Rich As A King

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Olympiad Preview Video & Photos



Photos from Tromso Chess Olympiad. More will be added multiple times daily.

https://picasaweb.google.com/116302832360230031699/2014TromsoChessOlympiad

Important information for Tromsø Chess Olympiad

The organizing committee of the Tromso Chess Olympiad has issued a brochure with the basic information that visitors need to know before and on arrival.

Money

We strongly recommend exchange of Euro and U.S. dollars to Norwegian currency (NOK) prior to departure – or at Norway’s international airport, Gardermoen.

On arrival in Tromsø there will be limited opportunities for currency exchange. The only place that to exchange foreign currency to NOK in Tromsø is the main post office (Posten). Please note that the post office only accepts Euro and U.S. dollars.

Climate


In spite of its location so far north, Tromsø enjoys a moderate oceanic climate. From May 20 to July 22, the city is graced by the Midnight Sun and daylight around the clock. It then gets gradually darker every night – but you will still get to experience those bright summer nights in August.

Arrival at Oslo Airport

A Chess Olympiad crew will welcome and guide you at Oslo Airport Gardermoen. Please remember to pick up your luggage for custom clearance, and check in again for Tromsø (TOS).

Our team will show you where to go. They will meet you outside the custom clearance area, so you will find them after you have picked up your luggage.

Arrival at Tromsø Airport

On arrival at Tromsø Airport all participants will be welcomed and guided by our friendly local hosts. The Chess Olympiad will also have an Information stand in the arrival area, which will provide help with practical questions.
Furthermore, we offer free shuttle bus service from the airport to all accommodation venues. We will guide you about which bus to take and give you a complete bus schedule for the Olympiad.

Lost or delayed luggage

The security company Securitas handles all lost and found property at the airport, and can be contacted by phone: (+47) 670 34 506.

Objects found on board will be handled by the respective airline. If your luggage is delayed or damaged, please contact the airline you traveled with as soon as possible.

Check-in at hotels

Please note that all the hotels in Tromsø will ask for a credit card before check-in. This is standard hotel procedure, and will cover expenses that aren’t paid in advance by the organizer or the federation. It will be sufficient if the Head of Delegation or another federation official uses one credit card for this purpose.

Accreditation desk

All participants have to be accredited in order to access the playing area – please collect your accreditation at the Accreditation desk.

Location: Radisson Blu Hotel, first floor
(see map in the centre of the Info bulletin)
Opening hours:
30 July: 10:00-18:00
31 July: 10:00-21:00
1-2 August: 09:00-21:00

See further opening hours in the Info bulletin (PDF, 47MB)

Information offices

Our Information offices will help with any questions and provide various kinds of practical information.

Location: Radisson Blu Hotel and Chess Olympiad Arena
(see map in the centre of the Info bulletin)

Phone: (+47) 971 39 753.

Opening hours at Radisson Blu Hotel:
30 July: 10:00-18:00
31 July: 10:00-21:00
1-14 August: 09:00-22:00

Arena information desk:
2-12 August: 13:00-21:00

See further opening hours in the Info bulletin

Opening ceremony

Accredited players, captains, trainers and delegates are allowed entry to the opening ceremony (as well as the closing ceremony).

The opening ceremony takes place on August 1 at 19:30 at Skarphallen, located in Heilovegen 19, nearby the Scandic Hotel.

The Chess Olympiad will provide free shuttle buses from Prostneset to Skarphallen on the ceremony dates. Please see complete bus schedule at your hotel, or at the Information office at Radisson Blu Hotel.

16th Lake Sevan Chess Tournament 2014 LIVE!

Anogia Open 2014 LIVE!

Difficult Brain Teaser



Can you find the right continuation for White?

Source: ChessToday.net

Daily real time updates from Tromsø Chess Olympiad


I am at the Tromsø Chess Olympiad, working with the Organizers and FIDE. I will be doing quite a bit of LIVE updates, especially from behind the scene, on my twitter account @SusanPolgar. It is the best way to get the up to date news.

