Hello everyone and welcome to the live countdown to the Chess Olympiad 2012 on Chessdom.com! We continue our daily minute by minute updates and six days before the official start of the event we will refresh the latest news regarding the Olympiad in Istanbul, interviews with top players, polls, photos, videos, and more.
This the the live countdown to Chess Olympiad 2012 (day 4), to see the previous countdowns follow the links below
GM Alexander Ipatov, World Junior Champion U20 from the championship in Athens, commented for Chessdom, “In a few days the World Chess Olympiad will start in Istanbul. The Turkish Chess Federation has made an amazing job, I think it’s already clear for everybody that it will be the best organized Chess Olympiad ever. For me, as a player of the Turkish National Chess Team, it will be a big honor and pleasure to participate in it. Our team comes highly motivated to this event and will be aiming for the TOP-15. We will prove that we deserve the trust of the Turkish government, the Turkish Chess Federation, our people and Iş Bankası. Türkiye’ye teşekkürler!”
The President of the Dominican Republic Chess Federation Pedro Domínguez Brito explained that this year the players selection process has been very carefully conducted through the national championships. The team is led by the national champion IM José Lisandro Muñoz.
El Salvador is one of the lower rated teams at the Olympiad, but they certainly will come with great enthusiasm. Headed by IMs Carlos Burgos and Lorena Zepeda the team is already on their long journey to Istanbul. It has been four years since their last participation, and the one in Istanbul will be the 14th time El Salvador is present at the most important team chess event.
Of course it will be interesting also to make an analysis of whether this is the strongest Olympiad by ELO rating. However, this is a difficult task, as FIDE now published the rating lists monthly. This means that all chess players will start the Olympiad with the August rating list, and will finish it with the September rating list.
We already know that the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul will be record breaking regarding the number of countries participating. However, how does it compare regarding strength to the Khanty Mansiysk Olympiad? Last Olympiad had 254 GMs, 159 IMs, and 65 WGMs, 88 WIMs.
Chess Olympiad 2012 participants details state (before final confirmation):
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.
It is clear that while the GM and IM levels remain stable, the women section continues growing in strength. At the Istanbul Chess Olympiad women section we will have 5 more GMs and 21 more WGM.
The statistics are based on the participants lists below, which may have minor changes to the start of the Olympiad. We will bring you the exact details on Chessdom.com after August 25th.
The Dutch Grandmaster Robin Van Kampen, currently participating in the 2nd Isthmia Open, commented for Chessdom.com the team of Netherlands for the Chess Olympiad 2012. “All the Dutch players have been in good shape recently. Loek Van Wely won a strong rapid event in France, Ivan Sokolov won the World Open and took 2nd place in Politiken Cup, and Smeets won the Dutch Open.” After the experienced players, Robin Van Kampen added about the young stars, “Anish Giri was convincing in the Dutch Championship, regaining his form after the weaker performances in Tata Steel and European Championship. Daniel Stellwagen is not working on chess that much because he has a regular job. He might need a couple of initial games to enter his rhythm, just like it happened last year at the European Team Championship.”
Asked who the favorite is, GM Robin Van Kampen did not hesitate, “Russia is always top favorite to take the gold medal, but I would also mention Armenia because they do so well in the team competitions. The Dutch composition is one of the strongest in the recent years and maybe they can fight for the medals.”
India is coming without the World Champion Viswanathan Anand and his second Ganguly. No official reason has been stated about their decision. However, India men team is still strong with GM Gopal, GM Gupta, GM Harikrishna, GM Sasikiran, and GM Negi.
IM Debashis Das from India, winner of the GM norm from the recent World Junior Championships, evaluates as interesting the chances of his countrymen, an commented about the Indian team, “GM Ganguly is not playing, for the reasons unknown to me, and will be replaced by GM Parimarjan Negi, who actually might be our key player because he had excellent results recently.” IM Debashis Das also added, “We also have GM Abhijeet Gupta, who is amazing with white pieces, and I think if Negi and Gupta play in good shape then India will rock the Olympiad.”
In yesterday’s Chess Olympiad 2012 countdown at the 16:25 update, we brought you the story of WIM Sue Maroroa, wife of GM Gawain Jones. Today we have an update from WIM Maroroa herself, “Things have been hectic after the British as I had sent my passport (as well as Gawain’s) of to the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) to apply for my spousal visa, luckily I’ve gotten confirmation that Gawain’s passport has been dispatched today and so will be with us in the next day or so. Unfortunately for me, my application is still being looked at and I had to pull out of the New Zealand’s Women’s team. This will be the first Olympiad I have missed since 2002 (Bled) and I’m very sad not to be representing New Zealand. I hope that I’ll be able to sort out my biometrics and fly out to the tournament at a later date but I’m doubtful that will happen.”
All problems for WIM Sue Maroroa turn out to be based on just a technical mistake, “The UKBA have not been very helpful and even spelt my name wrong on the biometrics letter which I need to do for them to proceed with my application. Due to this mistake, my application is further delay as they need to post me another letter.”
This would have been the last Olympiad for WIM Maroroa for New Zealand, as she is switching federations and will play for England under the same flag as her husband GM Gawain Jones.
Here is a photo from Sue and Gawain’s official website gawainjones.co.uk with her playing on top boards for New Zealand during the Dresden Chess Olympiad 2008.
Vladimir Kramnik has an interesting method of preparation. He played a game with Vitali Klitschko, the current WBC heavyweight boxing champion. After getting a good position in the opening, Kramnik realized what can be the “consequences” of a decisive game and quickly offered a draw. Klitschko smartly accepted and both players shook hands.
Our first update comes directly from Istanbul. The team of Georgia has already arrived in Istanbul. They are in the city since August 20th, preparing for the Olympiad. Their hope is for high positions in both sections, but as history suggests the main expectations fall on the women team (see yesterday’s live updates for reference).
Another player that will arrive early is Levon Aronian, who shared in an interview he “wants to dive into the atmosphere of the city”.
Most teams have their arrivals according to schedule on August 27th, with the captains meeting and the opening ceremony later this day. The Chessdom team will be in Istanbul from August 25th, reporting daily live from the venue.
Hello everyone, here we are with yet another edition of the live countdown for the Olympiad. For the next six hours we will be together following the latest news from Istanbul, having a historical look at the best chess players ever to compete at the team event, and reporting on multiple updates regarding the participants.