With just a day to go for the World Chess Championship, officials at the chess federation offices in the city are working round-the-clock to make sure the event runs smoothly.
In addition to the championship that will be held for the first time in the country, nine other chess-related events will also be held in the city.
Among the events is the Woman Grandmaster tournament that begins on Wednesday. Nearly 120 women champions from across the world will play a series of games at the Nehru stadium until November 14.
“These are all champions in their own states and countries. And, it is after 30 years that such a tournament is coming back to the city,” said K. Gopalakrishnan, treasurer, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association.
The organising committee is also conducting national, under-9 boys and girls championships, starting this week. Nearly 350 children from across the country are expected to take part. “Since every child will come with at least one parent, we have made arrangements for the stay of at least 1,000 people here,” said Mr. Gopalakrishnan. Tamil Nadu, he said, had the highest number of participants in the championship.
According to officials, the under-9 championship was originally scheduled for September but was postponed to November so that it would coincide with the world championship. “We want the occasion to be a celebration of chess,” said V. Hariharan, secretary, All India Chess Federation.
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up at Hotel Hyatt Regency, where the world championship is being held, with two rounds of frisking and barcode checking in place. Nearly 100 officials are working day in and day out to ensure everything is in place.
“The biggest challenge is logistics. Federation officials said they are in touch with the managers of Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand as with celebrity chess players such as former world champion Gary Kasparov of Russia and international commentators,” Mr. Gopalakrishnan said.
All the children who are participating in the under-9 tournament will also get to see the matches between Carlsen and Anand. “In countries such as Russia that has produced many grandmasters – children are often taken to see matches between champions. That euphoria will motivate them to focus on the game,” Mr. Gopalakrishnan added.
Also, starting this week, there will be seminars to bring together arbiters and trainers in chess. “This is also the time to reflect on the recent trends in the game and discuss them. Otherwise, one hardly ever finds experts and budding professionals under the same roof,” said Mr. Gopalakrishnan.