2020 Olympiad: Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia: 1-15 August

The 2020 Olympiad is scheduled to take place in Khanty-Mansisyk, an oil-rich town in Western Siberia, from 1-15 August.  Khanty has hosted a number of major chess events, including the 2010 Olympiad and the current World Cup.  This note outlines the process for selecting both the Welsh Women’s and Open teams and draws attention to certain requirements for selection.


The Selection Committee will meet to choose the teams in April very soon after the 2020 Welsh Championship.  Those selected plus non-travelling reserves will be invited shortly after the meeting. As the interval between selection and the Olympiad itself will be relatively brief those invited will need to respond within a fortnight at most.  As before, the WCU will not be able to contribute towards players’ travelling expenses but in 2010 these were subsidised by the organisers through the offer of very cheap charter flights from Prague. We do not yet know whether this will be repeated.

Prior to that, in February, we will be seeking some indication of availability from a number of players who would in the normal way be likely to be considered for selection. This is by no means a method of pre-selecting the teams and is principally to enable those who have no interest in taking part the opportunity to say so and thus to simplify the selection process thereafter. Players not asked about their availability will also be considered for selection on an equal footing with those approached.

A limited appeals procedure against non-selection is likely to be in operation.  But any further changes to the selection arrangements for Olympiads will not take effect before the 2022 event.


The WCU constitution requires that all the players we consider for selection must be registered members of the WCU for 2019/20 at the time of the meeting.  For those not registering through a Welsh club, direct registration is possible (see http://www.welshchessunion.uk/membership/ where players can also check their membership position). 

In addition, It is a constitutional requrement that those selected for an event held under the auspices of FIDE must have ‘actively associated themselves with Welsh chess’. How we interpret that requirement is set out in the statement of practice to be found here.   A key element here is recent participation in Welsh tournaments.  The Welsh Championship next year will be particularly important in this respect but details of other Welsh tournaments in the coming months can be found at http://www.welshchessunion.uk/calendar/

Howard Williams (Chairman, WCU Selection Committee)