Even as the Tamil Nadu government and All India Chess Federation (AICF) are gearing up to hold the 44th Chess Olympiad at Mahabalipuram near here in July-August, Chennai hosted the first chess Olympiad in 2012!
That was the 14th Blind Chess Olympiad which was held at the iconic Le Royal Meridien Hotel here.
And exactly a decade later India has got the mandate to host two chess Olympiads — 44th Chess Olympiad 2022 and Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities 2022!
The International Chess Federation (FIDE) had allotted India the main Chess Olympiad and the Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities to be held this year.
However, it is reliably learnt the Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities 2022 will not be held in India.
Recalling the 2012 Olympiad for the Blind, Charudatta Jadhav, President, International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) and All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB) told IANS: “That year Russia won the gold. The event was a grand success with about 30 teams participating. The Le Royal Meridien Hotel responded to our request and gave us a good rate.”
That year the Indian team stood fifth.
“We have a large banquet hall. The Olympiad was a prestigious event and we decided to have it on our property. The event went off very smoothly,” A. Sennimalai, Managing Director, Appu Hotels that owns Le Royal Meridien told IANS.
A FIDE official told IANS that the Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities 2022 will not be held in India.
“I have written to the FIDE Commission for Disabled enquiring whether the Olympiad for People with Disabilities will be held in India in 2022? If no, then when and where it is slated. If the event is not to be held, whether FIDE would allow three international teams — blind, deaf and dumb and physically handicapped — to participate in the main Olympiad to be held in Chennai as in the past,” Jadhav told IANS.
Jadhav said the Olympiad for People with Disabilities was started by FIDE recently. As a result, three international teams of blind/deaf and dumb/physically disabled chess players were not allowed to participate in the main Olympiad.(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at email@example.com)