Hello everyone and welcome to the live countdown to the Chess Olympiad 2012 on Chessdom.com! Seven days are left to the opening ceremony, and for the next week we will be following the news around the larges team chess competition with minute by minute updates. Every day you will be able to find a “live article” on Chessdom that gets updated every 15 minutes with useful information, the latest news regarding the Olympiad in Istanbul, interviews with top players, polls, photos, videos, and more.
You can also participate and support your team via the Facebook commentary (scroll down to the bottom of the page), or send us useful information via the contact form.
Here is the first live countdown article. The updates are in reverse chronological order, with the first information appearing at the bottom of the live coverage, and the latest news appearing at the top.
As a final update of the day, we would like to present you the official poster of the Chess Olympiad 2012 in Turkey. Click on the image for full view. The “chess boat” floating to Istanbul is going to arrive in just 7 days in the summer capital of the ancient game. Chessdom will also be there for you, presenting the event from the scene with news, video, and commentary.
Until then we will continue daily with the news about the Chess Olympiad. Tomorrow we will be following again the events, and will open the live games pages for the competition.
Thank you for following with us today, and see you tomorrow for more live coverage and updates!
It is notable how the home country is building the national teams. It is clear that Turkey is looking way ahead into the future. In the last 5 years the federation jumped from a virtual zero to having hundreds of thousands of players and now TSF wants to develop the talents and get world class in the next 5 to 10 years.
TSF made an interesting move signing the young GM Alexander Ipatov, who right from the first official competition for Turkey became World Junior Champion.
Equally amazing is the decision of having Turkey 2016 and Turkey 2023 teams. The average age of the 2016 team is U16, while the average age of the Turkey 2023 is just 8,2 years! Now can you imagine these 8 year old players facing Kramnik, Karjakin, Jakovenko, Grischuk, and Tomashevsky?!
Read more about the TSF interesting teams in the article by Elizabeth Paehtz
GM Julio Granda, the top player of Peru, after playing 10 events for his country is also going to skip the Chess Olympiad. The reasons for Bacrot are unknown, but Julio Granda explains them in a long open letter, stating multiple facts that hinder him to play at the Olympiad.
Thus, the team of Peru will be represented by GM Jorge Cori Tello, FM Vera Sigueñas, GM Leiva Rodriguez, FM Pacheco Vivanco, and Rojas Guevara.
The chess fever in South America is stronger than ever and many countries are expecting the Olympiad as a major sports event for their representatives. As the countries there have small chances for medals, the competition is mainly for the “regional” title.
Ecuador was the first to announce its teams from the continent. The official teams presentation took place early in April, just a few days before the start of the important IV Campeonato Iberoamericano de Ajedrez.
The two teams are being led by IM/WGM Martha Fierro and GM Carlos Matamoros and both hope for high scores at individual boards.
More information on the Latin America chess teams in the next previews of the Olympiad on Chessdom.com and more detailed version in Ajedrez Chessdom the Spanish version of the website
The French team is also actively preparing for the Olympiad, but in a different fashion – they are currently holding their National Individual Chess Championship (follow the games daily here starting at 15:30 CET). Interesting to note that 5 of the first 6 positions of the French championship are held by players from the national team.
The only player from the top list who is not going to play for France is GM Etienne Bacrot. The top player of the country is absent from the participants list and no official reason has been stated by FFE.
After Cuba and Russia, we are now going to take a look at the preparation of one more major team at the Chess Olympiad. Armenia has been a “key player” at the World Olympiads in the last years. With two consecutive golds from the 37th and 38th Olympiad, Armenia failed to score podium during the last Olympiad in Khanty Mansiysk. This has made the team very ambitious and for the past weeks the players are training together with coach Arshak Petrosian.
“All the members actively participate in the team practice sessions, with trainings held twice a day,” the coach Petrosian told Panarmenian.net, adding that all the players showed good results in international tournaments this year.
Petrosian added, “We will do the utmost to have successful performance. The event will bring together a number of strong teams, with Russia, the U.S., Azerbaijan, Ukraine, France, Israel among them,” he said.
