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Updated: November 27, 2013 01:50 IST

Brace up for chess in the Winter Games

P. K. Ajith Kumar
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Kirsan Ilymuzhinov. Photo: R. Ragu
The Hindu Kirsan Ilymuzhinov. Photo: R. Ragu

Winter Olympics may not mean much to India at the moment, but it could in the future. Moves are being made to include chess in the Winter Olympics.

The world chess governing body FIDE would soon begin discussions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “We will have an official meeting with the IOC in February next year,” FIDE president Kirsan Ilymuzhinov told The Hindu here on Monday.

“FIDE is confident of making chess an Olympic sport soon. Yes, we would like to make it to the Summer Olympics eventually, but we thought we could first get an entry in the Winter Games.”

Ilyumzhinov was in the city for the closing ceremony of the world championship. “I am delighted with the way the world championship was hosted by India and Chennai,” he said.

“It was a big success and FIDE is grateful to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa for the exemplary support she gave.”

More events

He said Chennai could be hosting more major events. “I have spoken to the Chief Minister about the possibilities of conducting some important women’s events, such as the Grand Prix and the World championship,” he said.

“I am happy to find that she was keen about our proposals.”

India could be hosting the Chess Olympiad (the biggest team event in world chess) too. “It is time India hosted the Olympiad, as it is one of the major nations in chess now,” he said.

“We are considering Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai as possible venues.”

Ilymuzhinov said he was confident of having another stint at the helm of FIDE though he has to stave off the challenge from Garry Kasparov in the elections next year.

“I have been the FIDE president for 18 years now, and it is interesting to note that it was on this day, November 25, 1995, that I took first charge,” said the former president of Kalmykia.

“I have been able to take chess to all parts of the world during my tenure, but I believe my biggest achievement was that I could unite world chess and end all disputes of having different world champions at the same time.”

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