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FIDE Online Olympiad Division 1, Day 3: The Dramatic Ending

FIDE Online Olympiad Division 1, Day 3: The Dramatic Ending

YuriyKrykun
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29 | Chess Event Coverage

On Friday, the final three rounds of the top division's tournament have been played, and next week we are moving on to playoffs. The results of this part of the Olympiad were both expected and somewhat surprising: on one hand, the rating favorites have mostly dominated, but there were several major upsets and unexpected twists of the plot, especially in the last round.

We are about to see details on how each pool's matches and plot unfolded, but let's take a chance to congratulate Kazakhstan, India, Russia, and USA on winning their respective pools. Russia did it with the perfect 18/18, having won all their matches!

How to watch?
The Division 1 games of the FIDE Online Olympiad can be found on our live events platform: Pool A | Pool B | Pool C | Pool D. On playing days, expert commentary is provided on Chess.com/TV starting at midnight Pacific / 9:00 a.m. Central Europe.

Live coverage of day one. Watch all of the live coverage at youtube.com/chess.


Pool A

Yesterday, we left off with Kazakhstan leading, China breathing right down its neck, being only two points behind, and Iran on the clear third, while the remaining teams had mostly lost their chances. In terms of results, the final outcome might not seem surprising: Kazakhstan did end up winning the pool, China got clear second, while Iran ended up in third place. However, there was a large unexpected twist to the plot!

In round seven, the situation did not change much, as Kazakhstan beat Australia 3.5-2.5 (even though it's worth pointing out that their two top boards lost, and they came back due to the last three boards striking back rather hard), while China won 4-2 against Georgia. Iran drew Greece, letting other teams catch up a bit in their fight for third place, but those teams were still far behind.

However, round eight brought a big upset for the leader: Kazakhstan, who used to have a perfect score, lost to Iran, while China destroyed Romania 5-0! Now, all of a sudden, Kazakhstan and China lined up with 14 points each! Now, everything came down to the last round. China suddenly had a shot at first place!

But, that wasn't the end of upsets. In the final round, when both teams had excellent chances for gold, Kazakhstan managed to beat Mongolia 4-2 while China lost 4-2 to Armenia. GM Hovhannes Gabuzyan beat GM Yu Yangyi, and the two last boards saw WFM Mariam Mkrtchyan and WIM Siranush Ghukasyan outplay their higher-rated WGM opponents Zhu Jiner and Huanq Quian, respectively. That's how the winner was made! 

The following fragment is something many of you would undoubtedly enjoy.

As a result, we have Kazakhstan as a clear winner with a terrific result of 16 points out of 18, China finished second with 14, and Iran third with 13. But what's incredible is that even though Kazakhstan scored 8/9 match wins, there was still a lot of intrigue through the last round!

FIDE Online Olympiad, Pool A

Pool B

Yesterday, we left off with India and Hungary having a close competition for the first place, France being significantly behind on the clear third. But, today quite a bit has changed.

Round seven saw, arguably, the most important encounter of the entire pool: the two leaders, India and Hungary, faced each other. With only two more rounds to go, it was very likely that the winner of the match would have overwhelming chances to win the entire pool.

India made a huge step forward, scoring 4-2. It is worth pointing out all specific results, as this match was so important: GM Viswanathan Anand beat GM Victor Erdos, GM Imre Balog beat GM Pentala Harikrishna to even the score; the outcome of the match was resulted on the female and junior boards, as GM Humpy Koneru outplayed GM Hoang Thanh Trang, and GM Nihal Sarin beat IM Marcell Borhy.

Here is a fragment that I found deeply impressive.

Meanwhile, the battle for the third got very fierce, as France lost to Sweden, letting the latter catch up in standings, and Azerbaijan snatched a convincing 4.5-1.5 victory against Slovenia to climb to clear third.

In round eight, leaders reinforced their standings, having maintained the status quo: India won a great match against Moldova 5-1, while Hungary got further ahead of Sweden, as they had beaten the latter 4.5-1.5. The Azeri team won 4.5-1.5 against Egypt, securing firmly their third place, as Sweden was already three points behind with one round to go only.

