15th Chess Olympiad

The 15th Chess Olympiad, organized by FIDE and comprising an open[1] team tournament, as well as several other events designed to promote the game of chess, took place between September 15 and October 10, 1962, in Varna, Bulgaria.

The official poster of the Olympiad.

The Soviet team with 6 GMs, led by world champion Botvinnik, lived up to expectations and won their sixth consecutive gold medals, with Yugoslavia and Argentina taking the silver and bronze, respectively.



A total of 37 teams entered the competition and were divided into four preliminary groups of eight to ten teams each. The top three from each group advanced to Final A, the teams placed 4th-6th to Final B, and the rest to Final C, where they were joined by a Bulgarian "B" team that played outside the contest. All preliminary groups as well as Finals A and B were played as round-robin tournaments, while Final C with 14 teams was played as an 11-round Swiss system tournament.

The Soviet Union took first place in group 1, well ahead of the two German teams, East with half a point more than West. Sweden, Belgium, and Spain took the places 4–6, while Norway, Turkey, and Greece finished at the bottom of the group.

Group 2 was won by the United States, while the Bulgarian hosts and Romania were tied for second place. Israel, Mongolia, and Switzerland made up the middle part of the group, while Puerto Rico and Tunisia had to settle for Final C.

Yugoslavia clinched group 3, ahead of the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia. Poland, Iceland, and Finland had to settle for Final B. Meanwhile, France, Uruguay, Luxembourg, and Cyprus finished at the bottom of the group.

Group 4 was won by Argentina, ahead of Hungary and Austria. Denmark, Cuba, and England made up the middle part of the group, while Albania, India, Iran, and Ireland completed the field.


Final A
# Country Players Points MP
1   Soviet Union Botvinnik, Petrosian, Spassky, Keres, Geller, Tal 31½
2   Yugoslavia Gligorić, Trifunović, Matanović, Ivkov, Parma, Minić 28
3   Argentina Najdorf, Bolbochán, Panno, Sanguineti, Rossetto, Foguelman 26
4   United States Fischer, Benko, Evans, R. Byrne, D. Byrne, Mednis 25
5   Hungary Portisch, Szabó, Bilek, Barcza, Lengyel, Honfi 23
6   Bulgaria Padevsky, Tringov, Minev, Kolarov, Milev, Popov 21½
7   West Germany Unzicker, Darga, Schmid, Tröger, Hecht, Mohrlok 21
8   East Germany Uhlmann, Pietzsch, Malich, Zinn, Fuchs, Liebert 20½ 10
9   Romania Ciocâltea, Ghițescu, Gheorghiu, Soós, Radovici, Günsberger 20½ 9
10   Czechoslovakia Filip, Pachman, Hort, Fichtl, Blatný, Trapl 18½
11   Netherlands Euwe, Donner, Bouwmeester, Langeweg, Prins, Kramer 18
12   Austria Robatsch, Dückstein, Beni, Gragger, Kinzel, Lokvenc 10½

Individual medalsEdit

At the other end of the spectrum, Milton Ioannidis of Cyprus lost all of his 20 games, the worst score ever of any player at any Olympiad.


  1. ^ Although commonly referred to as the men's division, this section is open to both male and female players.