FIDE Online Chess Olympiad to start on July 25

The India team, placed in the top division along with the likes of Russia, China, US, Ukraine and others will be captained by Vidit Santosh Gujrathi.

Viswanathan Anand will feature in the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

The FIDE Online Chess Olympiad, which will feature top players like World No.3 Ding Liren and Indian ace Viswanathan Anand among others, will be held from July 25 to August 30.

Teams from 163 countries will take part in the first-ever online Olympiad. Russia is the top-ranked team, followed by China, USA, Armenia and Ukraine.

The India team, captained by Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, is the seventh-seed in the prestigious competition.

India is placed in the top division along with the likes of Russia, China, US, Ukraine and others. Eight teams from the top division will qualify for stage 2 and battle it out with countries from other divisions.

World no.1 Magnus Carlsen is a notable absentee from the event.

China had won both Open and women’s sections in the 2018 Chess Olympiad and also won the Online Nations Cup in May.

The event is FIDE’s response to the postponement of the ‘traditional’ Chess Olympiad, which was planned to take place in Russia in August this year and was rescheduled to 2021, the world chess governing body said on its website on Thursday while announcing the schedule.

Apart from Anand, leading players who will take part include GMs Ding Liren, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Alexander Grischuk, Levon Aronian, Anish Giri, and Wesley So.

Among women, World No.1 Hou Yifan, India’s Koneru Humpy, D Harika, and Katernya Lagno among others will be seen in action.

Each team will consist of six players, in a mixed format with a minimum of three female players and two junior players.

Chess.com will be the playing platform.

The event will consist of two stages -- the Divisions stage, and the Play-offs stage, from Round of 16 to the final.

The time control will be rapid, with 15 minutes + 5 seconds increment per move.

The Indian team: (Average rating 2571) - Men: Vishwanathan Anand, Vidit Santosh Gujarathi (captain), P Harikrishna and Arvindh Chithambaram (reserves); Women: Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, Bhakti Kulkarni and R Vaishali (reserves)

Junior boys: Nihal Sarin, R Praggnanandhaa (reserve);

Junior girls: Divya Deshmukh, Vantika Agrawal (reserve).

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