By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, April 18 (IANS) With 100 days to go for the 44th Chess Olympiad to be held at Four Points By Sheraton Chennai OMR in Mahabalipuram, the Tamil Nadu government has made the necessary payment to the International Chess Federation, also known as FIDE, as per the agreement, an official said.
The Tamil Nadu government is the major sponsor of the global chess event in which over 1,500 players are expected to compete.
The officials are busy finalising the requirements and the tender norms for various services, including construction of a spectator gallery.
The event is set to start on July 28, while the first round will be played on July 29.
“On Monday, the Tamil Nadu government — the main sponsor of the Olympiad — issued a cheque to FIDE as per the agreement signed,” an official told IANS on condition of anonymity.
An official of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) told IANS that the Olympiad organiser has to pay FIDE a sum of 2,623,000 euros to cover all financial obligations such as travel expenses for the delegations of some national chess federations, stipends for foreign match arbiters, principals, expenses towards inspections, travel subsidy for participants of FIDE Congress and to provide pocket money to the participants from some countries.
According to the Tamil Nadu government official, planning of the works related to the mega chess event is on and tenders that have to be issued will soon be issued.
The official also said the process of finalising the logo, tag line and others is also on.
While Four Points Sheraton has a huge convention hall, additional civil structure measuring about 25,000 sq ft is required for a spectator gallery and other event related office space, the official added.
Accordingly, tenders for the same will be issued soon.
“FIDE has taken our drawings. It will decide on the event’s needs like a noiseless playing area etc. The room and other rates are yet to be finalised,” Satish Murthy, Manager, Four Points Sheraton, told IANS.
Similarly, plans for opening and closing ceremonies are also being discussed and will be finalised soon.
Queried about the hotel rooms, the official said that more than 20 hotels on the East Coast Road (ECR) belt and till TIDEL Park in Chennai have been finalised.
“We have to arrive at the rates and make an offer to the hotels. We will take the average hotel room tariff during July-August of the past three years, excluding the Covid-19 years, and also the current rates of the hotels and make an offer. Ours will be a bulk booking, so we expect the rates to be attractive,” the official said.
As regards the logistics, the official said that each country’s teams will be provided with two/three cars for travelling from their hotel to the playing venue and back.
Going by the number of players and officials, the event may need about 600-700 cars.
Players may not prefer buses as they may not like to discuss their strategy while travelling, he said.
Similarly, tenders for tables and chairs as per FIDE specifications will also be issued.
As for the sightseeing options for the players and accompanying officials, the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation will handle that part.
“The security of the players and officials is important. So, the sightseeing trips will be handled by the government,” the official said.
On the revenue side, the government is seeking other sponsors and many corporates have expressed their interest and that aspect will also be finalised, he said.
The opening ceremony and technical meeting will be held on July 28. The first round will be played on July 29, while the last round will be played on August 9, after which the closing ceremony will be held.
The players will have their free day on August 4, as per the schedule. The departures will be on August 10.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)