The International Chess Federation – FIDE – Council has decided to allot India hosting rights for 44th Chess Olympiad, to be held later this year in Chennai.

The event was originally expected to take place in Russia, however, due to the current war in Ukraine, the All India Chess Federation’s bid to host the event was approved.

“The experience with Delhi Chess Open, the largest event of its kind in the world, will be a big help, as we have already dealt with large numbers. But Olympiad is a big game. I am sure we will make it the best,” said AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan in a FIDE statement.

This will be the first time since the inception of the tournament in 1927, that India will host the event. Chennai, the hometown of five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand had hosted the 2013 World Championships, which the Indian lost to reigning champion Magnus Carlsen.

“The exact scheduled 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,” the statement added.

The Olympiad is a biennial team event that takes places over two weeks with around 190 countries competing. India were joint winners with Russia in the 2020 edition, and has been bronze medallist twice (2014 and 2021).