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Chennai Chesss Olympiad live updates | Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives

Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan accused India of politicising the 44th Chess Olympiad and announced that it will not be participating in the event.

Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan accused India of politicising the 44th Chess Olympiad and announced that it will not be participating in the event.

A gala Opening Ceremony of the 44th Chess Olympiad will be held at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on July 28, 2022 evening.

The world’s biggest team chess championship, featuring players from 187 countries, takes place at Hotel Four Points by Sheraton, Mamallapuram, from Friday.

With Prime Minister Narendra Mod inaugurating the Chennai Chess Olympiad, the Tamil Nadu Government is fully geared up for the occasion with all protocols firmly in place. The Ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Pakistan on Thursday accused India of politicising the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai by passing the torch relay for the event through Jammu and Kashmir and announced that it will not participate in the event. An official statement from Islamabad described the torch relay through Kashmir as a “travesty” and called upon India to free political prisoners in the valley.

“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.

5.50 pm

Nehru stadium dazzles, rocks with music

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.

Top actor Rajinikanth was among the star invitees who were present.

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.

4.35 pm

TN CM inspects arrangements for chess Olympiad

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin inaugurated an exquisite sculpture, carved out by artisans of the State-owned Poompuhar (Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation) at the entrance to Mamallapuram, near here, ahead of the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad set to commence on Thursday.

The 45-foot high piece of art is meant to showcase the talent of the handicraft artisans for which the heritage town is famous for in addition to the ancient Shore Temple and an array of monuments.

Also, the Chief Minister inspected the venues of the the Chennai Chess Olympiad in Chennai — the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi would inaugurate a grand event in the presence of Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi — and Poonjeri in Mamallapuram where the event would be conducted and reviewed the arrangements being made for it.

Extending his greetings and best wishes to the players, Ravi said in his message: “Let’s participate, compete and set new benchmarks of sportsmanship bestowed with the true spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (world is one big family).” He invited the chess players from various parts of India and from the globe to visit the historical and cultural sites and be part of the timeless, vivid and vibrant spiritual enrichment of Tamil Nadu. “The threat of the global pandemic is not over yet, new variants are posing new challenges. Therefore, I urge all to take necessary precautions and follow the guidelines to ensure safety of selves and our loved ones,” he said.

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)
| 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.

4.25 pm

Behind the scenes at Mamallapuram

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

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. 

4.15 pm

‘Feels like a festival’: Praggnanandhaa on Chess Olympiad


| 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

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.

4 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 — DennisS. Jesudasan

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

2 pm

On India hosting 44th Chess Olympiad

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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