Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared the 44th Chess Olympiad open at Nehru stadium, Chennai, on July 28. He was joined on stage by Tamil Nadu Governor R. N. Ravi and Chief Minister MK Stalin.
As part of the opening ceremony, Kamal Haasan offered a chronological narrative of Tamil history. Speaking of Jallikattu, the actor said that the sport is not man vs. animal but rather the harmony between the two.
As part of the cultural events, all the eight forms of Indian classical dance were performed for the world audience.
Prime Minister Modi said that sports are considered divine in Indian culture, and Chennai is a fitting place to host the Chess Olympiad.
The Chess Olympiad
The Chess Olympiad is held once every two years, and over 180 nations have registered to participate in the prestigious tournament.
Twenty players, including Praggnanandhaa, Harikrishna, Sasikiran, and Vidit Gujrathi, are representing India as two teams. India, as a host nation, can field two teams in both the open and women’s sections.
Koneru Humpy, Harika, Vaishali, and Mary Ann Gomes are amongst the women players representing India.
This year’s tournament was originally scheduled to be held in Russia but was moved out because of its war with Ukraine. The sport’s governing body FIDE also decided to keep the Russian players out of the tournament.
While China has chosen not to participate, Pakistan pulled out of the event in the last hour.
The international tournament that kicked off on July 28 will conclude on August 10.