The All India Chess Federation (AICF) is going all out to make the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad a success, including giving subsidies to the participating nations.
In a bid to encourage maximum participation, FIDE (the world chess federation), together with AICF, organisers of the Olympiad, announced support for teams and delegates from developing federations to travel to Chennai for the event scheduled from July 28 to August 10. According to AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan, this was being done to encourage greater participation in the Olympiad. "FIDE and AICF will be sharing the cost in the effort to support teams from developing nations. We are doing this in an effort to encourage greater participation," he told PTI.
Some 2,000 people -- about 1,700 players and those accompanying them -- are expected to be at the Olympiad. "Once a player lands in Chennai for the tournament, he will be taken care of completely. We are taking care of boarding, lodging and medical insurance," Chauhan, who is the tournament director of the Olympiad, added. As per the plan, the total amount of travel subsidy has been increased and reached 1.5 million Euros -- the highest ever. This will be shared between 150 member federations.
"The travel subsidy would be taken care of by FIDE and AICF and funds will be transferred to the world chess body by the Indian federation as part of the regulations for the conduct of the Olympiad," Chauhan said. "We have so far transferred INR 22 crore to FIDE," he added. Apart from the subsidies for travel to Chennai, the players would also be provided pocket money to manage their expenses.
Travel subsidies for participants in the Olympiad and delegates for the FIDE Congress scheduled to be held during the tournament would be categorised based on the regions the players come from. Also, the mandatory registration fee of 100 Euros each by the players and those accompanying them to the event would be waived off, Chauhan said, adding the FIDE and AICF organising committee would pay on their behalf.
As per regulations, the Olympiad organisers have to pay FIDE a sum of 2,623,000 Euros to cover all financial obligations, such as travel expenses for the delegations of some national chess federations, stipends for foreign match arbiters, principals, expenses towards inspections, travel subsidy for participants of FIDE Congress and to provide pocket money to the participants from some countries.
Chauhan further said players from around 190 countries are expected to take part in the prestigious championship, making it probably the biggest event in India's sporting history. "We have seen the country organise Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, etc. But the athletes don't stay at the venue (Games Village) for the entire duration. "Here, the players will be at the venue in Mahabalipuram, some 60 kms from Chennai, for 15 days. So, the 2,000-odd people (players and the team members included) will be at the Olympiad venue for 15 days," he added.
As of now, India as the host federation could field two teams in each section (open and women's), he said, adding that there was a possibility of having an additional team if the total number was odd. The Tamil Nadu government is the main sponsor of the mega event.