Mamallapuram to host 44th Chess Olympiad in July-August

The ancient coastal city of Mamallapuram, known for its magnificent architecture of the famous kingdom of Pallava, will host the 44th Chess Olympiad from July 27 to August 10, after the international event was moved out of Russia due to its offensive against Ukraine.

The coastal city, which hosted high-level visitors like Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the 2019 informal Indochina summit, is preparing to welcome more than 2,000 chess players from 180 countries to worldwide.

“The 44th Chess Olympiad will be held in Mamallapuram from July 27 to August 10. This is the first time India has hosted such a prestigious event,” Tamil Nadu Sports Minister Siva said. V. Meyyanathan announced on Thursday.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich also met with Meyyanathan on Thursday on the eve of the signing of the agreement between the federation and India.

The Government of Tamil Nadu and the Indian Chess Federation (AICF) are coordinating their efforts to host the world’s largest chess event for the first time in India. Over 2,600 mostly sea-facing rooms in luxury resorts that dot the scenic East Coast Road (ECR) linking Chennai to Mamallapuram have been reserved for the Chess Olympiad.

The event will be held at Four Points by Sheraton – a sprawling, luxurious resort on the ECR just outside Mamallapuram – while players and delegates will stay at upscale hotels like Taj Fisherman’s Cove, Sheraton Grand, Radisson and Intercontinental among others, sources told DH.

The inauguration ceremony will be held in Mamallapuram with the Bay of Bengal as a backdrop, Meyyanathan said, adding that the cultural prowess of India, especially Tamil Nadu, will be on display with world-renowned artists performing during of the event.

A senior government official has told DH that the Chess Olympiad will be Tamil Nadu’s biggest sporting event and efforts are being made to ensure the tournament turns out to be the best yet.

“Mamallapuram is a picturesque town with world famous landmarks like the Shore Temple. Players will get a taste of Tamil Nadu and can see the Bay of Bengal from their room,” the official said.

As the International Chess Federation (FIDE) withdrew Russia from hosting the 44th Chess Olympiad in February, the AICF contacted several state governments, including Tamil Nadu, to find out if they were interested in organizing the prestigious tournament.

Tamil Nadu, whose capital city Chennai has a vibrant chess community and excellent infrastructure for such players, not only expressed interest but delegated senior officials to accompany AICF board members and showed sea-facing rooms at luxury resorts, the sources added.

Mamallapuram is one of the major tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu, attracting thousands of foreign tourists every year. The magnificent Shore Temple, Arjuna’s Penance, one of the group of monuments declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Krishna’s Butter Ball and the Five Rathas are the major tourist attractions of the coastal city.

Monuments will be given a makeover with heritage structures likely to be illuminated using soft LED lighting.

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