Who Will Be Playing at the Chess Olympiad? (Team Profiles)
The whole chess world will be paying much attention to Istambul. The Turkish capital will host the prestigious World Chess Olympiad 2012, starting on 28. august. The greatest disappointment is the absence of world’s no. 1 Magnus Carlsen, who decided not to start with the weak Norwegian team. In contrast, former soviet countries have put on very strong teams. Only 4 players from the TOP 20 are not going to attend – GM Carlsen, the World Champion GM Anand, GM Alexander Morozevich, GM Vugar Gashimov a GM Peter Svidler.
For your better orientation, here is the tournament’s top 10:
Russians are the top-favorits of the tournament. Three exceptional chess players, who placed in the TOP 10 just months ago, represent Russia at the Olympiad – GM Vladimir Kramnik, GM Alexander Grischuk, GM Sergei Karjakin. A current european champion from Plodiv, Dmitry Yakovenko, will be playing on the fifth chessboard. The Russian team had to deal with the absence of Morozevich, who will not attend the Olympiad due to health reasons. Russians did not won the chess olympiat since 2002.
Ukrainian chess players aim to regain their title from 2010. Vassily Ivanchuk is going to be the leader of the Ukrainian team. Also, Ruslan Ponomariov, a former World Champion, is present on their starting list.
Armenians are always favorited for the top places. Last Olympiad two years ago did not go very well for them, nevertheless, they are the winners from 2006 and 2008.
|5||GM||Petrosian Tigran L.||2661||ARM|
Hungarians could have their word in the medal battles. GM Peter Léko will be playing on the first chessboard. The Hungarian representation is interesting because of inclusion of a woman, GM Judit Polgár.
The Americans rely mainly on a pair of elite grandmasters, Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky. The team has not been very successful in the recent years.
China has the biggest chance for a medal from non-european countries. The recent Chinese generation has its quality. Chinese grandmaster Wang Hao is in very good form, winning a prestigious supertournament in Biel.
The team of Azerbaijan was a hot kandidate for medal places. It had to deal with the loss of GM Vugar Gashimov, who was replaced by Rauf Mamedov last week.
From the first ten teams, the performance of France is very dubious. Grief is present in the French team. Just 4 days ago, 4-months old son of GM Christian Bauer died. It is one of the reasons why he plays on the last chessboard.
|2||GM||Van Wely Loek||2691||NED|