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Prognosis: Who will win the Chess Olympiad?

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Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Zhdanov Peter
Candidate master Peter Zhdanov's column at Pogonina.com

Chess Olympiads are a fantastic experience for all the players in terms of visiting new places, meeting interesting people, having fun at the Bermuda Party. At the same time, this is a very serious competition that grasps the attention of all the chess fans. In this article I would like to share with you my personal opinion on who has the best chances to win the Olympiad. Feel free to argue with my prognosis and offer your own forecasts:


http://www.pogonina.com/images//chessol2012.jpg

Federation

Average rating of top-4 players

Result at Chess Olympiad 2010

Prognosis for Chess Olympiad-2012

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=4101588Russia

2769.25

Silver

Captain Yuri Dokhoian should be able to lead the Russian Mens team to victory unless something unexpected happens. Morozevich (one of the worlds best and most popular players) was replaced by Tomashevsky. Some people might say this is bad news for Russia, but Evgeny is more consistent, while Moros play is a roller-coaster. Too bad that many other promising Russian players rated 2700+, including the Russian Champion Dmitry Andreikin, wont have a chance to play at the Olympiad.

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=14100010Ukraine

2729.5

Gold

Without Vladimir Tukmakov as a captain Ukraine is less organized and united as a team than before. At the European Team Chess Championship-2011 the mighty Ukraine finished at a relatively miserable 15th place. In my opinion, the Ukrainians are not really in contention for gold now, but they might still be able to take a shot at a medal.

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=13300474Armenia

2723.5

7th

The only country that has a 2800+ as a leader (Aronian) at the Olympiad. Armenia is famous for its team spirit and chess prowess. If there is a team that can stop Russia from taking gold this year, Id say its Armenia.

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=13400924Azerbaijan

2718.5

12th

Azerbaijan has three chess titans Radjabov, Gashimov and Mamedyarov, but the other players are lagging behind. While Radjabov has been doing quite well, Gashimovs and Mamedyarovs chess shapes are unpredictable. Also, a lot depends on the team atmosphere. We all remember the conflict between Gashimov and Tukmakov that took place last time. If Azerbaijan manages to avoid inner problems and to bring all the best players to the Olympiad, they might finally win a medal.

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=703303
Hungary

2708.25

4th

Normally Hungary is being criticized in a friendly way for being a team of draw-masters, excluding the magnificent Judit Polgar. Nonetheless, this is a very strong team that will be in contention for a top-3 result.

       

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=2016192
USA

2701.75

9th

USA is a great team, but also quite individualistic and permanently affected by the Nakamura-Kamsky rivalry. I cant imagine these guys having a merry dinner together, or sharing analysis with each other. However, Team USA tends to perform above expectations, so who knows?

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=8602883
China

2694

5th

Russia vs. China in 2012 was basically the Russian B team vs. the Chinese main team (Russia won). While China is a growing giant, it is not yet powerful enough to have a large chance of returning home with a medal.

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=608742France

2683.5

10th

Unfortunately, without Bacrot and Feller France is not the chess powerhouse it normally is.

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=24116068Netherlands

2682

15th

Tiviakovs absence is noticeable. Nonetheless, Netherlands will probably finish in the top-10.

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=2900084Bulgaria

2677.75

31st

Bulgaria has Topalov, Georgiev and Cheparinov, but that should not be enough to compete against the highest-ranked teams. A typical case of lacking super GMs the remaining two players have FIDE ratings below 2600.

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=2805677Israel

2676.25

Bronze

A team featuring the World Chess Vice-Champion Boris Gelfand and the ACP President Emil Sutovsky is solid, but probably not well-rounded enough to repeat last Olympiads success.

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=400041
England

2673.75

24th

Alas, without Luke McShane England is not really in contention for the very top places. With Luke on the team they might have had an opportunity to fight for a medal.

       

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=5004985India

2673.25

18th

Without Viswanathan Anand India is not strong enough to win a medal. Will we ever see Vishy play for his native country at the Olympiad again?!

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=4650891Germany

2667.25

64th

Germany pulled off a surprising victory at the European Team Chess Championship in 2011, but the recent Dortmund tournament clearly showed that most of the teams players are not yet on par with the worlds chess elite.

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=3503240Cuba

2661.25

23rd

Dominguez and Bruzon need more compatriots to support their efforts.

http://ratings.fide.com/card.php?code=1118358Poland

2650

11th

Poland was included on the basis of having an average rating of 2650. There is no real sense in fishing for potential medal winners below this mark.

 

Another way to classify the main contenders would be to count the number of 2700+ players on the team. The number in the brackets shows how many of the players were 2700+ at some point:

Russia 5

Ukraine 4 (5)

Azerbaijan 3

Hungary 2 (4)

Armenia, USA 2 (3)

Cuba - 2

China 1 (4)

Netherlands 1 (3)

France, Bulgaria, Israel, England, India 1 (2)

Germany, Poland 1

http://www.pogonina.com/images//russiarules.jpg
Pogonina.com's audience tends to think the Russian men's team is unmatched

Total number of teams registered: 164

Womens Olympiad

The main struggle for the gold medal will most likely be between Russia (Olympic Champion) and China (World Champion).

Other countries in contention for the medals: Ukraine, Georgia, USA, Armenia, India, Hungary, Poland

http://www.pogonina.com/images//russiaorchina.jpg
The poll results predict a tough clash between the Chinese and the Russian women's teams

Total teams registered: 131

Official website of the Olympiad

Peter Zhdanov is an IT project manager, debate expert and author of two books, BSc in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science and final year PhD student in Sociology. In chess he is a Russian candidate master, author, husband and manager of grandmaster Natalia Pogonina.

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Comments (3)
1. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 08:49 26 2012 .
 
 
What are your predictions on the medals? You describe the teams according to rating.
 
2. Written by Peter on 12:59 26 2012 .
 
 
The text mentions my opinion on the @Daaim CHANCES of the top-rated teams. I think the descriptions are rather explicit. Or did you expect me to say who exactly will get which medal? That's kind of weird.  
 
I had a hearty laugh though when I saw that you rated China above Russia in the men's section. Waaay off.
 
3. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 18:22 30 2012 .
 
 
CEsPkgPQmZiOJSip
I must say, as a lot as I enjoyed reidnag what you had to say, I couldnt help but shed interest soon after a while. Its as in the event you had a fantastic grasp on the topic matter, but you forgot to incorporate your readers. Perhaps you must take into consideration this from far much more than one angle. Or perhaps you shouldnt generalise so considerably. Its much better in case you take into consideration what others could need to say instead of just going for a gut reaction towards the topic. Consider adjusting your personal believed method and giving other people who might read this the benefit of the doubt.
 

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