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India Chess Olympiad It Can’t Get Bigger Than That!, India Chess Olympiad It Can’t Get Bigger Than That, sr suryanarayan, sports news

Mahabalipuram, or Mammalapuram as it is now renamed, is best known for being a UNESCO heritage site. A tourist spot famous for its beachside scenery, temple architecture, and most importantly, a place where tourists flock among the city’s raging crowds. The tranquility is what is striking watching the endless waves roll and crawl on the shores. Time stands still, or so it seems, looking at nature’s bounty. Soon this very touristy heritage site will rise to prominence for another reason when it enters the world sporting map with the conduct of the Chess Olympiad! In less than ten days, more than 2,000 top minds from 187 countries, tuned to showcase excellence at the highest level in the sport of chess, will converge at this scenic venue for what will be one of the greatest sports programs ever organized in the country. Hosting major sporting events cannot be considered new to India. From the Asian Games (twice) to the Commonwealth Games, the country has had its fair share of international attention. But what’s in store in this port city will be the greatest of all, thanks to FIDE, the world chess body that gave the go-ahead, the Chess Federation of India for taking it over and the government of Tamil Nadu for presenting a beautiful financial support.

It is amazing how much chess has developed in this country over the past decades. Although the story is about chess having its origin in India, it was in Europe that the sport gained a mass base. The Russian and Ukrainian belt was known for some of the big names in the sport. Other countries on the continent also followed. In Asia, China is very present. Perhaps the one big factor that helped the sport receive a massive boost in India has to be the rise of Vishwanathan Anand. Who would have thought that a six-year-old child, who learned the basics of the 64-box sport with his mother while in Manila – where his father was posted for a time as a railway consultant – would become a giant in sport!

Her interest in him grew there, and the bright youngster was quick to learn the intricacies of the sport as well. The rest, as they say, is now history. From Junior Asian Champion, Junior World Champion and several other firsts, the chess genius continued to develop his talent, stalking players from all over the world and as fate would have it in 2000, he had become World Champion. for the first time. Imagine the excitement of an Indian who becomes world champion!

It’s no surprise, then, that five-time world champion Anand has become one of India’s popular sports icons. Perhaps it’s fair to say that he looks like Roger Federer is in tennis, with instant appeal. Sports fans still feel they regard Federer as tennis’ greatest legend. Perhaps Anand too could take that chess pedestal as such was his audience in India and even abroad. Well-read and articulate, Anand was a hit with the younger generation, and when the 2013 World Championship was announced, where he was to defend his title against Norwegian challenger Magnus Carlsen, Indian chess aficionados were lucky that the event takes place in India. , in Chennai actually. As we know, Carlsen ruined the party by defeating the great Indian, but this event singularly did enough to give the sport a boost like never before. Tamil Nadu, in particular, has found the sport reaching a new height with the increase in the number of Grandmasters. It is in a good mood that Anand, the first GM of the country and one of this southern metropolis could subsequently witness a surge in the number of GMs in the country (74 today) and in Tamil Nadu even. Moreover, the youngest GM in the country is from Tamil Nadu! R. Praggnanandha was only 12 when he became CEO, the second youngest in the world. Anand had earned this honor when he was 18 years old.

Just as well as the Olympiad is taking place in the country when the sport is so active as to regularly take up space in the media, thanks either to Anand’s own commitments on the chessboard or to the classy play of others like Praggnanandha himself, for example. The Chennai lad recently grabbed the headlines after spectacularly beating reigning World Champion Carlsen in an online event, his second mammoth effort against the Norwegian great!

The Olympiad was originally scheduled for Minsk, Belarus, but was later moved to Moscow. The Russian-Ukrainian war meant that another place had to be found, and it was here that India pitched in. Again, it took the charm of Anand, a mentor for Indian players, to bring the event to Chennai. Anand’s closeness to the President of the International Chess Federation, Arkady Dvorkovich, has worked and here we are on the doorstep of another historic sporting moment in India. Chess in India couldn’t have asked for anything more. In 2020, when the event went live, India and Russia had jointly won gold. It was India’s best show to date. So what will it be like in Mammalapuram? The pointers are brilliant, especially since Russia and China are not participating!