The 2022 Chess Olympiad is hosted in Chennai, India. Why does India get to field three teams while most nations get the usual one team per Open and Women's sections?

  • In all fairness, there's a LOT more people (thus more players?) in India than in all those other countries (especially with China out of the running)... Aug 9, 2022 at 15:38
  • 1
    Interestingly India 2 team (amazing performance) did better than India 1 team!
    – Akavall
    Aug 9, 2022 at 16:23
  • 3
    @DarrelHoffman if they scaled by population, already dominant nations (China, India, US) would fill up the leaderboards over strong nations like Armenia and Uzbekistan. And I doubt smaller countries would like that.
    – qwr
    Aug 9, 2022 at 18:28
  • 1
    So, kind of like the Olympics then? There are generally speaking a lot more athletes from larger population countries than smaller ones. (Obviously varies by sport, but there's a reason the highest medal counts consistently go to countries with a lot more competitors.) Forcing the same number of players per country would just encourage strong-but-not-top-tier players to move to other countries with smaller populations where they'd have a better chance of getting into international competitions. Aug 9, 2022 at 19:35
  • yep, that's true that top competitors are left out in favor of having more variety in nations. but that seems to be the tradition in Olympiad style events (including the International Math Olympiad and International Olympiad in Informatics)
    – qwr
    Aug 10, 2022 at 1:03

1 Answer 1


Normally the host nation is entitled to a second team. Following the absence of Russia and Belarus due to FIDE ban, China due to pandemic lockdowns, and last-minute Pakistan pullout due to political conflict with India, the number of teams was odd, so FIDE rules allow another team to India.

According to FIDE regulations:

Odd Number of Participating Teams

2.1 The organising federation shall be entitled to enter a second team ("B" team). If there is an odd number of participating teams the organising federation has the right to enter a third team ("C" team).


I have not found the FIDE Council rationale for this, but I guess this is an extra reward to the host nation (who has to fund the event), and is more exciting than a bye. (If you know, please post as an answer)

  • I've updated the answer to hopefully include all teams absent.
    – qwr
    Aug 9, 2022 at 18:53
  • 2
    Suppose the extra team to balance is not the host, then 1. who else can organise a team to get there soon enough, and 2. how do you decide which country gets to send that team instead? Having the host provide the extra team is just logistically more reasonable.
    – Nij
    Aug 10, 2022 at 1:44
  • 1
    @Nij swiss style tournaments usually implement a bye in that case. you could also just return to 1 team instead of 3 but the host probably wouldn't like this.
    – qwr
    Aug 10, 2022 at 2:37
  • The rationale is, that the organizer country is entitled to have two teams. If the number of teams are odd, therefore the organizer does not have to drop the second team. Simply add a third team.
    – djnavas
    Feb 1, 2023 at 17:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.