Breaking the Coaching Mold


The 3 Percent: Women Coaching Men
By Kate Hoit | Contributor | 27 June 2014
US Department of State

Fewer women coach today than 40 years ago. While the majority of women’s sports teams in the U.S. are coached by men, only 3 percent of men’s teams are coached by women, according to Brooklyn College researchers. This disparity doesn’t surprise Susan Polgar, a Hungarian-born American chess grandmaster who coaches Webster University’s chess team — ranked Number 1 in the U.S. She is the only woman collegiate chess coach.

“When I first started out in chess I was asked, ‘How could any woman go on to become a grandmaster?’” said Polgar. “How could a woman coach a Division 1 team?”

Polgar was raised to believe that “geniuses are made, not born.” Her father was intent to teach her mathematics when she was just a toddler, but around this time she stumbled upon a chess set. He taught Polgar the basics, until she began to beat him.

At 4, Polgar entered and won her first competition. Too short to reach the tabletop, she spent the first years of her career propped up on telephone books or pillows to reach the chess board. She went on to win championship titles and Olympic medals, and she became the first woman to earn the title of grandmaster.

Polgar took the lessons she learned in a male-dominated sport into the world of coaching. Her 15-person team, comprising mostly international male students, studies a trove of 7 million games. They train together in a large room or one-on-one with Polgar.

“Throughout my career, I’ve worked with only male coaches, none of which are as strong as Susan,” said Wesley So, who became a grandmaster at age 14. “She teaches us the importance of discipline, physical stamina, psychological thinking — all of which have helped our team succeed.”

From repetitive drills to dissecting opponents’ moves, Polgar requires players to come prepared for any match. Year after year, Webster’s chess team has won championships. Nine students are grandmasters, and one female player has been named woman international master.

Gender stereotypes are hard to shake off. Some male athletes are afraid of losing to a woman. Aspiring women coaches are up against the belief that a lack of experience and a failure to play sports, like football, to the same standards as a man make them unable to coach. The pool of applicants for leadership positions in sports needs to grow larger. “Just because it has never been done before, doesn’t mean it’s impossible,” said Polgar.

Read more: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/publication/2014/06/20140620302420.html#ixzz38yCSPzY3

Chess included as 1 of 7 biggest sports disaster


Seven sporting disasters
After Brazil's calamitous World Cup 'choke', Jamie Farmer had a go at compiling a list of some other sporting disasters...
Jamie Farmer on Wednesday 30th July 2014

Unless you have been living in a cave you probably heard about that World Cup Semi-Final, you know the one - the most catastrophic World Cup defeat in the history of the competition. Brazil (5 times world champions) were trounced 7-1 in Belo Horizonte by a German team described by leading world experts (aka the BBC’s Match of the Day team) as “a ruthless well oiled machine”. Some described it as a “national humiliation”, others an “unfortunate game of football”. Within seconds of the game ending there were memes, tweets and posts mocking what had been a disaster for Brazilian football. Reports of Christ the Redeemer shaking his fists in rage were unconfirmed.

So that got Cherwell Sport to thinking; was this really the most embarrassing sporting defeat ever? Or have there been worse disasters? In our infinite wisdom, through meticulous research and debate, we have compiled a list of some of the most embarrassing sporting shocks.

1. Lindsey Jacobellis, Winter Olympics 2006.

The name may not be familiar. The incident probably is. Lindsey was cruising the final of the snowboard cross at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, with a 3 second, 47 meter lead over her opponent. The US competitor, in approaching the second jump decided to indulge in a bit of showboating. Attempting a celebratory “method grab” Lindsey managed to unbalance herself and fall, letting her opponent pass her, which meant she had to settle for a silver medal. Embarrassing? Yes. A national humiliation? You decide.

2. Rafael Nadal v Lukas Rosol/ Steve Darcis, Wimbledon 2012 & 2013

Tennis stars frequently lose. With 4 grand slams, a WTP championships and sometimes a bonus Olympic Games to play for, it is truly rare to find someone who wins everything each year. But nobody seems to know how to slip up quite as well as Rafael Nadal. In 2012, Nadal lost to someone who had not advanced beyond the first qualifying round of Wimbledon in 5 years. Lukas Rosol, ranked 100 in the world, dispatched the 14 time grand slam champion in a five set thriller. Reports that tendinitis had affected Nadal’s performance were unconfirmed (although the injury did make him pull out of the London Olympics later that summer). One year later he repeated the feat by losing in the 2013 version of Wimbledon to No 135 Steve Darcis, but this time in straight sets.

