, chess24

The 26-year-old has had a magnificent performance on Bulgaria’s third board. His biggest triumph was defeating Russia’sSergey Karjakin (2789) in round 5, but he has also beaten Spain’s Miguel Illescas (2618) and Romania’s Vlad-Christian Jianu (2579) before conceding his first draw in round 6 against GM Robert Markus (2602).

GM Alexander Moiseenko (Ukraine): 5/5. Performance: Undefined

The 34-year-old Ukrainian has proven to be a valuable team player for the Ukrainians with a perfect 5 out of 5 score. Although Moiseenko’s opposition so far has been relatively weak, it’s clear that the reserve player is someone Ukraine need if they want to fight for the top places.

GM Samuel Shankland (USA): 5/5. Performance: Undefined

The US have been struggling in this event and are currently ranked only 22nd, but Shankland couldn’t possibly have done any more. A perfect 5/5 score for the young American.

GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR): 4/5. Performance: 2931

It’s hardly surprising, but the Norwegian World Champion has the highest rating performance among those who don’t have a perfect score. He started with “just” a draw against Finnish Nybäck, but rolled over Montenegro’s Djukic and Poland’s Wojtaszek before beating World no. 3 Caruana in round 6. How far can he take Norway?

Magnus Carlsen - having a good home Olympiad so far | photo: David Llada

The Women’s section

IM Irina Bulmaga (ROU): 5/5. Performance: Undefined

The young 21-year-old has a perfect score on Romania’s 4th board.

GM Pia Cramling (SWE): 5.5/6. Performance: 2549

Pia Cramling is still in the women's Top 10 at the age of 51! | photo: David Llada

Sweden are not among the top sides, but veteran grandmaster Pia Cramling has been almost untouchable on their first board.

WGM Deysi Cori (PER): 5.5/6. Performance 2303

It’s no surprise that young Deysi, whose brother GM Jorge Cori plays on their open team, is doing so well. She’s more than 700 points higher rated than her teammates, so they’re getting quite weak opposition. But beating lower rated opponents isn’t always a walk in the park, so well done, Deysi!

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS): 4.5/5. Performance 2669

Former World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk is trying to help Russia to a third Olympiad gold in a row | photo: Georgios Souleidis, chess24

Having played on the 1st board for Russia in the past, the former Women’s World Champion is now doing her job on the 3rd board. And she’s doing it well – only sharing the point once so far.

GM Dronavalli Harika (IND): 4.5/5. Performance: 2637

India have been somewhat disappointing in the Chess Olympiad so far and are down to 22nd place before round 7, but their first board Harika has been excellent so far, scoring wins over Spanish IM Vega and WGM Vojinovic of Serbia.

More board statistcs can be found on

See also:

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