FIDE Pushes For Diversity With Online Chess Olympiad
Team USA facing Georgia 3 in the 2018 Batumi Olympiad. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

FIDE Pushes For Diversity With Online Chess Olympiad

40 | Chess Event Coverage

The International Chess Federation has announced the FIDE Online Olympiad, a new major team competition to be held online from July 22 till August 30th, 2020. The main 2020 Chess Olympiad, scheduled for August 5-17, has been moved to 2021 due to the coronavirus.

Like the regular, biannual event, the Online Olympiad is a competition for teams that represent their national chess federations. All federations affiliated to FIDE have the right to participate.

For this online version, however, FIDE has decided to have some more control over the actual line-ups, making sure that at least half of the team is female and that junior players are included. Therefore, it will be less of an Olympiad in the sense that we won't be seeing the best possible teams from all countries. Instead, FIDE pushes for diversity.

Another way of looking at it is that the Online Olympiad is a combination of tournaments: an open Olympiad, a women's Olympiad, and an international youth team competition all in one.

Concretely, the teams will consist of six players, with a minimum of three female players and two junior players. Specifically, each team must include:

  • at least one player under 20 (born in 2000 or later);
  • at least two women;
  • at least one girl under 20 (born in 2000 or later).

The teams may have up to six reserves, plus a team captain. 

The time control for this event will be almost twice as fast as in the FIDE Online Nations Cup: 15 minutes + 5 seconds increment per move, compared to 25+10 in the earlier event.

The event will consist of two main stages: a division stage and a playoff stage. There will be five divisions and a combination of qualification and seedings will eventually determine what the top division will look like. 

The top division will consist of five seeded teams, five nominated teams, and 15 teams that qualified from the second division. Divided into four pools, the top three teams of each pool qualify for the playoff stage.

The full regulations of the event can be found here in PDF.

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