Tuesday, August 24th, 2021 – The pairings team have just published the group composition, team names and pairings of the Division 3 Pools. Five new groups of ten teams will resume play on Friday 27th for the three-day competition, the second stage of the Online Olympiad.
Division 3 will run Friday 27th to Sunday 29th, and the three best teams of each pool will advance to Division 2.
Thirty-four new seeded teams join the sixteen qualifiers of Division 4, played last weekend. The first stage of the Online Olympiad produced some cool statistics (based on registration information):
Here is a graphic with the countries that qualified:
A tight group, very closely matched in terms of medium rating. On paper, the favourites seem to be Malaysia (rated 1973) with several +2000 FM's and the IPCA team (International Physically Disabled Chess Association) with three IM's.
The Hong Kong team did not qualify for Division 3 after the fair play team reported that one member of the team was found in breach of the rules of the tournament in Pool A. As a result, fourth-placed Fiji advanced to Division 3, joined by the other qualifier Nepal.
These two teams have been paired in this pool, whereas the other Pool A qualifier, Lebanon, will join Pool B.
Ethiopia, Kenya and Lebanon are the qualified teams for this Pool, and they are joined by seven new seeded teams.
Ireland and Lebanon seem to have the best teams, especially on their main boards, but on the other hand, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Tunisia all have very compact reserve players. A very interesting group indeed.
As an anecdote, Tajikistan only fields six players (no reserves): a tough challenge for them, hopefully, their roster will be available for the full eleven games.
Scotland looks to be the favourite in this group, but only if they can play regularly with their main boards GM Jacob Aagaard, IM Andrew Greet and GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant.
African teams Angola (qualifier), Botswana, Nigeria and Zambia will all be ready with strong teams on all boards to make their statement for qualification. Palestine will also try to demonstrate that their qualification was well-earned.
The ICCD team (International Chess Committee of the Deaf), captained by Peter Berenyi, debuts in this Pool with twelve players from nine countries, including two WCM's.
It's always tricky to decide which of the Pools fields the strongest team, but it seems that Pool D might be the winner.
Aruba, Cyprus, Haiti, Malawi, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago are all top teams qualified from Division 4, and they are joined by powerhouses such as Paraguay (with IM Guillermo Vazquez and six other titled players), Dominican Republic (IM Josue Araujo and five other titled players), Bolivia (GM Osqaldo Zambrana, IM's Daniel Gemy and Jose Cueto leading a team of titled youngsters), and above all Uruguay, with two GM (Andres Rodriguez and Alejandro Hoffman), two IM's and a total of ten titled players.
However, the special Olympiad selection format requires extra care when fielding each of the boards: anything can happen, and that's why it's so exciting.
The final Pool fields Ghana, Namibia and Puerto Rico, who qualified in the previous division, and they are joined by Jamaica and Panama as two of the main favourites.
However, in this group, a team stands out by its own rights: Venezuela. Fielding eleven titled players out of the twelve team members, the South American country has a very evenly distributed and well though-out team, with strong main boards and excellent reserve players.
Pairings of the rounds, live games, PGN files and other useful information can be found on the FIDE Online Olympiad website. Please note that all results and standings remain provisional until the fair play panel submit its daily report.
FIDE IDs of the players sanctioned by the arbiters and/or fair play panel during the Online Olympiad can be checked out in the News section on the official website, under "Files".
The games can be followed online on www.chess.com (Events), presented by Wouter Bik, with expert analysis by WFM Alessia Santeramo, GM Roeland Pruijssers, WGM Jen Shahade and WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili. Commentary can also be followed on FIDE's own Youtube channel.
About the tournament:
Scheduled to take place from August 20th to September 15th, the 2021 FIDE Online Olympiad is a national teams event in which all federations affiliated to FIDE have the right to participate. Team's consist of six players with a minimum of three female players and two junior players.
Played online on Chess.com, the event features two main stages: the "Divisions stage", and the Play-offs stage. All games are played with a 15 minutes + 5 seconds increment per move time control. The full schedule can be consulted here.
Chess.com as the hosting platform
Partners supporting the 2021 FIDE Online Olympiad:
Shenzhen Chess Academy
Shenzhen Pengcheng Chess Club