This is the first time ever that India is hosting the 44th edition of the Chess Olympiad, which is scheduled to take place in Chennai from July 28 to August 10. With a record 187 countries taking part – 188 teams in the Open section and 162 in the Women’s section – the Olympiad will witness the highest-ever participation at a single edition.
A record total of 30 Indian players across six teams (three in open and three women) will be participating at the Olympiad. Each team will have five members out of which four will be fielded in each round. The captain of the team, in most cases non-playing, will decide the team composition. The Olympiad will be a 11 Round Swiss League event. The host countries can field two teams but India could field one additional team in both the categories as the total number of teams were odd.
The three Indian open teams are seeded 2nd, 11th and 17th respectively.
The second seeded India-1 Open team consists of Vidit Gujrathi, P Harikrishna, Arjun Erigaisi, SL Narayan and Sasikaran Krishnan.
The India-2 Open team members are Nihal Sarin, D Gukesh, B Adhiban, R Praggnanandhaa and Raunak Sadhwani.
The India-3 open team comprises Surya Shekhar Ganguly, SP Sethuraman, Abhijeet Gupta, Karthikeyan Murali and Abhimanyu Puranik.
Incidentally, all the 15 players in the Open Team are Grandmasters.
In the women’s section, India-1 team is seeded first while India-2 and India-3 team are seeded 11th and 16th respectively.
The India-1 women’s team consists of Koneru Humpy, D Harika, R Vaishali, Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni.
The India-2 women’s team members are Vantika Agrawal, Soumya Swaminathan, Mary Ann Gomes, Padmini Rout and Divya Deshmukh.
The India-3 women’s team comprises Eesha Karavade, Sahithi Varshini, Pratyusha Bodda, Nandhidhaa PV and Vishwa Vasnawala.
In the 2014 Chess Olympiad held at Tromso, Norway, India won a bronze medal in the open category and in the 2020 virtual Olympiad, India won the joint gold medal while in the 2021 virtual Olympiad, India finished with a bronze medal.
Format and schedule
All the matches at the Chess Olympiad will be played in the Classical Swiss League Format.
The tournament will begin with ‘Round 1’ on July 29 and continue till ‘Round 11’ on August 9. There will be a rest day on August 4 and teams will depart on August 10. All the matches will start at 3 pm IST.
Prizes: The Olympiad features team and individual non-monetary prizes based on performance.
1st place in the Open section: Hamilton-Russel Cup
1st place in the Women’s section: Vera Menchik Cup
1st place in combined classification: Nona Gaprindashvili Trophy
Players from the top-three teams also receive gold, silver and bronze medals respectively.