India, as host of the 44th OIympiad Chess Tournament in Chennai later this year, is expected to feature a third team in both the open and women’s divisions as the All India Chess Federation (AICF) expects the mega event to be the best participation ever. For the event equivalent to the Olympic Games in chess.
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FIDE, the world’s governing body for the sport, has 201 members and the AICF expects most of them to take part in the upcoming Olympics to be held in physical form for the first time after a two-year gap due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Olympics will be held in Chennai from 28 July to 10 August 2022.
Bharat Singh Chauhan, AICF’s general secretary, said they expect permission to form a third team soon.
“We expect the 44th Chess Olympiad to be the best ever and preparations are in advanced stages for the event,” he said, adding that they will create a temporary structure in an area of about 50,000 square feet for the huge number of players expected to take part in the event.
Chauhan said during an online press conference he met with the AICF for young Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa to finish the runner-up match at the Chessable Masters late Thursday night.
Chauhan, who congratulated Bragg on behalf of FIFA, said the player himself was happy to see the quality of play that Bragg produced in the Chess Masters tournament. “As a manager, I am of course happy, it is a good thing for the Indian team in the Olympics as one of the best members of the second team is in good shape,” Chauhan said.
Chauhan said that winning the Olympic bid is much more difficult than organizing the event, and added that now that they have won the bidding, they will not leave any stone unturned in achieving a great success.
He initially said they had considered organizing it in Delhi and the state government had also shown interest, but they had taken into consideration the weather conditions which would be very tough in Delhi during July-August as compared to Chennai.
“Also, Chennai has a better chess culture than Delhi and there is a lot of support from the state government which has put about $10 million in funding. About 70 senior IAS officers have been pressured to take part in the Olympics.
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