Chess fever is well and truly on in Chennai with just four days to go for the 44th Olympiad. As the countdown for the chess extravaganza continues, a test event was held on Sunday to assess the preparedness for the tournament.
Also, a few thousand people took part in an Olympiad special run organised in the city today ahead of the prestigious tournament. State Ministers including Ma Subramanian, T M Anbarasan and P K Sekar Babu among others were present at the event.
As many as 1,414 players took part in the test tournament held in various age categories. The organisers claimed that the test event with 1,414 players was an attempt to enter the Noble Book of World Records.
The chess Olympiad is being held in India for the first time and the tournament will be held at nearby Mamallapuram. Players from over 180 countries will be participating in the Olympiad with three Indian teams each in the Open and women's sections.
'Thambi', mascot of the marquee event, can be seen at various places in the city while the iconic Napier Bridge has been painted in black and white colours to resemble a chess board.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the event at the Nehru Indoor stadium on July 28 in the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin while the matches will begin from July 29 and go on till August 10.
The Tamil Nadu government is leaving no stone unturned in the efforts to make the Olympiad a huge success. Chief Minister Stalin himself has been at the forefront, supervising the arrangements and visiting the venue to inspect the preparations.