Breaking news: the 5th Grand Slam Final Masters 2012 has just been announced. The tournament will take place in Sao Paulo September 24 to 29 and Bilbao October 8 to 13. This is a good news after Mtel Masters, Linares, and Bazna Kings went out of the calendar due to financial reasons. One more top chess event stays in the calendar.
The Russian teams, favorites for medals both in the men and women sections of the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, have been practicing at a dedicated training camp for the last week.
Coach Dohoian spoke about the expectations, “The World Team Championship, the Match with China, all such events are of course important. However, the Olympiad is clearly the number one competition in the calendar. We will try to achieve good results and for that we have to uncover the potential of each chess player in the team.”
The coach of the women team GM Rublevsky agrees and says, “The Olympiad is the most important team event. Our main competition in the women section comes from China, but also Georgia, Ukraine, and India. The team is ready and has been selected correctly by the performance in the match against China, the European Individual Women Championship, etc.”
Natalia Pogonina expressed her opinion about the Olympiad in a recent interview, read the full text here.
Most of the teams are currently in preparation for the Olympiad. Some are preparing to travel, and are sent to Istanbul as heroes. The Cuban male and female chess teams to represent the Caribbean island in the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul were presented on the 18th of August in the Cuban capital, La Habana. Dominguez was carrying the flag and a multitude of people wished good luck to the team.
Cuba has its best performance in the cities of Novi Sad in 1990 and Calvia in 2004, when it got the 7th place in both competitions.
Individually, there are the gold medals won by Jose Raul Capablanca as first player in Buenos Aires in 1939 and the one by Reynaldo Vera as the third player of the Cuban team in Elista (Russia) in 1998.
The female team had its best historical performance two years ago, in the Russian city of Khanty Mansiysk in 2010, when it reached the 4th place, with an outstanding performance by GM Yaniet Marrero as gold medal on third board.
The following official hotels of the Olympiad will be used for the accommodation of the participants. Hotels will be given by respecting to last Olympiad Ranking. Most of the hotels are 5 stars and ranked respecting to distance to venue.
5* Stars Hotels for the Olympiad
1) WOW Hotels, (500 m)
2) Radisson Blu Airport, (4 km)
3) Holiday Inn Airport Hotel,(6 km)
4) Green Park Merter Hotel,(5 km)
4* Stars Hotels
1) Courtyard Marriott Hotel, (5 km)
2) Ataköy Marina Hotel, (5 km)
3) Adela Hotel, (3 km)
For the first time, we present you the venue of the Chess Olympiad 2012. The picture is taken more than a month ago, now the hall is getting ready for action.
A little history on the 40th Chess Olympiad. Turkey won the right to organize the Chess Olympiad 2012 at the FIDE congress in Dresden. In the FIDE Congress, the election for hosting the 2012 Chess Olympiads were made which were won by Turkey (Istanbul) with 95 votes against 40 votes (1 vote not counted) of the other bid coming from Montenegro (Budva).
Preparation for the event started right after the voting, and when all details were known the contracts for the Olympiad were signed. In his speech, Makropoulos said, “I have visited 90 countries so far. I think Istanbul is the most beautiful city among the cities I have seen. Turkish Chess Federation is currently the biggest chess federation in the world and with a huge gap between the second. With the support of Ministry of Sport and Türkiye İş Bankası, I am confident that we will organize this Olympiad perfectly”
According to the FIDE inspection at the time of signing the contracts “the tournament area and official hotels are adequate in all aspects for this important event”.
And as we promised you more records besides the participation one mentioned in the 11:00 CET update, here we start with a notable feat. GM Eugenio Torre is set to make appearances record at the Istanbul Olympiad, participating for the 21st time.
The participation of Torre was not sure until the end of July, but then GM Julio Catalino Sadorra decided to continue his studies in the USA, leaving an empty spot on the team for GM Torre.
“This is unexpected. I never envisioned myself representing the country in the biggest stage of chess competition as a senior citizen,” said Torre, who will break a tie with Hungarian GM Lajos Portisch for the most number of stints in the Olympiad.
Portisch has played in 20 consecutive Olympiads while Torre has represented the country in 19 straight Olympiads and 20 overall – the first in Siegen, Germany in 1970 and the latest in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia in 2010.
Final composition of the team of Philippines: GM Wesley So, GM Eugenio Torre, GM Oliver Barbosa, GM Mark Paragua, and IM Oliver Dimakiling.
