Chennai Chess Olympiad updates | Declaring open the 44th Chess Olympiad, PM Modi says TN is chess powerhouse of India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin take part in the inauguration of 44th Chess Olympiad at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on July 28, 2022

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin take part in the inauguration of 44th Chess Olympiad at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on July 28, 2022 | Photo Credit: Twitter/@chennaichess22

The world’s biggest team chess championship, featuring players from 187 countries, takes place at Hotel Four Points by Sheraton, Mamallapuram, starting July 29 and is to conclude on August 10. The Olympiad is being held in India for the first time ever, after being moved out of Moscow in Russia following the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who declared open the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad said that in a short period of time, the organisers had made outstanding arrangements.

The grand inaugural was also attended by the Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Anurag Thakur, Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting L. Murugan and Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi.

Here are the updates
8 pm

TN is chess powerhouse of India: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the opening ceremony of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai on July 28, 2022

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the opening ceremony of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai on July 28, 2022 | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says this is the first time the Chess Olympiad is being held in the place of origin of chess, India. It is coming to Asia for the first time in 3 decades. He adds, “Tamil Nadu has a strong historical connection with chess. This is why it is a chess powerhouse of India.”

PM Modi cites the temple of Sathuranga Vallabanathar, which has an interesting story that even God played a game of chess. Prime Minister Narendra Modi then declares the 44th Chess Olympiad open.

Also read:Sathuranga Vallabhanathar, the deity of chess

7. 40 pm

CM Stalin addresses at the inauguration

Delivering his address during the inaugural of the 44th Chess Olympiad, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin says tourism and industry will thrive in the State because of Chess Olympiad. He also recalls PM Narendra Modi’s love for chess. Says, Modi, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, conducted a grand chess event with over 20,000 players.

Mr. Stalin said about 36% of Indian Grandmasters are from Tamil Nadu. Chennai can be rightly called the ‘chess capital of India’

7.30 pm

PM Modi receives the Chess Olympiad torch

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin hand over the torch of the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad to young chess players including Praggnananda

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin hand over the torch of the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad to young chess players including Praggnananda | Photo Credit: AFP

Receiving the torch of 44th Chess Olympiad from chess Grandmaster and five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Stalin handed it over to Prime Minister Modi.

7.20 pm

Union Min of Sports speaks

Following an address by the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting L. Murugan, the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur, while speaking during the inaugural, wishes the participants. He encourages youngsters to take up the game of chess as a hobby as well as professionally.

7 pm

Viral ‘Enjoy Enjaami’ fills the air

Singers Dhee and Kidakuzhi Mariyammal make it a musical evening by performing the hit song ‘Enjoy Enjaami’ on stage.

6.35 pm

Performance on history of TN

Narrated in the voice of veteran actor and politician Kamal Haasan, the history of Tamil Nadu is enacted to the dignitaries and attendees at the inaugural of the 44th Chess Olympiad, to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the host State.

6. 30 pm

TN Sports Minister welcomes the gathering

Tamil Nadu Minister for Youth Welfare and Sport Development S.V. Meyyanathan delivers the welcome address for the international chess event.

6.25 pm

Warm reception for Modi

On his arrival here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is accorded a warm welcome with performances by musicians and percussionists all along the route he took by road to reach the venue, the Nehru stadium.

At the stadium, sand artist Sarvam Patel creates magic with his skill by interspersing ancient Mamallapuram Shore Temple, the game of chess and the host nation India, besides that of Prime Minister Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin.

6.20 pm

PM Modi arrives

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Tamil Nadu CM M.K. Stalin at the Opening Ceremony of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai on July 28, 2022.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Tamil Nadu CM M.K. Stalin at the Opening Ceremony of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai on July 28, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Dressed in traditional white dhoti which has chessboard design and half-sleeved white shirt, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium for the inauguration of 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad. He also sports a shawl with a chessboard designed border. The PM shares the dais with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin who presented him a replica of the Shore Temple at Mamallapuram.

5.50 pm

Nehru stadium dazzles, rocks with music

Dancers perform during the inaugural ceremony of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai on July 28, 2022

Dancers perform during the inaugural ceremony of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai on July 28, 2022 | Photo Credit: AFP

The Nehru Indoor Stadium here sparkled with classy lighting, and a sense of excitement was palpable during the inaugural event for the 44th Chess Olympiad.

The sprawling arena in downtown Chennai was buzzing with fresh ideas represented in the form of elegant decor with the undercurrent being the nerve-wracking game of chess.

The classy lighting displayed multiple colours everywhere and the magic of light embossed on the foreground a grand, big chessboard and the flags of participating countries.

The stadium's dais was decked with king-sized brightly coloured chess pieces of king, bishop, rook, queen, knight and the pawns.

A special dance-song "Vanakkam Chennai, Vanakkam Chess", was screened. An audio visual on the theme of sand-sculpting captured the game of chess to be played in Tamil Nadu's historic sea port town of Mamallapuram.

With an orchestra playing pulsating music, teams from dozens of countries including Japan, China, Australia, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Austria, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, and Barbados were welcomed to unceasing rounds of applause in the stadium. 'Jai Ho' was among the Indian instrumental music played while 'Vande Mataram' was rendered.

5.45 pm

India slams Pakistan for ‘politicising’ Chess Olympiad

India on Thursday criticised Pakistan for pulling out of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Tamil Nadu and said it is "highly unfortunate" that Islamabad has "politicised" the prestigious international event.

Reacting to Pakistan's decision, Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said it was surprising that Pakistan has suddenly taken the decision not to participate in the event.

It is highly unfortunate that Pakistan has politicised the prestigious international event by making such statements and withdrawing its participation after its team has already reached India, he said.

