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Biggest ever sports event in India — Over 150 countries to take part in 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai

The 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai would see participation of over 150 countries and the tournament would be the biggest-ever sports event to have happened in India.

Nihal Sarin and R Praggnanandhaa

Nihal Sarin and R Praggnanandhaa



Updated: 16 March 2022 1:51 PM GMT

The 44th Chess Olympiad, to be held in Mahabalipuram about 58 km from here, would see participation of over 150 countries and the tournament would be the biggest-ever sports event to have happened in India, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said on Wednesday.

The Chief Minister, who announced that Tamil Nadu would host the international event, claimed this Olympiad would be a milestone in the history of the State. "Tamil Nadu has got the opportunity to host the 44th Chess Olympiad. This is a proud moment for all Tamils," he said.

The Chief Minister who took to his microblogging site to make the announcement said, "Sports are all about one's potent, talent, beauty and much more. Chess in particular is an amazing game which is about the steady focus of the participants and the nail-biting thrill enjoyed by the spectators."

Tamil Nadu, he said, is deeply connected to this amazing game. Starting from world-renowned Grand Master Viswanathan Anand to the young prodigy Praggnandhaa, Tamil Nadu has been continuously producing worldclass players.

"This tournament, which will see participants from over 150 countries across the globe, will be the biggest ever sports event to have happened in India," he said and thanked the FIDE and AICF for this historic opportunity.

Stalin claimed that the event would take Tamil Nadu's hospitality and culture to the global arena and said he has resolved to conduct this Chess Olympiad in a great manner and welcomed all the chess wizards from across the globe.

The Olympiad has moved out of Russia after it invaded neighboring Ukraine last month. Meanwhile, the world chess governing body on Wednesday suspended Russia and Belarus teams from FIDE competitions until further notice.

Stating that the organisers would have to race against time to hold this event in four months, Sanjay Kapoor, president of All India Chess Federation (AICF), said it would be held from July 26 to August 8.

Bharat Chauhan, secretary, AICF, told reporters here that the Chief Minister accorded approvals within five minutes and he had obtained the (sanction) letter within few hours after initiating the discussion with the government officials. He claimed that sufficient number of rooms have already been blocked to accommodate the participants in Mahabalipuram.

"We will follow all COVID-19 safety norms stipulated by the government," he replied to a question. Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu, who was present on the occasion, assured all help on behalf of the government in conducting the event.

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