Since the applications for the 2006 Olympiad have just opened, a lot of players will be keen to do well in this event in order to either secure a place or put themselves into contention for a place.

If all of the top players apply for the Men's team, there could be quite a close contest. In my opinion the players vying for boards two to six are closer this year than they have ever been. Johansen is no longer a certainty for board two (although I would say that he is still a certainty for the team). Zhao is probably also pretty secure, barring poor performances this year. Lane, Smerdon and Solomon probably need some strong performances to secure a place, and Wohl is right back into contention with some good recent performances. George Xie is probably behind the players above, but really strong performances here and at Queenstown could put him into contention (along with his recent IM norms).