Top Division of the FIDE Online Olympiad kicks off on Friday

by ChessBase
8/17/2020 – The FIDE Online Olympiad is taking place from July 25 to August 30. All the 163 registered teams were divided into 5 divisions ranked from “Base Division” to “Top Division”. The Top Division kicks off on Friday, with 25 seeded teams, including Russia, China, United States, etcetera, joined by the top three finishers of each pool (A to E) from Division 2.

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163 countries participating

FIDE Online Olympiad 2020On July 25th, the International Chess Federation (FIDE), one of the oldest sporting bodies in the world, launched the biggest online chess event of 2020. Teams from 163 countries registered to participate at the Online Chess Olympiad. 

The event is FIDE’s response to the postponement of the “traditional” Chess Olympiad, which was planned to take place between Moscow and Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia) in August 2020. Involving more than 3,000 participants, the event was rescheduled to 2021, shortly after the IOC had also announced the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games. 

With the support of Gazprom as General Partner, the government of the Ugra region as Official Partner, and as the playing platform, the first FIDE Online Olympiad is the latest example of how chess has adapted to the coronavirus crisis. Despite having to cancel all official events played over the board — including flagship competitions like the Candidates Tournament and the World Championship match — chess has thrived during the global lockdown.

The initial ranking is topped by Russia, followed by China, USA, Armenia, and Ukraine. The Chinese, absolute winners of the 2018 Chess Olympiad both in the Open and Women’s sections, have also won the Online Nations Cup, played last May.

  1. Russia (2599)
  2. China (2595)
  3. USA (2535)
  4. Armenia (2453)
  5. Ukraine (2441)
  6. Azerbaijan (2434)
  7. India (2419)
  8. Germany (2419)
  9. Cuba (2413)
  10. Poland (2401)

The time control for this event is 15 minutes for the game plus 5-second increments per move. Each team consists of six players, in a mixed format with a minimum of three female players and two junior players.

Specifically, each team must include:

  • at least 1 player U-20 (born in 2000 or later)
  • at least 2 women
  • at least 1 girl U-20 (born in 2000 or later)

From Base Division to Top Division

All the teams were divided into 5 divisions ranked from “Base Division” to “Top Division”, according to their placement in the final standings of the latest Gaprindashvili Cup.

Base Division, Division 4 and Division 3 were played from July 25 to August 9. 

Division 2, which took place on August 14-16 was composed of 35 seeded teams and 15 teams qualified from Division 3. The 50 teams were divided into 5 pools (from A to E). Each pool played a single round-robin and the top three teams of each pool qualified to play in yhe Top Division.

The 15 teams qualified from Division 2 will join 5 seeded teams placed on the top of the Gaprindashvili Cup and 5 teams nominated by each of the four Continents. The seeded teams are listed below:

No.   Team RtgAvg Captain
Russia 2599 Motylev, Alexander
China 2595 Ye, Jiangchuan
United States of America 2535 Donaldson, John
Ukraine 2468 Sulypa, Oleksandr
Armenia 2453 Petrosian, Arshak B
Azerbaijan 2434 Safarli, Eltaj
India 2419 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi
Cuba 2413 Perez Garcia, Rodney Oscar
Poland 2401 Socko, Bartosz
Kazakhstan 2395 Kotsur, Pavel
Vietnam 2359 Lam, Minh Chau
Georgia 2354 Gaprindashvili, Valeriane
Iran 2323 Shafiei, Alireza
Canada 2308 Plotkin, Victor
Egypt 2261 Elgendy, Hesham
Peru 2252 Soto Vega, Jorge
Mongolia 2234 Gundavaa, Bayarsaikhan
Uzbekistan 2159 Iuldachev, Saidali
Brazil 2134 Diamant, Andre
Paraguay 2114 Zarza, Ronald
France 2084 Choisy, Mathilde
Algeria 2062 Nassr, Nacer
South Africa 1928  
Morocco 1879 Tissir, Mohamed
Zimbabwe 1772 Fungirayiini Mushaninga

The winners of each pool from Division 2:

  • Pool A: Bulgaria, Germany, Indonesia
  • Pool B: Greece, Romania, Slovakia
  • Pool C: Spain, Netherlands, Italy
  • Pool D: Turkey, Croatia, Norway
  • Pool E: Hungary, England, Argentina

The 40 teams will be divided into 4 pools (from A to D). Teams qualified from the same pool of Division 2 are preferably placed in different pools. Each pool plays a single round-robin and the top three teams of each pool qualify for the Play-off.

The Top Division, including the strongest teams in the world, will take place on August 21-23.


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