Azerbaijan, India, Russia, USA Pool Leaders At Online Olympiad

Azerbaijan, India, Russia, USA Pool Leaders At Online Olympiad
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22 August 2020
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The FIDE Online Olympiad's Top Division got underway on Friday with the top favorites entering the fray. Azerbaijan, India, Russia, and USA lead their respective pools after the first day. The top three teams from each pool will qualify for the playoff.

How to watch?
The games of the FIDE Online Olympiad can be found here as part of our live events platform. On playing days, expert commentary is provided on Chess.com/TV starting from 1 a.m. Pacific / 10:00 a.m. Central Europe.

The absolute best countries in chess are now part of the competition, which means we're now also seeing top grandmasters playing such as GMs Ding LirenViswanathan AnandAnish GiriShakhriyar MamedyarovTeimour RadjabovIan NepomniachtchiAlexander GrischukLevon AronianDaniil Dubov, and Wesley So, to name a few.

The very best female players are present as well, such as GMs Hou YifanJu WenjunHumpy KoneruNana DzagnidzeKateryna Lagno, and Alexandra Kosteniuk. At the same time, the tournament might be bringing new talents into the spotlight as at least one male and one female junior player is in each team. 

Below we cover the Top Division's first day, on which three rounds were played in each pool. Once again, the goal for the teams is to finish among the top three in their pool to qualify for the all-decisive playoff phase on August 27-30.

Pool A: India, China, Germany still perfect

Pool A has three clear favorites to finish among those top three spots, and these countries won all of their matches on day one. India did the best, with 15.5 match points out of a possible 18, followed by China (widely considered as the favorite for final victory) and Germany.

Especially India was impressive on the first day as the team scored 14 wins and conceded only one loss and three draws. GM Nihal Sarin (@nihalsarin on our site) scored 2/2 but had quite the adventure in round two against Vietnam.

Top Division, Pool A | Round 3 Standings

Rank Fed Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MP Pts.
1   India       4         6 6 15½
2   China         4 5       6 13½
3   Germany               6 11½
4   Vietnam 2             4 4   4 10
5   Indonesia               6 2 10
6   Iran   2             2 8
7   Uzbekistan ½ 1               2 7
8   Georgia       2       3   1
9   Mongolia     2       3     1
10   Zimbabwe 0       0   ½       0 ½

Note that by the time this report came out, Pool A just finished its second day. The most recent results and standings can be found here.

Pool B: Azerbaijan leads ahead of Ukraine

Seeing Azerbaijan and Ukraine at the top in Pool B is not a big surprise. However, Slovakia and Hungary tied for third? Well, that's because France has entered the tournament with a very weak team and the Netherlands simply disappointed on the first day. While Giri did much better than last week (2.5/3), the rest of the team let him down.

Top Division, Pool B | Round 3 Standings

Rank Fed Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MP Pts.
1   Azerbaijan       5         6 14
2   Ukraine           3 5     5 13½
3   Slovakia         2       4 10
4   Hungary 1             4   4
5   Kazakhstan     4         3   3
6   Spain   3             3 9
7   France   ½             6 2 9
8   Norway   1             4 2
9   Netherlands     2 3           1
10   South Africa ½           0 2     0

Pool C: Russia reigns supreme

There's little doubt that Russia will be qualifying for the playoffs, but the fight for second and third place is gonna be a close one. No less than five teams are currently tied for second place! 

One of these is Armenia, whose top GM Aronian scored 2.5/3.

Top Division, Pool C | Round 3 Standings

Rank Fed Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MP Pts.
1   Russia               6 13½
2   Croatia       5     6     4 13½
3   Egypt             2 5   4 11½
4   Armenia           4     4 11
5   England   1             4 9
6   Bulgaria         4       4 9
7   Romania     4 2   2         2 8
8   Morocco   0 1             4 2 5
9   Turkey ½               0
10   Algeria     ½       2     0 4

Pool D: USA dominates

Pool D has a similar situation, with team USA leading firmly on six match points but Peru, Poland, and Italy currently in shared second place.

USA's GM Jeffery Xiong won all three games on the first day. 

Top Division, Pool D | Round 3 Standings

Rank Fed Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MP Pts.
1   USA       5 5         4 6 14
2   Peru           4 6     4 12½
3   Poland         5       4 11
4   Italy 1             5   4 10½
5   Greece 1       3         3
6   Argentina         3   2     3 2 8
7   Canada   2 1     4         2 7
8   Cuba   0           5   2
9   Brazil       1       1   2
10   Paraguay 2         3       1

The FIDE Online Olympiad is a major online chess event for national teams that runs July 25-August 30 on the Chess.com server. More than 1,500 participants and 163 teams from all over the world are playing.

Each team consists of six players, including at least two women, at least one player who is 20 or younger, and at least one female player who is 20 or younger. The time control for all matches is 15 minutes for the game and five seconds increment per move, starting from move one.

 

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