On August 13 the Online Chess Olympiad 2021 opened in Shenzhen MSU-BIT University in Shenzhen, China. More than 1500 players from 155 teams will compete in rapid chess between August 20 and September 15.
The opening ceremony was attended by Ye Jiangchuan, FIDE Vice President and Chairman of the Chinese Chess Association; Wang Zhiqiang, Deputy Inspector of the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism and Sports; Li Hezhang, Rector of Shenzhen MSU-BIT University and other officials.
In his welcome speech FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich stated the importance of this tournament for the players and the global chess community.
“Warm welcome on behalf of FIDE to all the participants and organizers of the second FIDE Online Olympiad! We are happy to have it for the second year in the row following the success of the last year when more than 160 teams participated in the event. Today we have almost the same number and this is another confirmation that people love it – both chess players and spectators. We are happy to be joined by Chess.com and we are specifically grateful to our Chinese partners –their support is enormous and very much welcome at FIDE and the whole chess community. Best of luck! Stay cool and play chess!” - he said.
The second edition of the Online Olympiad is supported and sponsored by the Shenzhen authorities, including the Shenzhen Longgang District Culture and Sports Bureau, the Shenzhen MSU-BIT University, Shenzhen Chess Academy, Shenzhen Pengcheng Chess Club. Simaland, the Russian wholesale online store and proud sponsor of the Candidates tournament 2020-21, is also a partner for the Online Olympiad 2021.
China will have two teams participating in the event - the Chinese National Chess Team, as the seeded team, will directly enter the top division to compete with the strongest players, and the host Shenzhen team composed of players representing Shenzhen. It is composed of GMs Zeng Chongsheng, Yu Ruiyuan, and Zhao Xue, WIM Xu Tong, Xue Haowen and WFM Li Xinyu. They also made an appearance at the opening ceremony.
It is to be noted that the Division stage events will kick off on August 20. Top Division, featuring the strongest 25 seeded and 15 qualified teams, will begin on September 08. The decisive play-off stage is scheduled for September 13-15.
Like a year ago each team will consist of six players, including at least 2 women, at least 1 player U-20 (born in 2001 or later), and at least 1 girl U-20 (born in 2001 or later). The time control will be 15 minutes + 5 seconds increment per move, starting from move 1.