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2012 Istanbul Chess Olympiad preview

8/21/2012 – After the London 2012 Olympics, in which we saw a number of records fall with participants from 204 nations, the upcoming Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, should be no less impressive. Players hailing from over 160 countries are expected. The official website is already up with a list of the many teams and their makeups, and expect to enjoy photos and videos as well. Here is a preview.
 

The 40th Chess Olympiad is scheduled to take place in the Turkish metropole of Istanbul, from August 27 to September 10th, 2012. The Olympiad is a biennial chess tournament in which teams from all over the world compete against each other. The event is organised by FIDE, which selects the host nation. The previous Olympiad was held in 2010 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, the next will be in Tromsø, Norway. The first was held in Paris, France, in 1924, with 16 nations participating. The last Olympiad had 143 nations, 1294 competitors, and included no fewer than 254 grandmasters, 65 WGMs, 159 IMs, and 90 WIMs. This time the organisers are expecting even more.


The official tournament poster

2012 Istanbul Chess Olympiad preview

After the London 2012 Olympics, an event in which we saw a number of records fall with participants from 204 nations, the upcoming Chess Olympiad in Istanbul should be no less impressive. Players hailing from over 160 countries are expected. Everyone who is anyone will be there, even if there are some notable names missing. The most obvious ones are Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand, but there are not the only ones. The tragic absences, meaning due to illness, are Alexander Morozevich, who recently withdrew from Biel, but also Vugar Gashimov, who is not missing due to a disagreement with his federation as last year, but a serious condition that ails him.

Don't let these MIA players detract from the grandiose event with as many elite players as could be hoped. Russia is clearly the favorite as usual with Kramnik and Karjakin at the forefront, followed by Ukraine (Ivanchuk, Ponomariov), Hungary (Leko, Almasi, Judit Polgar), Azerbaidjan (Radjabov, Mamedyarov), Armenia (Aronian), China (Wang Hao), Israel (Gelfand) and England (Adams, Short). Hikaru Nakamura will be defending the stars and stripes, and Fabiano Caruana will be the vanguard of Italy. And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

As to the women, China is once more the clear Elo favorite with Hou Yifan on top board, followed by Zhao Xue, and Ju Wenjun. That said, if the Russians lack that top Elo, they have great depth and are fielding the very same team that snatched the 2010 Gold with the Kosintseva sisters, Valentina Gunina, and Alexandra Kosteniuk, with Russian Women champion Natalia Pogonina. The third strongest lineup on paper is the traditionally strong Georgia.

