The 2nd edition of the FIDE Online Olympiad 2021 kicks off today with the first elimination stage for countries categorized as Division 4 which are divided into 5 playing groups comprising of 12 countries each. All the countries will play in a single round robin tournament format over 6 boards – 2 Open players, 2 Ladies, 1 Junior Open player and 1 Junior girls. Reserves will follow the same order as the main board order which will be the standard team format throughout the event.
Malaysia has been categorized as a Division 3 nation and will only start its campaign on Friday, 27th August. Malaysia along with 34 other countries in Division 3, will be joined by 15 countries that qualify from Division 4 which are made up from the top 3 countries from Division 4 pool. All the 50 countries will again be divided into 5 groups of 10 countries each and again, will play a single round robin tournament to select the top 3 countries from each pool to advance to Division 2. The highlight of the Online Olympiad is to find the top 16 countries which will qualify to play in a knock out championship style match to crown the 2021 champion. The Online Olympiad 2021 will be played over chess.com website platform – similar like last year, which FIDE declared was jointly won by India and Russia due to a major internet breakdown faced by the organizer and players.
In last year’s edition, Malaysia almost qualified into the next Division 2 qualifying stage but a surprising loss to Hong Kong in the 7th Round diminished any hope that we should have had.
For this year’s event, IM Mok Tze Meng has offered to take up the lead in managing the team which comprised of – among others, FM Lim Zhuo Ren, FM Sumant Subramaniam, WIM Puteri Munajjah Az Zahraa Azhar – both of whom had competed in the recent FIDE World Cup, U12 Cadets and Youth Qualifiers Poh Yu Tian, and XTiv Ladies Champion Nur Akma Quzaina Khairolhisal. Other notable players in the team are UK based Chan Kim Yew and Junior Girls WCM Chua Jia Tien.
All the best to our Malaysian Team in their campaign for success.