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Who Will Be Playing at the Chess Olympiad? (Team Profiles)

Stanislav Pavlovič | August 28, 2012 – 18:042 Comments | 1,381 views
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:

1. Russia

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.

š. T Meno Elo FED
1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2797 RUS
2 GM Grischuk Alexander 2763 RUS
3 GM Karjakin Sergey 2785 RUS
4 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2730 RUS
5 GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2722 RUS

2. Ukraine

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.

š. T Meno Elo FED
1 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2769 UKR
2 GM Ponomariov Ruslan 2734 UKR
3 GM Volokitin Andrei 2709 UKR
4 GM Eljanov Pavel 2693 UKR
5 GM Moiseyenko Aleksandr 2706 UKR

3. Armenia

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.

š T Meno Elo Fed
1 GM Aronian Levon 2816 ARM
2 GM Movsesian Sergei 2698 ARM
3 GM Akopian Vladimir 2687 ARM
4 GM Sargissian Gabriel 2693 ARM
5 GM Petrosian Tigran L. 2661 ARM

4. Hungary

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.

š. T Meno Elo FED
1 GM Leko Peter 2737 HUN
2 GM Almasi Zoltan 2713 HUN
3 GM Polgar Judit 2698 HUN
4 GM Berkes Ferenc 2685 HUN
5 GM Balogh Csaba 2668 HUN


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.

š. T Meno Elo FED
1 GM Nakamura Hikaru 2778 USA
2 GM Kamsky Gata 2746 USA
3 GM Onishuk Alexander 2666 USA
4 GM Akobian Varuzhan 2617 USA
5 GM Robson Ray 2598 USA

6. China

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.

š. T Meno Elo FED
1 GM Wang Hao 2726 CHN
2 GM Wang Yue 2685 CHN
3 GM Ding Liren 2695 CHN
4 GM Bu Xiangzhi 2670 CHN
5 GM Li Chao 2665 CHN

7. Azerbaijan

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.

š T Meno Elo FED
1 GM Radjabov Teimour 2788 AZE
2 GM Safarli Eltaj 2620 AZE
3 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729 AZE
4 GM Mamedov Rauf 2634 AZE
5 GM Guseinov Gadir 2613 AZE

8. France

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.

š T Meno Elo Fed
1 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2686 FRA
2 GM Fressinet Laurent 2714 FRA
3 GM Edouard Romain 2652 FRA
4 GM Tkachiev Vladislav 2644 FRA
5 GM Bauer Christian 2682 FRA

9. Netherlands

š. T Meno Elo FED
1 GM Giri Anish 2711 NED
2 GM Van Wely Loek 2691 NED
3 GM Sokolov Ivan 2696 NED
4 GM Smeets Jan 2608 NED
5 GM Stellwagen Daniel 2630 NED

10. Bulgaria

š. T Meno Elo FED
1 GM Topalov Veselin 2752 BUL
2 GM Georgiev Kiril 2682 BUL
3 GM Cheparinov Ivan 2681 BUL
4 GM Delchev Alexander 2596 BUL
5 GM Nikolov Momchil 2563 BUL

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