FIDE Online Olympiad Ready For Top Division

FIDE Online Olympiad Ready For Top Division

| 27 | Chess Event Coverage

With Division 2 wrapped up, the 2021 FIDE Online Olympiad is ready for the Top Division, to be played September 8-10. Fifteen qualifiers—Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Moldova, Philippines, Shenzhen China, Slovenia, and Sweden—will be joined by the top-25 nations.

How to watch?
The Division 2 games of the FIDE Online Olympiad can be found on our live events platform: Pool A | Pool B | Pool C | Pool D | Pool E. On playing days, expert commentary is provided on starting at midnight Pacific / 9:00 a.m. Central Europe.

After three weeks of preliminary rounds, as you could call them, we're now only days away from the clash between the top countries in the world. The Top Division, starting this Wednesday, will see countries such as Russia (with GM Alexander Grischuk and Daniil Dubov), China (GM Ding Liren and GM Hou Yifan), and India (GM Vishy Anand and Pentala Harikrishna).

The top-25 federations are seeded directly into the Top Division and are joined by the 15 qualifiers from Division 2, which took place from last Thursday to Saturday. Here's what happened in the five pools. (Note that all results remain provisional until all screenings for fair play have been finished.)

Live coverage of day three. Watch all of the live coverage at

Pool A

Two teams tied for first place in Pool A. As the only team going undefeated, Indonesia edged out the Philippines on tiebreak after both scored 16/18. 

The third qualifier in this group is an interesting one. As the event has sponsors from Shenzhen (China), they were allowed to enter a local team for the second division alongside China's top team that will join in the next stage. "Shenzhen China" managed to grab third place with 13 points. 

Indonesia's IM Irene Sukandar scored an excellent 6.5/7. Her finish against Australia's WGM Julia Ryjanova is nice:

2021 Online Olympiad Pool A

Pool B

More than in any other pool, the teams here were closely matched. The standings at the top kept changing after each round, and eventually two teams—Latvia and Moldova—also tied for first place but only with 14 match points. Playing 3-3 with Latvia in the final round, Italy came in third by just one match point.

Latvia's WGM Laura Rogule was the top scorer in the pool with a perfect 9/9. Here's how she finished off Austria's WGM Regina Theissl Pokorna:

2021 Online Olympiad Pool B

Pool C

Israel overtook Belarus in the final round, thanks to a 3.5-2.5 win in Pool C. Conceding just one 3-3 tie, the Israelis scored 17 match points, one more than the runner-up. Sweden came in third and finished a point ahead of Sri Lanka.

The Israel-Belarus match could have easily ended in 3-3, but a blunder occurred on move 55 on the last board giving Israel the win:

2021 Online Olympiad Pool C

Pool D

Also in Pool D, we saw two teams in a tie for first place as Slovenia and Argentina both scored 16 match points. Slovenia had the better tiebreak and, in fact, also beat the Argentinians in their direct battle.

Although Brazil was a bit behind after two days of play, they then faced the last three countries in the standings (Uruguay, South Africa, and Morocco). With three straight wins, the Brazilians have advanced.

The first round saw a petite combinaison by Venezuela's FM Fabian Vivas vs. Algeria's Mohamed Achour based on the pin along the long diagonal: 

2021 Online Olympiad Pool D

Pool E

This was basically the only pool with one team clearly ahead of the others. Beating eight teams, Colombia scored 17/18. The team was held to only 3-3 by runner-up Cuba, which scored 15 match points. Ecuador came in third, still two points ahead of Paraguay.

For Colombia, a team that used a maximum of 12 players, both WIM Ingris Rivera and GM Sergio Barrientos scored 5/5. The latter got the chance to play a model game using the Blumenfeld Gambit in round nine, although the execution wasn't flawless:

2021 Online Olympiad Pool E

Watch these 15 qualifying teams and 25 new teams during September 8-10 in the Top Division. There will be four pools of 10 teams each. All rounds will be live on

  • Pool A: Georgia, Romania, Armenia, Australia, Mongolia, Indonesia, China, Greece, Iran, Kazakhstan
  • Pool B: Shenzhen China, Azerbaijan, Belarus, India, Moldova, Slovenia, Egypt, France, Sweden, Hungary
  • Pool C: Israel, Argentina, Italy, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Czech Republic, Paraguay, Latvia
  • Pool D: Turkey, Peru, Cuba, Poland, United States of America, Canada, Brazil, Netherlands, England, Colombia

The FIDE Online Olympiad, a major online chess event for national teams, runs August 20-September 15 on the 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.


Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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