The 44th Chess Olympiad gets closer with each passing day. And the anticipation builds with each passing second. While we have looked at the favorites of the Open Category already, there is another facet to the prestigious tournament. The Women’s category of the tournament is often underrated. However, it is equally prestigious, important, and fierce.
History of Women’s Chess Olympiad
While the Men’s Chess Olympiad started in 1927 (Official), it took a little longer to include women in this tournament. The first Women’s Chess Olympiad was held in 1957 in Netherlands. Thus, it took three decades since the 1st Chess Olympiad to launch the Women’s version of the same. The Women’s Olympiad continued to occur at irregular intervals till 1976. The Women’s Chess Olympiad was finally integrated with the original Chess Olympiad from 1976 onwards. The Chess Olympiad has had Open Category and Women’s Category ever since its 22nd edition in 1976.
Soviet Union has won the most Golds (11) in the history of Women’s Category/Women’s Chess Olympiads. China comes second with 6 Gold wins, and Georgia follows with 4.
44th Chess Olympiad (Women’s Category)
The latest edition of the Chess Olympiad is by far the biggest one. A record-breaking 187 teams have registered for the Open Category. Moreover, 162 teams have registered for the Women’s Category, as opposed to 151 in the 43rd Chess Olympiad. Such massive participation is a testament to the rapidly rising popularity of the sport, especially amongst women.
India Team 1
The 1st Indian Women’s Team is the top-seeded in the Olympiad. With an average rating of 2486 points, it is ahead of Ukraine (2478) and Georgia (2475). The top-seeded Indian team consists of the following players:
1) GM Koneru Humpy – India #1, rating: 2586
2) GM Harika Dronavalli – India #2, rating: 2517
3) IM R Vaishali – India #3, rating: 2403
4) IM Tania Sachdev – India #4, rating: 2392
5) IM Bhakti Kulkarni – India #5, rating: 2388
India Team 2
Team 2 of India includes the following players:
1) WGM Vantika Agarwal
2) IM Soumya Swaminathan
3) WGM Mary Ann Gomes
4) IM Padmini Rout
5) WGM Divya Deshmukh
The two teams fielded by India are all set to set the stage afire. India Team 1 of Women’s category being the favorites to win, this Indian contingent looks the strongest one ever.
India Team 3
India recently fielded a third team in the women’s category as well, since there were odd numbers of entries for the same. The third team consists of the following players.
1) IM Karavade Eesha
2) WIM Sahithi Varshini M
3) WGM Pratyusha Bodda
4) WGM Nandhidhaa P V
5) WIM Vishwa Vasnawala
With only a week remaining till the commencement of the 44th Chess Olympiad, the stage is all set. With two of the three teams (Women’s category) that India has fielded in the top 10, India is likely to bag the Gold. Irrespective of what the results might be, this largest-ever Indian contingent looks ready to conquer.