India to host 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai
Quite often referred as the Chess capital of India, Chennai is slated to host the 44th Chess Olympiad. Chess Olympiad is regarded as one of the marquee events of FIDE with nearly 180+ teams participating all across the globe. The last over-the-board Olympiad in 2018 (2020 and 2021 saw online Olympiads due to the pandemic) we had 181 countries taking part in Batumi in the Open section and close to 150 in the women’s section.
The Chess Olympiad 2022 was slated to be held in Moscow from the 26th of July to the 8th of August 2022. However, when Russia invaded Ukraine things began to change. Moscow could no longer hold the Olympiad and FIDE was left with an important question to solve. Considering this situation and at the same time seeing it as the golden opportunity to stage a global event like Olympiad, AICF expressed their interest and submitted the bid to host Olympiad ‘2022 in India. It took tremendous effort and coordination on part of all the officers involved in the Government of Tamil Nadu, the team at AICF and the personal interest of the honorable CM Mr. M.K. Stalin for India to come up with the winning bid.
The government of Tamil Nadu has always been a very big supporter of Chess. From promoting chess in schools, providing the required infrastructure for chess tournaments, to felicitating chess players with monetary prizes Government of Tamil Nadu has taken all possible steps to ensure that no move is missed. Last year the Government of Tamil Nadu felicitated 14 players of the state who have won Gold in FIDE Online Olympiad 2020, FIDE World Teams 2019, Bronze in FIDE Online Olympiad 2021, along with the newly minted Grandmaster, Woman Grandmaster and International Master with a cash award of 1 crore 98 lakh.
The top Grandmasters of the country including Vishy Anand, Vidit Gujrathi, Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli expressed their delight and excitement to play in Chennai and hopefully clinch another Gold medal at the mega-event. In 2020 Chess Olympiad, India was the joint-winner along with Russia whereas in 2021 Olympiad, India finished with the Bronze medal.
The tentative dates for FIDE Chess Olympiad 2022 are 26th July 2022 to 8th August 2022 in Chennai.