Part 2 of my review of the Malaysian Men's Team performance at the just completed 2014 Olympiad benchmarks that performance with previous Malaysian Olympiad teams.
In my preview of Malaysia's participation in the 2014 Tromso Olympiad, I researched and constructed a table showing the final rankings of Malaysian teams at previous Olympiads going back to 1992.
I selected 1992 as the cut-off point as that was when the ex-Soviet states and ex-Yugoslavia states first participated in the Olympiads after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since then, about 20 new countries all with strong chess cultures have been taking part in the Chess Olympiads. Malaysian final rankings since 1992 thus give more meaningful comparison, compared to pre-1992 figures when Malaysia finished in the Top 60 on more than a few occasions.
With the 2014 edition of the Olympiad over, the table is completed by inserting Malaysia's no. 72 final ranking.
The table says it all.
The 2014 team finished at a higher final ranking than 8 out of 11 other Malaysian teams over the last 22 years of Olympiad participation.
Only on 4 occasions in the previous 22 years did a Malaysian team finished higher than the 2014 team's no. 72. That was in 1996 at Yerevan (Armenia), and twice at Istanbul (Turkey) in 2000 and 2012, when Malaysia finished at no. 64, and at Calvia in 2004 when the team was ranked no. 70.
No.72 is not very far off no.64. No. 72 is definitely nearer to no. 64 than the no. 96 (of the 1994 and 2008 teams).
It is a remarkable achievement by the 2014 team, considering that this team had 4 players representing Malaysia for the first time at an Olympiad, a point that I shall be harping on again and again.
So congratulations again to the 2014 team for a fine performance that has done the nation proud, and a job well-done.