The coveted board one individual gold medal in the 170-nation Chess Olympiad at Baku went to a surprise outsider. In an online poll just before play began the world chess champion, Magnus Carlsen, the US No1, Fabiano Caruana, and France’s world No2, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave were the popular choices. Not a single vote went to Georgia’s Baadur Jobava, who in the event had both the best rating performance of 2926 and the best percentage result with 8/10. In hindsight it was less of a shock, for the 32-year-old had already won Chess Olympiad gold in 2004 and is well known as a momentum player who is formidable on a winning streak, though his career also shows some losing runs. Cuba’s Leinier Domínguez Pérez took silver and Caruana bronze. Carlsen, with too many draws, was sixth and Vachier-Lagrave eighth. How did ...

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