China's men win first gold at Chess Olympiad
Web Editor: Si Huan
China won a historic Chess Olympiad gold medal, becoming the first Asian country to take the men's team title, breaking western countries' dominance for the first time since 1927.
The team triumphed at the 41st Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway on Thursday which saw 171 countries compete, the tournament's greatest participation.
Led by veteran Ni Hua, who doubled up as captain and coach, China scored a 3-1 victory over Poland in the final round, taking their tally to 19 match points from a possible 22.
Hungary took the silver medal and India bronze ahead of top seed Russia, European powerhouse Armenia and several other higher-ranked teams including European champion Azerbaijan. The result is also the best showing by Indian men in the event.
Russia took gold for a third consecutive time in the women's competition, beating Bulgaria 2.5-1.5 in the final round.
China's head coach Ye Jiangchuan credited the success and breakthrough to a "going-out" strategy.
"We've created a lot of opportunities for our players to compete in western countries," Ye was quoted as saying by the Beijing Morning Post. "They have learned a lot and made great progress from many years of competition with players from European and American countries."
Chinese grandmaster Xie Jun, women's world champion between 1991 and 1996 and again from 1999 to 2001 said: "Our team deserves to be the champion and they won because of their efforts not by chance".