The 39th Chess Olympiad officially opened this evening in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia in the Siberian region. The main site carried a videocast and featured what appeared to be a grand opening ceremony with elegant pageantry and splendid choreography. The ceremony was held in a hockey rink and the stands appeared to be filled with players and officials from around the world. The video feed had good quality sound, but the amount of viewers quickly outstripped the capacity of the network. Nevertheless, the video is available for viewing at any time.
According to chess-results.com, there are a total of 151 nations registered for the event. The drawings were done and Russia 1 has white on board #1. They will play Ireland and the ceremonial move on board #1 will kick off the tournament.
Russia is slotted as the favorite, but not by much. Ukraine has a strong teams as does an upstart Chinese team. The USA is bringing a solid team with Hikaru Nakamura (left) and Armenia is the two-time defending champion. The women’s competition will be highlighted by a number of strong teams with China, Russia, the Ukraine and Georgia being medal favorites. This is a tournament where stars are born and history is made.
The 39th Olympiad is off to a good start despite the pre-tournament reports of unreadiness. Some of the preliminary feedback is that the conditions are satisfactory. There will be live video feeds of the event and game commentary. Some of the world’s top chess sites will be covering the event. Perhaps Chessdom/Chessbomb combination will spearhead the live coverage. Chessdom gave an excellent minute-by-minute report of the opening ceremonies.
Thanks to Europe-Echecs.com for the videos!.