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44th Chess Olympiad: Teams start to trickle in, Madagascar first to reach Chennai

Chennai, July 23 (IANS) With just five days to go, teams have started reaching Chennai for the 44th Chess Olympiad at Mamallapuram for the biggest-ever sporting extravaganza on Indian soil. Madagascar is the first team to reach for the event scheduled from July 28 to August 10.

The Team, rated 104th with an average rating of Elo 2143, has 22-year-old International Master (IM) Antenaina Fy Rakotomaharo rated Elo 2490 playing on the top board.

Candidate Master (CM) Heritiana Andrianiaina (2095) will play on the second board followed by Toavina Razanadrakotoarisoa (2039), Charly Mahanihaja Rajerison (1912) and Dylan Rakotomaharo on respective boards. The team captain is Andrianantenain Ramalanjaona.

The team was received by volunteers of the Olympiad and escorted to their hotel in the buses specially designed for the Olympiad.

Most of the other teams are expected to arrive on July 27 but those with not-so-frequent flight options may arrive early.

“We are fully geared up to receive the arriving teams,” said Olympiad Director, Bharat Singh Chauhan.

‘Namaste World’ and ‘Welcome to Chennai’ reverberate on the internet as Mamallapuram gears up to greet and host the participants of the 44th Chess Olympiad. The biggest-ever sporting extravaganza on Indian soil, with a record 187 countries in the fray and close to 1800 players, will be the cynosure of all eyes for the next fortnight.

Chennai sports a chequered look these days, the bridges painted in black and white squares, the metros displaying chess boards and the mascot ‘Thambi’ the huge cut-outs of ‘Thambi’ standing at strategic entrances to welcome one and all. The venue is the Four Points by Sheraton and other hotels in the vicinity all booked by the All India Chess Federation (AICF) to accommodate the players and officials.




Sidharth Shukla

Nora Fatehi

Nikki Tamboli

Shehnaaz Gill

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