About Natalia
Our Team
Chess Links
Play Chess
Pogonina's Chess Shop
Contact Us


 Follow Natalia on Twitter:

Please help Natalia promote chess by making a donation:


Link to

Play chess at ChessOk Biggest Online Chess Games Database

Check for Japanese bitcoin casinos.

Casivo compares the best new slot sites in the UK, click here to see the updated list.

Visit No Rules Casino for the best sites, bonuses and UK offers

Here you can find Swedish sites without license, Spelkonto utan licens.

Check out this list of new casinos in Finland

Find new casinos at the brand new Online Casinos XYZ site with reviews and ratings of the best gambling sites for UK players.

Play the popular King Kong Cash slot machine at Slot Strike, the new slot site for UK players.

Grab the chance to win big with a high RTP on the goonies slot progressive jackpot. - made an easier way to find Skrill casinos lists the best online casinos for Finnish gamblers. For more information visit:  

Sweden is now a regulated market, which means that as a player you can only play at casinos with a license. See all regulated
casinos in Sweden by Mr casinova.

To find the best casino in Norway take look at
norske casino at CasinoPiloten.

Find the best Norwegian casinobonus at

Get exclusive access to a
huge range of free spins & no deposit casino offers with Spin Bonus.

Try the exhilarating new 20p Roulette game.
Play it online at thecasinodb and find casinos to play for real money.

Get the best casino bonus information with Casino Gorilla.

Visit Casinomir United Kingdom for top casino sites, game guides and the best UK offers.

Chess games at Gametop For you that want to find online casino strategies, guides and a good casino bonus!


What's your FIDE rating?

What should Natalia do to make more interesting for you?

Who is your favorite active top player?

Poker or chess: what do you like more?

What's the largest monetary chess prize you ever won?

How much time per day do you spend on chess-related activities?

Do you have a special chess mascot (pen, badge, toy, etc.)?

Which time control do you prefer for over-the-board tournaments?

The strongest women's chess team in the world is

What is the strongest national chess team in the world?

Will Magnus Carlsen's rating reach FIDE 2900?

Do you think you can become a GM?

Prognosis: Who will win the Chess Olympiad?

User Rating: / 0
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Zhdanov Peter
Candidate master Peter Zhdanov's column at

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:


Average rating of top-4 players

Result at Chess Olympiad 2010

Prognosis for Chess Olympiad-2012



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.




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?



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.



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



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



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.



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.



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.



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?!



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.



Dominguez and Bruzon need more compatriots to support their efforts.



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'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
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.

Bookmark and Share

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 .
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.

Write Comment
BBCode:Web AddressEmail AddressBold TextItalic TextUnderlined TextQuoteCodeOpen ListList ItemClose List

Code:* Code

Last Updated ( Thursday, 16 August 2012 )
< Prev   Next >