At this point, the winner had been defined: India had 15 points, Hungary was at 12, and Azerbaijan at 10. So, we could only witness the fight for third place in the last round.

It is very impressive how India had this terrific home run in the last two days, having crushed their direct rival Hungary and having secured victory as soon as round 8. My sheer congratulations! Hungary and Azerbaijan had a great tournament as well, of course, and must have made their fans very proud.

FIDE Online Olympiad, Pool B

Pool C

There is almost nothing to write about when it comes to this pool... or, there is so much to write about. What Russia has done in this tournament is truly breathtaking. Let us see how events were developing during the last day of this pool's matches!

In round seven, all leaders maintained and reinforced their standings: Russia crushed Italy 5-1, Ukraine beat Argentina 4.5-1.5 as the junior and female boards delivered a punch, and Germany won 4-2 in a bloody (not a single draw!) match against Israel, having pushed the latter far away from the pedestal.

Round eight saw Russia outplay Spain 4-2, while the only other team that had theoretical chances for first place, Ukraine, drew Italy 3-3. Now, Russia had won the pool with a round to spare. At the same time, Germany made a large step towards Ukraine in standings, having beaten Argentina 5.5-0.5 to reduce the gap to one point only before the last round.

Now that the winner was clear, there was only competition for the second and third places with Ukraine at 13 and Germany at 12 points. Both have secured medals after round eight, as other teams were already too far behind.

But, the standings didn't change: even though Germany won against Italy with an impressive score 5-1 versus Italy, Ukraine managed to hold their second spot, having beaten Spain 3.5-2.5 in a very close match. Russia crushed Latvia 6-0 to finish the tournament on another brilliant note.

Final results: Russia with the perfect 18/18 (the only team in all four pools to have a perfect score), Ukraine 15, Germany 14. Congratulations to all the medal-winning teams!

FIDE Online Olympiad, Pool C

Pool D

In the final pool, the tension kept building up all the way during the last day, as a few unexpected things happened.

We left off with USA leading with 12 points, while Poland and Canada were closely chasing the leader with 10 points each.

Round seven saw the leader reinforce its position with a win in a close match against Cuba (3.5-2.5), while Poland beat Colombia 4-2. However, the third team in the standings, Canada, lost 1.5-4.5 to Peru, suddenly giving the latter another shot at the medals.

But, a huge upset happened in round eight: Poland destroyed the leader, USA, with a convincing score of 4.5-1.5, not only to share first with them but also to get ahead of them based on tie-breaks! At the same time, Canada managed to recover from the last round's disaster by beating Cuba 4-2, while Peru continued the bronze medal's chase by winning 4-2 against Brazil.

Now, everything came down to the last round with Poland leading USA. 

USA destroyed Colombia 5.5-0.5, as only GM David Arenas managed to snatch half a point by drawing GM Jeffery Xiong. However, Poland had it harder, as they were facing a solid team of Canada. GM Razvan Preotu beat GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek, and on female boards, WGM Anna Burtasova and WIM Svitlana Demchenko outplayed WGM Jolanta Zawadzka and FM Maria Malicka, respectively. Every single game of this match ended in a decisive result to finish the match with a 3-3 tie.

What a rollercoaster of a final day! Peru also won their match, but it wasn't enough to catch up with Canada, as they finished a point behind.

Final results: USA and Poland tied with 16 points, and Canada scored 13 to place third. Not a single medal's outcome was clear until the very end of the round!

I think the following dramatic fragment would be something a lot of readers would enjoy:

Eight teams: Kazakhstan, China, India, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, USA, and Poland qualified for the playoffs that will take place next week, Sep 13-15. We are looking forward to delivering news about events of those days to you shortly, stay tuned!

FIDE Online Olympiad, Pool D

The FIDE Online Olympiad, a major online chess event for national teams, runs August 20-September 15 on the Chess.com server. More than 1,000 participants and 153 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 a five-second increment per move, starting from move one.


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