Cuban teams already favorite in Chess Olympiad
Cuban teams must easily beat today Nicaragua and El Salvador at the start of the 42nd World Chess Olympiad, held in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan.
In the Open, as it is called the men´s contest, Cubans, 15th seed of the tournament by their ELO average of 2 640 points, will face Nicaraguans who appear 102nd with only 2 237 units.
Five Grand Masters (GM) led by Leinier Dominguez (2720) make up the Caribbean squad, while the best on the opposite side is borne by the FIDE Master (FM) Mauro Ampie (2 348).
The statistics consulted on the website www.olimbase.org point out that Cubans and Nicaraguans have faced each other only once in these events and the outcome favored the first ones 3.5-0.5.
An equally positive situation will have Cuban women, 24th seed with 2 285 ELO points, opponents of El Salvador, which ranks 91st with only 1 787 units.
This will be their first match at this level and those led by GM Maritza Arribas (2315) are favorites to widely win and earn the two points reserved for the winner of each series.
The match point system governing the event grants one unit to each side in case of draw and zero point to the losing team.
As it always happens in the beginning of competitions ruled by the Swiss system, unevenness will mark the first round, with strong men´s squads such as Russia, United States and China called to sweep Nigeria, Andorra and Kosovo, in that order.
Among women, China, Ukraine and Russia will enjoy similar scenario when facing Luxembourg, Portugal and Scotland, respectively.
The event brings together a record figure of 180 countries, although only 140 of them registered women´s sides.