by libispusher

From one naïve chess spectator’s point of view, here are some insights and obvious implications as FIDE implements the new regulations and format of the Chess Olympiad which is set to unfold in Dresden this November.

Thumbs Down on Tardiness

If as a player you’ve accustomed yourself to arrive at the playing hall late as scheduled, you’ll have to make some adjustments, as lateness would now mean an automatic loss of the game.

In Accord with Cordiality

Well, if your surname isn’t Kramnik or Topalov, it shall be deemed mandatory to shake hands with your opponent at the onset of a game. Refusal to go through such motion will cost you the full point.

Dynamic and Competitive Pairing Scheme

Could this spell the end to the so-called “First round Shut-out” or “King-size Upset” in these Olympiads? I would like to think on the contrary, though now they would probably be more like toned down, milder versions of such scenarios.


Having a team composed of four Regulars and only a single Reserve gives an added pressure on the players to perform positively, while in essence diminishes the pressure on the coach with regards to making the proper decision on assigning boards.

Such team composition also drastically cuts the needed scouting work for players and coaches in half, as compared to having two Reserves on a team. Add the fact that scouting can now be done well in advance, thanks to the lineup deadline imposed by the Dresden organizers.

A more pronounced role is given to the lone Reserve, given his increased chances of getting more playing minutes should any of the team’s Regulars start to manifest performance below expectation.

Eleven rounds on four boards. Forty-four games to be allocated among five players. As for the top-tier teams, we are likely to see game distribution among the players something near 9-9-9-9-8 rather than 10-10-10-10-4 or much less likely 11-11-11-11-0.

The Thirty-Move Rule

Players have to sweat it out a little more as they are only permitted to conjure draws in no less than thirty pushes.

The Open and Women Sections

One simplistic view to the changes made in this regard: It could be nothing more than the adherence to political correctness and gender equality.

Summing Up

Overall it seemed like a step in the right direction for FIDE. It’s difficult to make all the right moves to satisfy all the parties concerned. The adoption of all of these rulings for future Olympiads hinges on the success of its implementation in Dresden.

Related Links:

FIDE Handbook: Chess Olympiad

Chess Olympiad: Regulation Changes

FIDE Handbook: Rules on Olympiad Team Pairings