The 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad drew to a close here on Tuesday amid extravagant cultural events, with India's 'B' team settled for a bronze medal in the Open section. Presiding over the closing ceremony, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said the state government has been implementing several schemes under the 'Dravidian model,' to make the state a pioneer in sports.
He said the players and officials would take home not only memories but also tradition, culture and taste of Tamil food. To make Tamil Nadu a pioneer in sports, the state government under its 'Dravidian model,' devised and has been implementing several schemes, he added.
Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu, President of All India Chess Federation, Sanjay Kapoor and Mentor Team India, Viswanathan Anand were among those present. Tamil Nadu Sports Development Minister Siva V Meyyanathan hailed Chief Minister M K Stalin for his 'vision, mission and passion' that led to the Olympiad's stupendous success.
'We have created history,' the Minister said and thanked the Centre for its unwavering support and cooperation for the grand success of the event, which would be a glorious chapter in the state's history. President, FIDE, Arkady Dvorkovich, said they were welcomed so much in Chennai and expressed his happiness and thankfulness for the hospitality.
He hailed India the motherland of chess. Conveying the chess body's deep gratitude to India -the Union and state governments- Stalin and all the people including vehicle drivers, he said: "We came here to Chennai as a united family, today we are even more united and even stronger".
The closing ceremony of the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad turned out to be a social evening as events that showcased the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu like Jallikattu were presented and impressive musical programmes were held. A spectacular dance-drama event, 'Tamizh Mann' captured the sacrifies of freedom fighters from Tamil Nadu.
Renowned actor Kamal Haasan gave the voice-over for the event, which was part of 75th anniversary of independence celebrations. Players, Manuel Aaron, first international master in chess in India, who hails from Tamil Nadu and officials were among those who were honoured. The India 'B' team settled for a bronze medal in the Open section while the India 'A' women's side also finished third in the Chess Olympiad. India 'B' defeated Germany 3-1 in their final round match to end at third position in the Open event.