The world team Olympiad, global chess body Fide’s flagship event, has been postponed until 2021, but now there is an online Olympiad starting July 25. A total of 163 teams have entered, not far short of the 185 who competed across the board in 2018.

The open and women’s Olympiads have been merged, with teams of six of whom at least three must be women. Fide has chosen Alex Holowczak as chief arbiter. The 30-year-old from Birmingham has proved a highly successful referee in major competitions. 

England will field the full-strength grandmaster quartet who won silver at the 2019 world teams. Harriet Hunt, a former England No 1 and now a Cambridge University academic, returns to the women’s team.

The top three seeds are China, Russia, and the United States, the superpowers of chess. England’s seeding is 17th, with a target to reach the top 10. The pandemic has limited the national federation’s resources, but private sponsors have stepped in to fill the gap.

Armchair spectators will be spoilt for choice because the Olympiad, to be played on the https://www.chess.com/ website with England starting at noon on Saturday, overlaps with Legends of Chess, part of Magnus Carlsen’s tour. Tour games can be viewed on https://chess24.com/en starting 3pm daily, when Carlsen’s opponents will be led by two former world champions.

Note: this column has been amended to reflect a change of date for the online Olympiad

Puzzle 2377

Alex Bunyan vs Frank Crowl, Sydney 1934. Black (to move) is playing up the board. Can you find his winning move that sparked White’s resignation?

Click here for solution

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