Woman International Master Catherine Perena will anchor the women’s team followed by Woman FIDE Master Rulp Ylem Jose and Woman National Masters Janelle Mae Frayna, Jedara Docena and Jan Jodilyn Fronda.
The Olympiad itself is much more than a team competition. It is an important meeting point of all sectors of chess. Part of the program are the 83rd FIDE Congress, Olympic Chess Composing Tournament, trainers and arbiters seminars, commission meetings, the WYCO U16, etc.
The Chessdom journalists and reporters will be in Istanbul to bring you information about all parallel activities.
Another interesting figure missing is GM Viktor Korchnoi. Switzerland have lined up a young team with GM Pelletier, GM Gallagher, GM Kurmann, IM Werner Hug, and IM Richard Foster. Korchnoi is still in competitive chess and going strong. At the recent Geneva Chess Club vs. Legends 2012 the Legends with Korchnoi emerged victorious, where the he scored 7,0/10.
The Olympiad is the strongest team competition of the year, yet several top players are going to miss it.
GM Magnus Carlsen has decided not to head Norway. Thus the team will be headed by IM Torstein Bae, while the new addition is the young IM Frode Urkedal who just finished competing at the World Junior Championship.
The World Champion Viswanathan Anand is going to skip the Olympiad yet another year. This is not uncommon to Anand and he leaves India with GM Sasikiran, GM Harikrishna, GM Gopal, GM Gupta, and GM Negi.
Morozevich and Gashimov are absent due to health problems. The problems for Morozevich began in the early rounds of Biel 2012. He did not feel well and asked the organizers to interrupt his participation. After a medical confirmation, Morozevich was substituted by Bologan for the rest of the rounds. Tomashevsky replaces Morozevich for the Olympiad. Gashimov will also be absent and will be substituted by Gadir Guseinov. This is sad for the team of Azerbaijan. In the latest team competition they performed well with Gashimov. See a recent interview with Vugar Gashimov here after winning the silver medal at the ETCC, where he says that Azerbaijan “played their best tournament ever”.
Interesting to note is the fact that the FIDE rating list will update right in the middle of the Olympiad as now FIDE publishes ratings on a monthly basis. This means that the rating favorite, or the rating performance expectations of each team will be different after September 1st.
This makes the predictions based on rating rather complex, as we keep track of the top 100-200 players, but there are certainly emerging figures with +50 recent rating gains that can stir things for any of the teams.
Rating, form, experience, team play, coaches? What are the most important factors? All of the above matter, and this is what makes the Olympiad one of the most exciting events in the FIDE calendar.
In the women section 45 players are above 2400 rating, top rated are Women World Champion Yifan Hou, Anna Muzychuk, Zhao Xue, Kateryna Lahno, Tatiana Kosintseva, Ju Wenjun, Nadezhda kosintseva, Anna Zatonskih, Harika Dronavalli, Viktorija Cmylite, Antoaneta Stefanova, etc.
There are 35 players over 2700 ELO at the Olympiad. Among them are Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, Teimour Radjabov, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Grischuk, Veselin Topalov, Gata Kamsky, Hao Wang, Dmitry Jakovenko, Viktor Bologan, Peter Leko, Boris Gelfand, etc.
Among the highest rated militants, with 2698 or the 30th strongest player at the Olympiad, is Judit Polgar, who will again be featured in the “men” team of Hungary.
Chess Olympiad LIVE 11:15 CET
The most important “ingredient” of the Chess Olympiad are the participants. Over 1750 players will join the 2012 edition of the competition
The men section has 237 GMs,126 IMs, and a total of 517 titled players.
In the women section there are 17 GMs, 22 IMs, 86 WGMs, 90 WIMs, 90 WFMs, and a total of 370 titled players.
Chess Olympiad LIVE 11:00 CET
Hello everyone and welcome to the live countdown to the opening ceremony of the Chess Olympiad 2012 in Istanbul! Less than seven days are left to the opening ceremony and we are going to follow for you every detail of the most important team chess event of 2012.
The event started breaking records earlier this summer, when it was announced that 162 countries are going to participate (statistics here). However, this is not the only record and today we will reveal more important marks set by the competition.