Pairings Revealed For FIDE Online Nations Cup
The team pairings for the FIDE Online Nations Cup's first round.

Pairings Revealed For FIDE Online Nations Cup

| 47 | Chess Event Coverage

The pairings for the first round of the $180,000 FIDE Online Nations Cup are Europe vs. Russia, China vs. Rest of the World, and India vs. the USA. This was the result of the drawing of lots, held during the online opening ceremony of the tournament.

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The opening ceremony took place on Monday in a live broadcast on with hosts GM Robert Hess and IM Daniel Rensch. They revealed the pairing numbers that came from a random number generator processed during a private Zoom call with team captains and technicians.

These were the numbers:

1. Europe
2. China
3. India
4. USA
5. Rest of the World
6. Russia

The pairings system follows the round-robin Berger table for six teams. That means the pairings for the first round on May 5 is Europe vs. Russia, China vs. RoW, and India vs. the USA. 

FIDE Online Nations Cup | Pairings

Rd. 1, May 5 6 a.m. PDT 15:00 CET Rd. 6, May 7 7:45 a.m. PDT 16:45 CET
Europe  Europe vs  Russia  Russia vs Europe  Europe
 China vs  RoW  RoW vs  China
 India vs  USA  USA vs  India
Rd. 2, May 5 7:45 a.m. PDT 16:45 CET Rd. 7, May 8 6 a.m. PDT 15:00 CET
 Russia vs  USA  USA vs  Russia
 RoW vs  India  India vs  RoW
Europe  Europe vs  China  China vs Europe  Europe
Rd. 3, May 6 6 a.m. PDT 15:00 CET Rd. 8, May 8 7:45 a.m. PDT 16:45 CET
 China vs  Russia  Russia vs  China
 India vs Europe  Europe Europe  Europe vs  India
 USA vs  RoW  RoW vs  USA
Rd. 4, May 6 7:45 a.m. PDT 16:45 CET Rd. 9, May 9 6 a.m. PDT 15:00 CET
 Russia vs  RoWE  RoW vs  Russia
Europe  Europe vs  USA  USA vs Europe  Europe
 China vs  India  India vs  China
Rd. 5, May 7 6 a.m. PDT 15:00 CET Rd. 10, May 9 7:45 a.m. PDT 16:45 CET
 India vs  Russia  Russia vs  India
 USA vs  China  China vs  USA
 RoW vs Europe  Europe Europe  Europe vs  RoW

This schedule right away leads to interesting board pairings in the first round. Most notably is the possibility of a clash between GMs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ian Nepomniachtchi, the two leaders of the FIDE Candidates tournament. They'll play on board one of their respective teams, Europe and Russia, if the captains decide to start with their main lineups (see below).

MVL joined the live show for a bit and, asked if he would hold anything back in preparation, he reminded that he already had played Nepo as White in Yekaterinburg: "If I play with white, it's not a match that's featured in the Candidates, and I can play my prep if I want to."

The broadcast of the opening ceremony for replay.

Other potential top-board clashes include GMs Viswanathan Anand vs. Hikaru Nakamura and GMs Ding Liren vs. Teimour Radjabov. The deadline for submitting the team lineups for the captains is 30 minutes before the start of the round.

Anand is the only player who also serves as a team captain. Wouldn't that potentially lead to an internal conflict? What if captain Anand wants the player to sit out a round, but player Anand doesn't want to?

Answering the half-serious question of how he would win this argument, the Indian GM quipped: "Oh, but I'm gonna crack the whip on him!"

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, team captain for Rest of the World, joined the broadcast as well. He started by saying: "Thank you for a nice ceremony. is really instrumental in doing this at a high-quality level."

His team faces rating favorite China in the first round. Dvorkovich: "It's gonna be tough. In team China, there are some really great players, such as a top 10-player in the men's section and two world champions in the women's section!"

Below you'll find all teams. The first four players are part of the main lineup, while players five and six are reserve players. "C" stands for the captain.


# Flag China Standard Rapid # Flag USA Standard Rapid
1 Ding Liren 2791 2836 1 Fabiano Caruana 2835 2773
2 Wang Hao 2763 2750 2 Hikaru Nakamura 2736 2829
3 Wei Yi 2732 2752 3 Leinier Dominguez 2758 2786
4 Hou Yifan 2658 2621 4 Irina Krush 2429 2392
5 Yu Yangyi 2709 2738 5 Wesley So 2770 2816
6 Ju Wenjun 2560 2610 6 Anna Zatonskih 2420 2327
C Ye Jiangchuan av. 2702 av. 2718 C John Donaldson av. 2658 av. 2654
# Flag Europe Standard Rapid # Flag India Standard Rapid
1 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2778 2860 1 Viswanathan Anand* 2753 2785
2 Levon Aronian 2773 2778 2 Vidit Gujrathi 2726 2636
3 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 2753 2774 3 Pentala Harikrishna 2719 2690
4 Anna Muzychuk 2535 2533 4 Humpy Koneru 2586 2483
5 Anish Giri 2764 2731 5 Adhiban Baskaran 2659 2624
6 Nana Dzagnidze 2524 2447 6 Harika Dronavalli 2515 2450
C Garry Kasparov av. 2688 av. 2687 C Vladimir Kramnik* av. 2660 av. 2611
# Flag Russia Standard Rapid # Flag Rest of the World Standard Rapid
1 Ian Nepomniachtchi 2784 2778 1 Teimour Radjabov 2765 2758
2 Vladislav Artemiev 2716 2769 2 Alireza Firouzja 2728 2703
3 Sergey Karjakin 2752 2709 3 Bassem Amin 2686 2608
4 Aleksandra Goryachkina 2582 2502 4 Mariya Muzychuk 2544 2506
5 Dmitry Andreikin 2726 2740 5 Jorge Cori 2652 2599
6 Olga Girya 2469 2471 6 Dinara Saduakassova 2500 2412
C Alexander Motylev av. 2672 av. 2662 C Arkady Dvorkovich av. 2646 av. 2598

*Anand will be playing captain while Kramnik is a team advisor.

The FIDE Online Nations Cup is a team competition held from May 5-10 on The first stage consists of a double round-robin with each team playing each other twice. The top two teams after 10 rounds qualify for a "Superfinal" match on May 10.

All matches are played on four boards: three with male players and one with female players. The time control for all games is 25 minutes + 10 seconds increment per move, starting from move one. The prize fund is $180,000.

Find all information about the tournament here.

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