3. England v Australia, 2013-14 Ashes series

2013-14 was an odd time for English cricket. Managing to become the number one test team in the world in 2011 and having beaten Australia in the summer of 2013 3-0 at home, everyone was looking forward to another classic winter series. The Aussies had failed to win the ashes since 2007. What followed was not ideal. England lost the series 5-0, only the third Ashes clean sweep in history. The aftermath of the series saw a revamp of the England team - Swann retired, Pietersen was forced out- and now England have dropped to 5th in the world test rankings.

4. Garry Kasparov v Deep Blue, 1997

For those of you who are frightened of a post-apocalyptic society run by robots – this must have seemed like a bit of a watershed moment. Garry Kasparov was the world champion of chess, Deep Blue a supercomputer designed by boffins at IBM. A first game was played in Philedelphia in 1996 which Kasperov won 4-2. In a rematch the next year the computer won 3.5-2.5 although the game was tainted by Kasperov’s claim that the computer cheated. To the amazement of all Kasperov, considered the greatest chess player of all time, had lost to a machine.

Full list here: http://www.cherwell.org/sport/blogs/2014/07/30/seven-sporting-disasters

Howell and Hawkins tie for 1st at British Championship


Full standings here: http://www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk/2014/Championship/SMWSite

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bachmann wins Iberoamerican Chess Championship 2014


Full standings: http://chess-results.com/tnr140360.aspx

Baku Open 2014


The International Chess Festival "Baku Open 2014" (www.azerichess.az or www.chess.az), dedicated to the Independence Day of Republic of Azerbaijan, will take place from 22th September (arrival day) to 1st October (last round and closing ceremony) at the “AF Hotel” near Caspian Sea.

The Festival is organized by the Azerbaijan Youth & Sport Ministry and Azerbaijan Chess Federation.

The total prize fund is 50.000 USD.

First place is 10.000 USD worth.

The Tournament A is open for the players rated higher than 2250 FIDE and for women rated higher than 2100.

The Tournament B is open for the players rated under 2250 (for women - under 2100).

Both groups will be played over 9 rounds of Swiss pairings (with time control: 90 min for 40 moves, then 30 min – for finishing game, plus 30 sec per move, beginning from 1st move).

Child tournament (group C) will be held from 6th (arrival day) to 15th (last round) September at Republican Chess Centre.

The Tournament’s Regulation (see Azeri, English, Russian version).

Organizing Committee
Address: Khaqani str. I, Baku, AZ1000, Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan Chess
Federation
Tel: +99412 493-3841 or +99412 493-9084
Email: azerbaijanchess@yahoo.com
Website: www.chess.az; www.azerichess.az

Chess Olympiad 2014 Preview


Chess Olympiad 2014 in Tromso is going to be without a doubt the most exciting team competition in chess this year.

It is a celebration for 180+ countries and a joy for the spectators from all over the world, with the competition boasting a true Olympic spirit.

All news about the Olympiad / Live games / Play free online chess

Total statistics for top 10 teams

Average rating: 2707,8 ELO
ELO change since last event: + 1,5 ELO per team
Highest rated player average: 2759,4 ELO
Lowest rated player average: 2637,1 ELO

Looking at the ELO points of the top 10 teams, the Tromso Chess Olympiad will be stronger than the previous edition in 2012 in Istanbul. The teams add an average of 1,5 ELO points per board. While some teams remain unchanged, others undergo amazing transformations in just two years.

Read on for team by team analysis, following the major changes and improvements in each of the national squads.

Note: the analysis is completed using the July rating list. FIDE will publish an August rating list the days before the start of the Olympiad. If there are major rating swings, they are noted below. However, the general picture, in comparison with 2012, will remain practically unchanged.

Russia


Russia is the team with the highest average rating for the event. With ELO 2777, Russia brings additional 8 ELO points compared to the Olympiad in Istanbul, where the team had 2769 ELO.

The team of Russia for Chess Olympiad 2014 will be composed of Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin, Peter Svidler, and Ian Nepomniachtchi.

For the past Olympiads the team of Russia has had a clear leader – Vladimir Kramnik. Around the time of Istanbul 2012 Kramnik was at his best with steady 2800 rating. For Tromso 2014 Kramnik will be out of the World’s top 10 for the first time in this millennium and will actually be the 3rd highest rated on the team.

