Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad in the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin in a glitzy opening ceremony on Thursday.
This is the first time that India is hosting the Chess Olympiad. The Olympiad was earlier scheduled to be held in Russia’s Khanty-Mansiysk in 2019 before being shifted to Moscow and postponed to August 2020. However, the pandemic saw it being postponed once again. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine saw FIDE relocate the Olympiad to Chennai.
Modi praised the organisers for making the event possible in a short period of time and said that the arrangements were outstanding.
The world’s largest team chess championship will see players from 187 countries competing in the open and women’s event. A record 188 and 162 teams will take part in the open and women’s event respectively. India, as hosts, have fielded three teams in each event.
Here are some photos from the opening ceremony