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Chess Olympiad 2022: Uzbekistan boys receive call from President after winning gold medal

Uzbekistan players during press conference after the last round. PHOTO: Lennart Ootes

Mamallapuram, Aug 10: Young Uzbekistan men's team blanked the top seeds and hosts India to clinch a gold medal in the open category in the 44th Chess Olympiad on the final day of the event here on Tuesday (August 9).

One of the youngest teams on the roster, Uzbekistan defeated rating favourites the Netherlands by 2.5-1.5, to top the podium. Coached by GM Ivan Sokolov, the Uzbekistan lads edged out Armenia on tiebreak and became national heroes. Impressed with their imperious show in the event, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev called over the phone to the victorious team and congratulated them. The entire team was beaming with pride to have received a call from the president.

The Uzbek team was led by 17-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who last Christmas dethroned Magnus Carlsen as the World Rapid Chess Champion. A chess prodigy, Nodirbek was one of the youngest players ever to achieve the Grandmaster title, at the age of 13 years, 1 month, and 11 days. The young Uzbek star had an excellent performance in Chennai, scoring 7 victories (five of them consecutive), 3 draws, and only one loss.

20-year-old Nodirbek Yakubboev, 16-year-old Javokhir Sindarov, and 20-year-old Shamsiddin Vokhidov are the other three juniors in the team, that only featured one player in his late twenties: the "veteran" of the team, Jahongir Vakhidov, at 27.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov. PHOTO: Lennart Ootes

This huge achievement by the young Uzbek prodigies comes just at the right moment, as Tashkent was confirmed a few days ago as the venue for the 2026 edition of the Chess Olympiad.

In the women's segment, the Ukrainian team grabbed a gold medal while Georgia secured a silver medal, and India A team had to contend with a bronze medal in the mega event. Ukraine and Georgia leapfrogged India A at the last moment, and all that was left was to calculate the complicated tiebreak by which Ukraine came out on top.

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Story first published: Wednesday, August 10, 2022, 12:32 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 10, 2022