Online Olympiad: Draw, two losses give Rwanda hard task ahead

Rwanda has a mammoth task after two losses and one draw on Friday, July 31, its first day of action in the ongoing FIDE Online Olympiad 2020.

The event started July 25 and ends August 30. To qualify for the next stage, which is Division 3, a country must make it to the top 3.

 

The national team lost to Syria (1.5-4.5), drew with Kuwait (3-3) and lost to Namibia (2.5-3.5) implying it has to win most of its remaining six rounds to qualify for the next round.

 

With 7 points, Rwanda is now 8th in its ranking table while leaders Syria have 13.5, followed by Malta and Namibia; 12.0 and 10.5 points, respectively.

 

The last six rounds will be played this weekend.

On Saturday, Rwanda faces Qatar, Uganda and Malta. On Sunday, it will meet Pakistan, Mozambique and Cyprus. 

The team has to contend with Internet challenges after most players forfeited games after an unexpected connection blip in round 1.

The FIDE Online Olympiad 2020, the first of its kind, consists of two main stages: a division stage and a playoff stage.

There are five divisions. A combination of qualification and seedings will eventually determine what the top division will look like.

The top division consists of five seeded teams, five nominated teams, and 15 teams that qualified from the second division. Divided into four pools, the top three teams of each pool qualify for the playoff stage.

In Division 4, Rwanda is in Pool B which comprises 10 countries. 

To qualify for the next stage, after six games, a country must make it to the top 3.

The new tournament comes after the main 2020 Chess Olympiad, a biannual event earlier scheduled for August 5-17, was moved to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

jkaruhanga@newtimesrwanda.com

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