India will host the Chess Olympiad for the first time, from July 28 to August 10, in Chennai. The 44th edition of the biggest chess event in the world will have a virtual participant list with most of the stars joining from across the globe.
“It’s a great honour for India to host such a big event. This shows the position of the country in the chess world. I’m thankful to everyone involved who supported us to make this happen. This is a historic step and I believe it will take Indian chess to greater heights,” said Bharat Singh Chauhan, Secretary, All India Chess Federation (AICF), who played a crucial role in bringing the Olympiad to India.
The event was originally scheduled in Russia. Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) started looking for new hosts and invited new bidders.
Chauhan discussed the possibilities with FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich. The AICF fulfilled the hosting criteria set by FIDE within less than a week. They were able to answer all the queries by FIDE satisfactorily and ensured the required $10 million guarantee. It made India’s bid stronger than others.
Chauhan set up a quick meeting with Tamil Nadu chief minister Stalin, who instantly approved, assured and endorsed the government’s support for the event.