Russian chess players are among favourites of the forthcoming Olympiad in Slovenia

Milan Knezevic, President of the Organizing committee and President of the Chess Union of Slovenia reported that as of end of August already a record number of applications were filed for participation in the Chess Olympiad to be commenced at the Slovenian island of Bled on October 25. Teams of chess players from 137 countries of the world expressed their desire to compete for the major tournament prize, and teams from 94 countries wished to take part in the women's part of the tournament.

The number of filed applications is the absolute record among all previous 34 Olympiads which were held up to now.

In the men's tournament the Russian team which in the last 10 years won the Olympiads 5 times has the highest rating (2,745.5). Garry Kasparov possesses the highest personal rating in the Russian team (2,838). He is followed by Yevgeny Bareyev with 2,762 points, Aleksander Morozevich (2,716), Aleksander Khalifman (2,690) and Pyotr Svidler (2,690).

The second place in total teams' classification occupies Israel (2,654.5). The oldest chess player of the forthcoming Chess Olympiad is Viktor Korchnoi, a 71 years old grand master which will represent the Swiss team.

The winner of the men's Olympiad, in the opinion of organizers, might become known only in the last round scheduled to take place on 10 November.

In the women's tournament specialists give preference to Chinese and Georgian players.

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