The 22nd World Chess Olympiad was officially opened by the Israeli Prime Minister Mr. Yitzhak?
The 22nd World Chess Olympiad was officially opened by the Israeli Prime Minister Mr. Yitzhak Rabin on Sunday night (24 October).
SYNOPSIS: However, many of the world's recognised chess masters have boycotted the Olympiad, the world teams championship. The Soviet Union and other eastern European teams have refused to take part because the event is being held in Israel.
One of the top United States players in the tournament is Mr. Robert Byrne, seen here playing M. Sharif of Iran in the opening round. The top United States player and former world champion, Bobby Fischer, is not competing. The United States beat Iran by three games to one.
More than 600 players from 50 countries are competing in the Haifa tournament while at Tripoli in Libya, another 50 countries are taking part in a rival event organised by the Libyan Government. The Soviet Union boycotted the official Haifa Olympiad because of its disputes with Israel since the 1967 Middle East war; but chess officials said it had also declined to attend the rival tournament in Libya.
After the second round of the Haifa tournament, Italy was leading with seven wins from eight games. The Philippines was in second place with six-and-a-half wins from seven games, with one adjourned game still to be finished. England, Austria and West Germany were in equal third place.
The president of the International Chess Federation FIDE, Dr. Maz Euwe of Holland, said he regretted the absence of the stars from the Soviet bloc, but did not think this would spoil the event. Dr. Euwe said his federation would not take action against players who stayed away because they had been prevented by their governments from attending.