Crunch Time For Online Olympiad's Top Division

Crunch Time For Online Olympiad's Top Division

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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13 | Chess Event Coverage

With three more rounds to be played on Sunday in each of the four pools, the FIDE Online Olympiad's Top Division has reached its decisive phase. While some favorites have already practically qualified, the fight for the playoff qualification spots is far from over.

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.

Below we cover the Top Division's second day when rounds four to six were played in each pool. As a reminder, the goal for the teams is to finish among the top three in their pools to qualify for the all-decisive playoff phase on August 27-30.

Pool A: Only China still perfect

China (12 points), India (11), and Germany (9) may be the ones qualifying from this group as Iran is three points behind. Georgia held Germany to a 3-3 tie in round four, where GM Rasmus Svane found a great counterattack against GM Baadur Jobava.

 

GM Viswanathan Anand hasn't had a great start. After two draws in rounds three and four, he lost as White to GM Parham Maghsoodloo, a strong force in online chess who is also doing well in our Speed Chess Championship Grand Prix. India won this match 4-2.

Parham Maghsoodloo
An excellent game by Maghsoodloo. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Top Division, Pool A | Round 6 Standings

Rk. Fed Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 TB1 TB2
1 China 4 5 5 12 26.5
2 India 4 3 4 6 11 27.0
3 Germany 3 9 19.5
4 Iran 2 2 5 6 20.5
5 Indonesia 3 6 5 18.0
6 Uzbekistan 1 ½ 1 3 5 14.5
7 Mongolia 3 2 3 6 4 18.0
8 Vietnam 2 4 4 4 17.5
9 Georgia 1 3 3 2 4 17.0
10 Zimbabwe 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1.5

Pool B: Seven teams still in contention

The final day will be crazy for Pool B, where Hungary is the surprising leader, but even the Netherlands, currently in a disappointing seventh place, is still in contention.

A very interesting fight is the following from the match Netherlands-Spain that ended in 2.5-3.5. GM Alexei Shirov managed to win an opposite-colored bishop ending (his most famous move ever was in the same type of endgame!). Or should we say, GM Benjamin Bok managed to lose it?

Move of the Century

Learn more from Alexei Shirov in this lesson, as he played the most famous move every played!

Learn!

Top Division, Pool B | Round 6 Standings

Rk. Fed Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 TB1 TB2
1 Hungary 4 1 4 4 6 10 22.5
2-3 Ukraine 2 3 5 4 9 23.0
2-3 Kazakhstan 4 3 4 6 9 23.0
4 Spain 3 9 21.5
5 Azerbaijan 5 5 8 24.0
6 Slovakia 2 2 1 6 17.5
7 Netherlands 2 3 5 19.0
8 Norway 1 2 4 2 12.5
9 France ½ 0 6 2 12.0
10 South Africa 0 2 ½ ½ 2 0 0 5.0

Pool C: Russia, Armenia... but who else?

Pool C seems to be mostly a fight for third place as Armenia and (especially) Russia have practically qualified. England and Romania currently have the best chances to join them.

From the match England-Russia, which ended 1-5, here's an instructive rook endgame that is a great example of the theme "cutting off the king."

Gawain Jones
Gawain Jones was close to a draw. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Top Division, Pool C | Round 6 Standings

Rk. Fed Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 TB1 TB2
1 Russia 5 6 6 12 30.5
2 Armenia 4 6 6 10 27.5
3 Romania 2 2 4 4 8 23.0
4 England 1 1 8 18.0
5 Bulgaria 4 3 3 3 7 18.0
6 Croatia ½ 5 3 6 5 18.5
7 Egypt 2 3 1 5 5 18.0
8 Turkey ½ 2 3 5 3 14.5
9 Morocco 0 0 0 1 4 2 6.5
10 Algeria 0 0 ½ ½ 2 0 4.5

Pool D: U.S. wins all so far

Team U.S. won't miss qualification after winning their first six matches with just one loss out of 36 games so far. Also here, a lot of teams still have a chance to make it to second or third place. 

Here's a spectacular win by GM Wesley So from the match U.S.-Cuba, which the Americans won 4.5-1.5.

Wesley So Online Olympiad
Nice attacking play by Wesley So. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Top Division, Pool D | Round 6 Standings

Rk. Fed Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 TB1 TB2
1 U.S. 5 5 5 5 4 12 28.5
2 Greece 1 3 9 19.0
3 Peru 4 4 6 8 22.5
4 Poland 5 3 4 7 20.5
5 Italy 1 5 2 6 18.5
6 Canada 2 1 4 3 4 5 15.5
7 Brazil 1 3 1 1 5 15.0
8 Argentina 1 3 4 2 3 4 14.5
9 Paraguay 2 2 2 3 3 2 13.5
10 Cuba 0 2 5 2 12.5

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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