Happy news for chessers in TN: Chennai is all set to host 44th World Chess Olympiad!

In what has become a piece of happy news for chessers in Tamil Nadu, the state's capital Chennai wins the host of conducting the 44th World Chess Olympiad. The Chess Olympiad is a biennial team event conducted over a two-week period where participants from around 190 countries would compete against each other. Chief Minister MK Stalin has shared the news and the global event would be held in Chennai between the end of July and the first week of August. 

The Chess Olympiad was supposed to be held in Moscow, Russia, from July 26 to August 8. However, it has now been changed owing to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, MK Stalin wrote, "Delighted that the Chess Capital of India is set to host the 44th Chess Olympiad! A proud moment for Tamil Nadu! Chennai warmly welcomes all the Kings and Queens from around the world!." 

All India Chess Federation wrote, "It's official now...India will host the 44th World Chess Olympiad 2022 at Chennai!!." According to reports, the All India Chess Federation has earlier submitted its guarantee of $10 million to the International Chess Federation (FIDE). FIDE has decided to move the Chess Olympiad and all other official competitions planned from Russia in the midst of the war with Ukraine. 

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, FIDE has decided to open the bids to change the host. The Indian chess federation has said it would bid to host the Olympiad and the budget for the event would be $10 million, about Rs 75 crore. FIDE has said, "The exact schedule is still being discussed and will be announced in the coming days, but the event will take place between the end of July and the beginning of August, not very far off from the dates originally planned." 

FIDE Vice-President Nigel Short said, "Around 2,500 persons, including chess players, coaches, team managers, chess officials from different countries, journalists, and others, will arrive at the city where the Chess Olympiad is held." It must be noted that it would be the first time Chennai would be hosting the Chess Olympiad and it will be the second major world event to be held in India after the World Championship match in 2013 between India's Viswanathan Anand and Norway's Magnus Carlsen in Chennai.