Registered teams

1 Afghanistan*
2 Albania
3 Algeria
4 Andorra*
5 Angola
6 Argentina
7 Armenia
8 Aruba
9 Australia
10 Austria
11 Azerbaijan
12 Bangladesh
13 Barbados
14 Belarus
15 Belgium
16 Bermuda*
17 Bolivia
18 Bosnia Herzegovina
19 Botswana
20 Brazil
21 Bulgaria
22 Burundi
23 Cameroon
24 Canada
25 Chile
26 China
27 Chinese Taipei
28 Colombia
29 Congo*
30 Costa Rica
31 Croatia
32 Cuba
33 Cyprus*
34 Czech Republic
35 Denmark
36 Dominican Republic
37 Ecuador
38 Egypt
39 El Salvador
40 England
41 Estonia
42 Ethiopia
43 Faroe Islands*
44 Fiji
45 Finland
46 Rep of Macedonia
47 France
48 Georgia
49 Germany
50 Ghana
51 Greece
52 Guam*
53 Guatemala
54 Guernsey*
55 Haiti*
56 Honduras
57 Hong Kong*
58 Hungary
59 Iceland
60 India
61 Indonesia
62 Braille
63 Silent Chess
64 Disabled
65 Iran
66 Iraq
67 Ireland
68 Israel
69 Italy
70 Jamaica
71 Japan
72 Jersey*
73 Jordan
74 Kazakhstan
75 Kenya
76 Kuwait*
77 Kyrgyzstan
78 Latvia
79 Lebanon
80 Libya
81 Liechtenstein*
82 Lithuania
83 Luxembourg
84 Macau*
85 Malawi*
86 Malaysia
87 Maldives*
88 Mali*
89 Malta
90 Mauritania*
91 Mauritius*
92 Mexico
93 Moldova
94 Monaco
95 Mongolia
96 Montenegro
97 Mozambique
98 Myanmar*
99 Namibia
100 Nepal*
101 Netherlands
102 NL Antilles
103 New Zealand
104 Nicaragua
105 Nigeria
106 Norway
107 Pakistan
108 Palau*
109 Palestine
110 Panama
111 Papua New Guinea*
112 Paraguay
113 Peru
114 Philippines
115 Poland
116 Portugal
117 Puerto Rico
118 Qatar
119 Romania
120 Russia
121 Rwanda*
122 San Marino*
123 Sao Tome + Principe*
124 Scotland
125 Serbia
126 Seychelles
127 Sierra Leone*
128 Singapore*
129 Slovakia
130 Slovenia
131 Somalia*
132 South Africa
133 South Korea
134 Spain
135 Sri Lanka
136 Sudan
137 Suriname
138 Sweden
139 Switzerland
140 Syria
141 Tajikistan
142 Thailand
143 Togo*
144 Trinidad & Tobago
145 Tunisia
146 Turkey
147 Turkey 2016
148 Turkey 2023
149 Turkmenistan
150 Uganda
151 Ukraine
152 UAE
153 USA
154 Uruguay
155 US Virgin Islands*
156 Uzbekistan
157 Venezuela
158 Vietnam
159 Wales
160 Yemen
161 Zambia
162 Zimbabwe

* = only men's team

On this page you will find the makeup of each team, e.g.:

The opening ceremony will take place on Monday, August 27th with the first round the next day. There will be five round until the first rest day on September 2, and a final free day on September 8, the day before the final round.

Schedule

27 August 2012 Arrival, Captains' meeting (20.00), Opening (21.30)
28 August 2012 15.00 1st Round
29 August 2012 15.00 2nd Round
30 August 2012 15.00 3rd Round
31 August 2012 15.00 4th Round
1 September 2012 15.00 5th Round
2 September 2012   Free Day
3 September 2012 15.00 6th Round
4 September 2012 15.00 7th Round
5 September 2012 15.00 8th Round
6 September 2012 15.00 9th Round
7 September 2012 15.00 10th Round
8 September 2012   Free Day
9 September 2011 11.00 11th Round, Closing (20.00)
10 September 2011 Departure

The official website is already up with a list of the many teams and their makeups, and expect to enjoy photos and videos as well. Naturally, even the most assiduous and fanatical chess fan will be hard-pressed to watch them all, but if you want to try, all the main games will be transmitted on Playchess, and we'll have daily reports at the news site with GM commented games as well.


Previous reports

Chess Olympiad in Istanbul – official web site up
06.04.2012 – The 40th Chess Olympiad is scheduled to take place in the Turkish metropole of Istanbul, from August 27 to September 10th, 2012. With just over four months to go the national federations will have to make haste with the arrangements. The official web site, launched this week, provides information on rules, travel and accommodation. Details, contacts, videos.
Chess Olympiad in Istanbul – officials from seven countries banned
09.06.2012 – At a recent FIDE meeting the Turkish Chess Federation, which is host to the 40th Chess Olympiad, was given a list of arbiters for the event. TCF President Ali Nihat Yazici rejected any officials from seven countries – England, France, Georgia, Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine and the USA – for supporting court cases against FIDE and causing financial damage. The affected federations have protested.
Istanbul Chess Olympiad – Turkish teams youngest ever
20.06.2012 – At a Chess Olympiad the host nation has the right to field three teams. Typically the third team will have 2500+ GMs. Not so in Istanbul, where the Turkish Chess Federation is giving youngsters a chance. The average age in the third Open Category team is – 8.2 years! They may get clobbered by the likes of Morozevich and Grischuk in the first round, but watch them playing lesser countries.
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