The big question for the captain Yuri Dokhoian will be the board order for this Olympiad. Top rated in August will be Grischuk with 2795 ELO, followed by Karjakin with 2786. Kramnik is with 2760, very close to Svidler with 2751, while Nepo is “only” with 2713.
(Note: RCF CEO Mark Glukhovsky said that Dmitry Jakovenko will play instead of Nepomniachtchi)

Summary:
ELO average rating: 2777
ELO change since last event: +8
Highest rated player: 2795
Lowest rated player: 2713

Ukraine

Ukraine is the second team according to the average rating for the Chess Olympiad 2014. With 2730 ELO, captain Oleksandr Sulypa will have 8 ELO points less per board compared to Istanbul 2012.

Vassily Ivanchuk is still the highest rated player on the team with 2735 ELO, which is 34 points less than two years ago. Ruslan Ponomariov and Pavel Eljanov each have 2732 ELO, with Eljanov having added 30 points to his rating. The fourth rated player is Alexander Moiseenko with virtually no rating change. The last board is for the European blitz golden medalist Anton Korobov, substituting earlier reserve Andrei Volokitin.

Summary:
ELO average rating: 2730
ELO change since last event: -8
Highest rated player: 2735
Lowest rated player: 2690

France

Can this be the year of France at the Chess Olympiad? The French team played Istanbul 2012 as 8th seeded with 2684 ELO average. In Tromso 2014 Chess Olympiad France will be with +34 ELO per board (!!), the average ELO of 2718 makes them 3rd seeded at the event.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is the clear leader of the French team. Adding 80 ELO points in the last two years, MVL is set to shine in Tromso 2014. Etienne Bacrot, with ELO 2720 is back on the team, after missing the Istanbul Olympiad. Carlsen’s second Laurent Fressinet is number three in the list with 2714, while the ever stable Romain Edouard and Vladislav Tkachiev complete the team.

France captain for the event will be Sebastien Maze.

Summary:
ELO average rating: 2718
ELO change since last event: +34
Highest rated player: 2760 (note: MVL will be 2773 in August!)
Lowest rated player: 2625

Armenia

The 2012 Chess Olympiad Champions of Armenia can never be underestimated. The numbers put them as the 4th seeded team with 2705 ELO, but history always puts them among the gold medal contenders.

Armenia do not change their winning strategy and once again use the system – the four top players + the national champion. Therefore, we will once again see Levon Aronian, Sergei Movsesian, Gabriel Sargissian, Vladimir Akopian, and to them we will add the national champion Tigran Kotanjian. Exactly from this addition comes the average rating drop of Armenia as Kotanjian is ELO 2500, but no one should underestimate him, as he finished ahead of Petrosian, Pashikian, Melkumyan, Grigoryan, and Ter-Sahakyan.

No change at the captain seat – Arshak Petrosian will once again lead Armenia.

Summary:
ELO average rating: 2705
ELO change since last event: -19
Highest rated player: 2805
Lowest rated player: 2500

United States


United States add 2 ELO points per board for a rating average of 2704. Once again they are among the top five seeded teams, and once again expectations are high.

The leader of the team Hikaru Nakamura comes with additional 9 rating points compared to Istanbul, boasting an ELO rating of 2787. The core of the team remains unchanged, with Gata Kamsky, Varuzhan Akobian, andAlexander Onischuk playing again. However, USA drop one of their best performer of 2012 – Ray Robson with 5,5/8 is substituted by Samuel Shankland. This change will certainly change the dynamics of the team – for better or for worse we are yet to see.

USA also change a captain, with Yuri Shulman substituted by John Donaldson.

Summary:
ELO average rating: 2704
ELO change since last event: +2
Highest rated player: 2787
Lowest rated player: 2632

Hungary

Chess Olympiad 2014 will have Hungary as the 6th highest rated team. With average ELO of 2702, six points less than during the last Olympiad, Hungary have higher hopes for Tromso.

The team continues to rely on Peter Leko, Judit Polgar, Zoltan Almasi, and Csaba Balogh. There is only one change, but it can be a key one. The 5th board of the team is substituted by the rising star GM Richard Rapport, who will actually be the second highest rated player of Hungary with 2707 points.

