MAHABALIPURAM (TN): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin is all set to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the inauguration of the 44th International Chess Olympiad in Mahabalipuram during his visit to New Delhi on July 19.
The Olympiad will take place between July 28 to August 10.
Tamil Nadu, the home state of five-time world chess champion Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, will host the first ever Chess Olympiad in India. The tournament was supposed to be held in Moscow but due to its conflict with Ukraine, the venue is now shifted to India.
A total of 187 countries will participate in the 44th International Chess Olympiad in Mahabalipuram. Sources told The New Indian that Ukraine will take part in the tournament but Russia, Belarus and China will not take part in the Olympiad.
Speaking to The New Indian, Bharat Singh Chauhan, secretary of All India Chess Federation asserted, “Chess Olympiad is nothing less than an Olympic. Whereas in the Olympics a player participates only for two or three days, here about 2000 chess players will spend about 13 days and contest throughout these 13 days.”
“This will present a great opportunity to showcase India’s chess merits. We are focusing on the kids between 6-15 years to grow their interests in chess,” Chauhan added.
Speaking to The New Indian, Naresh Sharma, treasurer of the All India Chess Federation, said, “Russia and Belarus are banned by the FIDE. China is not participating this time but the tournament may see a representation of Pakistan.”
“India will have the largest contingent ever this time with three teams of six players each,” he added.
While 187 teams will compete in the Open section, 162 teams will vie for the top honour in the Women’s section, AICF informed The New Indian.
Speaking to The New Indian, G Sankar of Pondicherry Chess Association asserted, “It’s a prestige for the country. This is for the first time the Olympiad is happening in India. Three teams from the host country India will participate whereas each country can only send two teams.”
On Wednesday, Abhay Kumar, Indian Ambassador to Madagascar & Comoros met with the National Delegation of Chess Players from Madagascar who will participate in the 44th FIDE World Chess Olympiad in Madagascar.
Host state Tamil Nadu has ideated several initiatives to innovatively project the Olympiad. Napier Bridge in Chennai has got an artistic touch to look like a chess board.