International Chess Federation
Sunday, 29 Aug 2021 20:54
Peaceful end to Division 3 FIDE Online Chess Olympiad

Sunday, August 29th, 2021 – The Division 3 stage of the 2021 FIDE Online Olympiad finished today. After nine rounds in each of the 10-team Round Robin pools, fifteen countries have qualified for the next stage of the tournament. 

Pending the fair play report, these fifteen qualifiers will join 35 new seeded teams in Division 2 – including powerhouses such Cuba, Italy, Israel, Shenzhen, Slovenia and Sweden, all rated +2300 - which will run next weekend, September 2nd-4th. 

The five winners of the division 3 pools are: Malaysia, Ireland, Scotland, Bolivia and Venezuela. This cool graphic illustrates all the countries that advance stage. Lebanon and Angola are the only two countries that will play in Division Two after starting in Division Four.

Division 3 - Pool A

Although suffering an unexpected loss against the IPCA team in round eight, Malaysia sealed the win in Pool A thanks to an exciting 3.5-2.5 victory against South Korea in the last round of the day. 

Combined with the excellent later round results by Chinese Taipei and Sri Lanka, South Korea lost its second-place status and dropped down to fifth. 

Therefore, Malaysia (16/18), Chinese Taipei (14/18) and Sri Lanka (13/18) will advance to Division Two. The International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA) team also scored 13/18 but were edged out on tiebreak.

The top scorers in this group were WCM Chua Jia-Tien (8/8) and WFM    Azhar Puteri Rifqah Fahada (8/9) both from Malaysia.

A common mating pattern appeared on board two of the match between Nepal and Fiji. White to play in the next diagram.

FM Manish Hamal used the Arabian mate pattern with 47.Nf6! followed by 48.Rh7 mate. Black can only delay checkmate a couple of moves by sacrificing his pieces with check.

Division 3 - Pool B

Pool B was dominated from start to finish by Ireland, who scored 17/18 match points, conceding only one draw against Jordan. They advance as Pool B winners to the next stage. 

With 14/18 points, Lebanon and Iraq shared second and third place and will also progress to Division Two. Having scored quite a few more board victories, the Lebanese team finished second on tiebreak. 

Jordan had a chance to finish third and secure the qualification, but they needed to win their last three matches. However, Kenya stopped them with a minimum 3½-2½ win and shattered their hopes of playing next week.

The top scorers in this pool were WIM Mouradian Knarik from Lebanon (8/9) and especially Cape Verde's board one, IM Mariano Ortega Amarelle (originally from Italy), who won all his games (9/9) and actually scored more points than the rest of his team together!

Division 3 - Pool C

As expected, Scotland (16/18) and Angola (15/18) qualified with ease as first and second in this group and will advance to Division Two.

In their last-round showdown, Angola defeated Scotland by 4-2, but it must be said that the Scots had already won the group and fielded a slightly weaker team.

Wales (12/18), Zambia (11/18) and Botswana (11/18) went neck and neck in the last three rounds. The Welsh team's very close win over Angola by 3½-2½ in round eight allowed them to go the extra mile and secure the third qualifying spot by an inch.

Several players scored six points in this pool (the highest individual score) but GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant from Scotland and Paulo Jemima from Angola were the only players to win all of their games (6/6).

Division 3 - Pool D

Although Bolivia lost to Paraguay by 4-2 in the first round of the day, they were still able to finish first with 16/18, edging out Uruguay on tiebreak.  A more than reasonable classification taking into account that Bolivia did defeat Uruguay in their match.

Paraguay (14/16) took the third and final qualifying spot in this group, defeating Trinidad & Tobago (also 14/16) by five board points in the tiebreak.  However, if any of the Division 2 teams can't make it, Trinidad would likely take the spot as best 4th place finisher of the five pools. 

The best player in this pool was WIM Gabriela Vargas from Paraguay, with an outstanding 8/8 score!

In the next diagram, White is asphyxiating his opponent. Nonetheless, he spotted a nice tactic to finish off the game quickly.

Dominican Republic's board two played 48.Nxc7! Nxc7 49.Bb6! and Black resigned. He will lose a lot of material (50.Ba6+ is the reply to any knight retreat).

Division 3 - Pool E

The best team in the third division is Venezuela. With an outstanding 18/18 100% match point score, they have dominated Pool E and will be a force to reckon with in the next stage.  A total of 46½ out of 54 board points gives an idea of the team's strength on all boards.

El Salvador (15/18) and Jamaica (14/18) will join Venezuela in the next stage. Jamaica was defeated by El Salvador in round eight by 3½-2½ and was, therefore, overtook in the standings. However, both teams scored important seventh and ninth round wins, leaving Puerto Rico's last-minute qualifying effort useless.

The top scorers in this Pool were CM Rachel Miller from Jamaica with 8/9, followed by her teammate FM Joshua Christie with 7½/9. 

Division 3: final standings

Pairings of the rounds, live games, PGN files and other useful information can be found on the FIDE Online Olympiad website. Please note that all results and standings remain provisional until the fair play panel submit its daily report.

The games can be followed online on (Events),  presented by Wouter Bik, with expert analysis by WFM Alessia Santeramo, GM Roeland Pruijssers, WGM Jen Shahade, WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili and other invited guests. Commentary can also be followed on FIDE's own Youtube channel.

Text: IM Michael Rahal, FIDE Press Officer


About the tournament:

Scheduled to take place from August 20th to September 15th, the 2021 FIDE Online Olympiad is a national teams event in which all federations affiliated to FIDE have the right to participate. Team's consist of six players with a minimum of three female players and two junior players.

Played online on, the event features two main stages: the "Divisions stage", and the Play-offs stage. All games are played with a 15 minutes + 5 seconds increment per move time control.  The full schedule can be consulted here.


International Chess Federation (FIDE) as the hosting platform

Partners supporting the 2021 FIDE Online Olympiad:

Shenzhen Longgang District Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism and Sports Bureau

Shenzhen MSU-BIT University

Shenzhen Chess Academy

Shenzhen Pengcheng Chess Club

Shenzhen Longgang District People's Government

Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism and Sports