Currently Rapport is participating at the Politiken Cup 2014, so his rating can fluctuate until the start of the Olympiad. But one thing is sure, his performance can be the difference between a medal and no medal of his country.

Hungary will be led by Tamas Horvath, who will have to prove why his country is the 6th and last in the list of countries with average ELO of 2700+

Summary:
ELO average rating: 2702
ELO change since last event: -6
Highest rated player: 2737
Lowest rated player: 2637

China

China add two points to their average ELO and will start with 2696 in Tromso. Even though as strength the team seems to be at the same level as last time, the internal dynamics of the team are totally different and the team’s performance will be one of the big questions of the Chess Olympiad 2014.

The leader of the 2012 event Hao Wang is not listed in this year’s team. Nor are Bu Xiangzhi and Li Chao. Besides the regulars Wang Yue and Ding Liren we have three new names on the Chinese team.

Ni Hua (2674) won his place on the team with very stable performances and direct clashes, shining with first place at the recent Montacada tournament.

Yu Yangyi and Wei Yi is the young lions bet of China. Yu Yangyi is Asian Continental Champion for 2014 and World Junior Champion for 2013.

Wei Yi became the world’s youngest GM last year and has shown great performances since then.

China also change their captain from Li Wenliang to Xu Jun.

Summary:
ELO average rating: 2696
ELO change since last event: +2
Highest rated player: 2726
Lowest rated player: 2636

Azerbaijan

The team of Azerbaijan come to the 2014 Chess Olympiad in Tromso with exactly the same team as to the Olympiad in Istanbul.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Teimour Radjabov, Rauf Mamedov, Eltaj Safarli, and Gadir Guseinov will defend their country’s honor one more time, aiming for more than the 10th place achieved last time.

The team has an average ELO of 2694, a point more than last time. The major change comes at the captain seat – Vladimir Tukmakov is substituted by Alexander Khalifman.

ELO average rating: 2694
ELO change since last event: +1
Highest rated player: 2743
Lowest rated player: 2649

England

The team of England started as 11th seeded in Istanbul. During the Tromso Olympiad 2014 England enters in top 10 boasting an average of 2682 ELO, five points more than in 2012.

Michael Adams continues being the team leader. With 2743 ELO Adams comes with 12 points more than the last Olympiad. The 33 ELO drop of Nigel Short is compensated by the rise of Gawain Jones and David Howell.

The big change is the comeback of Matthew Sadler. With 2653 ELO he is bringing great value to the English team.
Peter Wells will once again be the captain.

Summary
ELO average rating: 2682
ELO change since last event: +5
Highest rated player: 2743
Lowest rated player: 2653

Netherlands

Netherlands is the last team in top 10. With ELO 2678 the Dutch lose four points per board compared to the last Olympiad.

However, at board one they have the ambitious Anish Giri, who added 39 points in the last two years, and is ready to show his best.

The seasoned Loek Van Wely is one more time on the team, and with this the similarities to 2012 end. Ivan Sokolov, Jan Smeets and Daniel Stellwagen are substituted by Sergei Tiviakov, Erwin L’Ami and Robin Van Kampen.

There is also a change at the captains seat. Netherlands attracted Vladimir Tukmakov as substitute to Vladimir Chuchelov.

Summary
ELO average rating: 2678
ELO change since last event: -4
Highest rated player: 2750
Lowest rated player: 2636

Games

Games will be daily live at Chessdom.com with computer analysis by Stockfish, Komodo, and Houdini, the three best engines of the top computer championship TCEC

Live games (open): Live games (top) / Live games (other boards) / Live games (alternative)

Live games (women): Live games (top) / Live games (other boards) / Live games (alternative)

Chess Olympiad 2014 in Tromso

GM Sergei Ovsejevitsch claims Martigny Open 2014


The 23rd edition of the traditional chess tournament Martigny Open was held on 25-28th July 2014 in Martigny, Switzerland.

The event was a 7-round Swiss with a time control 90′ + 30″.

GM Sergei Ovsejevitsch (UKR) emerged a clear winner with 6/7 points and grabbed the top prize of 1.500 CHF.

