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All that you wanted to know about the FIDE Online Olympiad 2020

by Sagar Shah - 14/08/2020

Vishy Anand, Pentala Harikrishna, Vidit Gujrathi, Aravindh Chithambaram, Nihal Sarin, R.Praggnanandhaa, Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, Bhakti Kulkarni, R. Vaishali, Vantika Agrawal and Divya Deshmukh - 12 gems of Indian chess, will represent the country at the FIDE Online Olympiad 2020. In this article we tell you everything about the event - the format, the schedule, India's chances and much more! It's a tournament that you cannot miss at any cost! And so, we recommend you to block at least the dates 21st to 23rd of August in your calendar for now! Go Team India - a billion hearts beat for you! 

All that you wanted to know about the FIDE online Olympiad explained by Sagar Shah

The FIDE Online Olympiad began on the 25th of July 2020 and its already been 20 days since the event has begun. Why is India not playing yet? What is the format? What is the schedule? Chess fans all across the country and the world have several questions related to the format of the Online Olympiad. Well, in order to make things manageable with regards to time zones and also in terms of organization the event has been broken up into several Divisions.

It all began with the base division, moving to Division 4, 3, 2 and so on. As on today, 14th of August, we will witness the Division 2 beginning. India is directly seeded in the 25 teams in the top Division.

The schedule of the tournament

The 25 teams which are already seeded in the top division. 15 more will be added from Division 2 which begins from today - 14th of August 2020.

Team India will be seen in action from the 21st of August. There will be six players fighting it out in each round. The team has 12 members and six of them will be rested during every round. The time control will be 15 minutes + 5 seconds increment per move. If team India finishes as the winner of their pool, then they go directly into the quaterfinals. If we finish second or third, our journey doesn't end, but we have to fight it out in the pre-quarter finals with another team.

The format after the top division ends. The preliminary rounds (pre-quarter finals) will be held on 27th of August, Quarter finals on 28th, Semis on 29th and Finals on the 30th.

The criteria for selection of players in each team

Team India consists of Anand, Hari, Vidit, Aravindh on the open boards (2 of them will play, 2 of them will be rested). Nihal Sarin and R. Praggnanandhaa on the juniors board (1 of them will play, 1 will be rested). Humpy, Harika, Bhakti Kulkarni and R. Vaishali on the women's boards (two of them will play, two will be rested) and Vantika Agrawal and Divya Deshmukh on the junior girls board (1 of them will play, and 1 will be rested).

The Indian players along with their rapid ratings

The top seeds in top division - Russia look invincible

The only weakness in the Chinese team (2nd seeds) can be on the Junior boards

Surprisingly USA has a squad of only 8 players!

Everyone is missing the physical Olympiad, which would have been held in Moscow at this time. The Covid-19 situation has forced us to go online, but it is going to be equally interesting with the new format!

Do you think team India will be able to win a medal? Which place will team India finish on? Let us know your placing, and the right answer will get a three months premium membership of ChessBase Account!

Important links:

Official website

Chess-results link for all the pairings


A big thanks to Siddharth Purohit, a regular ChessBase India reader, for his help by sending us the Powerpoint slides.

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