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5 pm

Pakistan pulls out of 44th Chess Olympiad

“Pakistan condemns India’s mischievous attempt to mix politics with sports. As a protest, Pakistan has decided not to participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad and will also raise the matter with the international Chess Federation at the highest level,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the statement. The torch relay passed through Kashmir’s capital Srinagar on June 21.

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4.30 pm

Chennai - The city of 17 chess Grandmasters

M. Aaron, winner of the Kasturi Cup Chess Tournament conducted by the Madras Chess Association, seen in action against S. Venkatraman. (circa  March 8, 1958 (Published in Sport and Pastime on March 22, 1958)

M. Aaron, winner of the Kasturi Cup Chess Tournament conducted by the Madras Chess Association, seen in action against S. Venkatraman. (circa March 8, 1958 (Published in Sport and Pastime on March 22, 1958) | Photo Credit: P. M. PARTHASARATHY

According to FIDE (the International Chess Federation, or Fédération Internationale des Échecs) as of 2022, of the 76 Grandmasters (GM) in India, 17 are from Chennai alone and of the five Indian players in the top 55 in the world, two are from Chennai.

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4.25 pm

Behind the scenes at Mamallapuram

Arrangements are in place for the 44th Chess Olympiad to be held at Mamallapuram near Chennai from July 28th to August 10 in Four Points Hotel by Sheraton.

Arrangements are in place for the 44th Chess Olympiad to be held at Mamallapuram near Chennai from July 28th to August 10 in Four Points Hotel by Sheraton. | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

As India hosts the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad 2022,  MetroPlus of The Hindu spends a day behind the scenes at the venue in Mamallapuram

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4.20 pm

Human chess

Students dressed up as chess pieces and move across a life sized board during the International Chess Day celebration at Keren School in Madurai

Students dressed up as chess pieces and move across a life sized board during the International Chess Day celebration at Keren School in Madurai | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

In Madurai, the Keren Matriculation School came up with its own unique way to celebrate the Chess Olympiad and the International Chess Day. These students were dressed up as black and white chess pieces to simulate a live chess game, on a 2,500-square feet board.

A total of 32 students between the ages of 13 to 18 were selected. 16 students on either side were told to move by two guest chess enthusiasts, Ebenezer Joseph and Dr Donald James Moir, a retired British physician. 

This live demo looked to pit the old versus the new, by having Dr Donald represent the English and Ebenezer represent the contemporary Olympiad. The event also saw the participation of Madurai-based Grandmaster Deepan Chakkravarthy, International Master BT Murali Krishnan, and Commonwealth gold medallist M Rajadarshini in simultaneous chess matches against the students. 

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4.15 pm

‘Feels like a festival’: Praggnanandhaa on Chess Olympiad

Praggnanandhaa

Praggnanandhaa | Photo Credit: Johan Sathyadas

Chess champion Praggnanandhaa chats on the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai, working with Viswanathan Anand and his recent meetings with actors Rajinikanth and Sivakarthikeyan

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4.10 pm

The buzz at Mamallapuram

Mamallapuram’s small businesses are hopeful that the 44th Chess Olympiad will put their hometown in the global map.

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4 pm

‘Thambi’ is here to paint Tamil Nadu ‘black and white’

The  Thambi is slowly becoming ubiquitous. When the 44 th Chess Olympiad — the first-ever in Chennai — begins at Four Points by the Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort and Convention Centre on July 28 (actual games begin on July 29), the mascot of the biennial chess event will become a household name. Already,  Thambi the knight has started to paint Tamil Nadu ’black and white’ and has sprung up at important tourist locations in the State and along the medians of arterial roads in Chennai — K. Keerthivasan

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3.30 pm

Why Mamallapuram was chosen to host the Chess Olympiad?

Children play chess near the Shore Temple at Mamallapuram near Chennai

Children play chess near the Shore Temple at Mamallapuram near Chennai | Photo Credit: Johan Sathyadas

A well-connected transportation network, a handful of star hotels and the ease of ensuring various security measures are among the major factors that helped Mamallapuram emerge as the host for 44 th FIDE Chess Olympiad commencing July 28 — Dennis S. Jesudasan

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3 pm

A temple for the deity of chess, Sathuranga Vallabhanathar

A view of the Sathuranga Vallabhanathar Temple at Thirupoovanur in Tiruvarur district

A view of the Sathuranga Vallabhanathar Temple at Thirupoovanur in Tiruvarur district | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

An ancient temple of Lord Shiva linked to the game of chess at Thirupoovanur, near Needamangalam, in Tiruvarur district has garnered public interest ahead of the Chess Olympiad. The presiding deity of the temple goes by the name of Sathuranga Vallabhanathar, an expert in chess.  Sathurangam is the Tamil name for chess. Legend has it that, Lord Shiva was called Sathuranga Vallabhanathar after winning the right to marry the daughter of a local king by defeating her in a game of chess — S. Ganesan

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2 pm

On India hosting 44th Chess Olympiad

Logo of the 44th Chess Olympiad Logo

Logo of the 44th Chess Olympiad Logo | Photo Credit: The Hindu

A nation brimming with chess talent is now ready to parade it on a platform that does not get any bigger. The 44th Chess Olympiad, with participants from 187 nations, opens with a gala ceremony at Chennai’s Nehru Stadium on Thursday and the 11-round on-board action commences the following day at Mamallapuram. With the usual medal-winning nations — Russia and China — not in the mix, some first-timers could occupy the podium. Whether India wins medals or not, the staging of the Chess Olympiad will give chess a boost — The Hindu Editorial

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2022 2:05:49 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/chennai-chess-olympiad-updates-declaring-open-the-44th-chess-olympiad-pm-modi-says-tn-is-chess-powerhouse-of-india/article65693456.ece