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Chess Olympiad: FIDE team arrives in Chennai, inspects venue

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By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Chennai, March 31 (IANS) A team led by International Chess Federation’s (FIDE) president Arkady Dvorkovich has arrived here to inspect the venue of 44th Chess Olympiad, starting from July 28.

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Giving the information about the FIDE team, Sanjay Kapoor, president, All India Chess Federation (AICF) said, “The FIDE president and his team are in Chennai to inspect the Olympiad venue. On Friday, an agreement between AICF and FIDE on holding the chess event will be signed in Delhi.”

Kapoor informed Dvorkovich will also meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K Stalin in Delhi on Friday.

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On Thursday, Dvorkovich, Kapoor and AICF secretary and Olympiad tournament director Bharat Singh Chauhan had met Tamil Nadu’s sports minister Siva V Meyyanathan in Chennai.

According to Chauhan, the tournament, starting from July 28, will have a total of 11 rounds and the last round will be played on August 9, after which the closing ceremony will be held.

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According to Kapoor, the AICF is planning to have a series of chess events during the run-up to the Olympiad. However, he declined to share additional details on the events that are likely to be held.

Speaking to IANS, chess players and officials hoped that the AICF would honour the Indian chess pioneers and stalwarts like late Rafique Khan, the first Indian to win an Olympiad medal, Woman Grandmaster (WGM) S.Vijayalakshmi, the first Indian woman to win an Olympiad medal and India’s first International Master Manuel Aaron and others.

“Perhaps a selfie point with Rafique Khan and Vijayalakshmi’s pictures or a special prize in their names can be thought of provided the Olympiad protocol permits. We feel proud that India is holding the Olympiad,” Kapil Saxena, former joint secretary, AICF told IANS.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at v.jagannathan@ians.in

–IANS

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