Second place was shared in a five-way tie by GM Igor Rausis (CZE), GM Alexandre Dgebuadze (BEL), GM Marin Bosiocic (CRO), GM Alexander Cherniaev (RUS) and IM Nicolas Brunner (FRA) on 5,5 points each.

In parallel with the open tournament GM Christian Bauer, 2012 France Individual Chess Champion, delivered a simultaneous exhibition.

Official website

Top standings after 7 rounds:

1. Ovsejevitsch,Sergei GM 2569 M UKR 6.0
2. Rausis,Igors GM 2578 M CZE 5.5
3. Dgebuadze,Alexandre GM 2487 M BEL 5.5
4. Bosiocic,Marin GM 2544 M CRO 5.5
5. Cherniaev,Alexander GM 2434 M RUS 5.5
6. Brunner,Nicolas IM 2425 M FRA 5.5
7. Bauer,Christian GM 2649 M FRA 5.0
8. Huss,Andreas IM 2378 M SUI 5.0
9. Habibi,Ali IM 2263 M GER 5.0
10. Kelecevic,Nedeljko IM 2232 M SUI 5.0

1st Durban Open Grandmasters Chess Tournament


Chess South Africa is organizing the 1st Durban Open Grandmasters Chess Tournament to be held in Durban, South Africa from 20 to 29 September 2014.

The event will take place at the International Convention Centre, Durban, concurrently with the FIDE World Youth Chess Championships.

The tournament will be conducted as per FIDE Laws of Chess and FIDE Swiss System with 11 rounds in all. The time control will be 90 minutes for the entire game with a 30 seconds increment after every move is made.

The total prize fund is 10,500 EUR, with 2100 EUR reserved for the winner.

The LOC will ensure the participation of at least 20 Foreign FIDE rated players in the tournament including at least ten Grandmasters/International Masters to enable chances for norms for participants.

Web site: http://www.2014wycc.co.za

Interview with a Tromso Chess Olympiad Ambassador


Interview: Jan Berglund, Chess Olympiad Ambassador
Published: 29 Jul 2014 11:34 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Jul 2014 11:34 GMT+02:00

In August the Chess Olympiad comes to Tromsø. 181 countries take part, crowning it the third biggest sporting event in the world. The Local makes its move to meet Jan Sigmund Berglund, head event coordinator of the event and a key ambassador of the sport in the Arctic Circle.

Jan, what is your background as a chess ambassador?


I learned chess at age of 13 while also playing other more physical sports, such as ice-hockey and football. I really liked that chess was a mindful sport and also very competitive. In 1986, I came to Tromsø, met my wife here, and decided to stay. My interest in chess grew and led me to join and eventually become head of the Tromsø Chess Club.

What’s been achieved by the club during your 30 years in charge?

Clearly landing the Olympiad in Tromsø is a massive achievement for us. Part of the reason for this is the work started by the Chess Club fifteen years ago to encourage young people to take part and foster chess as an active part of community life. Today, we have a tremendous youth chess scene in Tromsø. We also created a chess school in the city where children can progress through 10 grades of chess coaching and excellence.

What are some Olympiad highlights coming up?

All the big names in chess will be here. This will be fantastic for local players and chess enthusiasts visiting Tromsø. You will be able to get up close to the action and the atmosphere will be fantastic. Because Tromsø is a small city, there will be chess players and games going on everywhere. Every day at 11 o’clock, blitz tournaments take place for amateurs to participate before we head to the main arena to watch the Chess Masters compete. We also have special events linked to the Olympiad every day. There are shows, concerts, art exhibitions, and day-trips in and around the city from now until mid-August.

What makes Tromsø the ideal host city?

The Arctic Chess Challenge was held in Tromsø in 2006 and 2010. I was the organizer of these tournaments. They were a success from a chess competition perspective, but also we encouraged participants to visit the nature and attractions in and around Tromsø. People really enjoyed to go up mountains, fish and go camping. This tournament was very successful. Magnus Carlsen was there and maybe this helped Tromsø win its bid to host the Olympiad.

Which teams are you tipping for tournament success in 2014?

Of course, Magnus is the one to watch. The Norway team has never ranked higher, partly due to Magnus’s status and two of the team also having strong world rankings. The Norway team is tipped as the 15th seed this year. Top teams likely to triumph are Russia, Armenia and Ukraine. Israel also has a strong team.

Full article here.