Vanakkam Chennai: AR Rahman and Vignesh Shivan's Tribute to the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022
44th Chess Olympiad 2022: A Celebration of Chess and Culture
The 44th Chess Olympiad 2022 is a biennial international team chess championship organized by FIDE, the world chess federation. It is being held in Chennai, India from July 28 to August 10, 2022, after being postponed and relocated due to COVID and the Russia-Ukraine crisis. It is the first Chess Olympiad to take place in India.
The event comprises open and women's tournaments, as well as several events designed to promote the game of chess. Almost 200 national teams in the Open section and over 150 in the Women's are participating, breaking the previous record set in 2018. The matches are played in a Swiss system over 11 rounds, with a time control of 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes to the end of the game, plus a 30-second increment starting from move one.
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The opening ceremony was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin at the Nehru Indoor Stadium on July 28, 2022. The games are taking place at Hotel Four Points by Sheraton, Mamallapuram.
The Chess Olympiad is not only a prestigious sporting event, but also a celebration of chess and culture. It showcases the diversity, creativity, and harmony of the chess community, as well as the beauty and heritage of the host country. In this article, we will explore what makes the Chess Olympiad such a unique and exciting event, and what to expect from the 44th edition in Chennai.
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What is the Chess Olympiad and why is it important?
The Chess Olympiad is one of the oldest and most prestigious events in chess history. It is an Olympic-style event where teams representing nations compete for glory and honor. The first unofficial Chess Olympiad was held in Paris in 1924, as part of the Summer Olympics. The first official Chess Olympiad was held in London in 1927, under the auspices of FIDE.
The Chess Olympiad is important for several reasons. First, it is a rare opportunity for chess players from all over the world to meet, interact, and learn from each other. It fosters friendship, cooperation, and mutual respect among different cultures and backgrounds. Second, it is a showcase of the highest level of chess skill and talent. It features some of the best players in the world, including world champions, grandmasters, prodigies, and amateurs. It also offers a chance for lesser-known players to shine and make a name for themselves. Third, it is a source of inspiration and motivation for chess lovers everywhere. It attracts millions of spectators and fans who follow the games online or on TV. It also encourages more people to take up chess as a hobby or a profession.
The history and evolution of the Chess Olympiad
The Chess Olympiad has a rich and fascinating history that spans almost a century. It has witnessed many memorable moments, dramatic battles, historic achievements, and controversial incidents. Here are some highlights from its past editions:
The first official Chess Olympiad in London in 1927 was won by Hungary, led by legendary player Geza Maroczy. The USA came second, followed by Poland.
The fourth Chess Olympiad in Prague in 1931 saw the first appearance of the Soviet Union, which dominated the event until its dissolution in 1991. The Soviet team included world champions Alexander Alekhine, Mikhail Botvinnik, and Vasily Smyslov.
The 13th Chess Olympiad in Munich in 1958 was marred by a political boycott by several Eastern bloc countries, who protested against the participation of West Germany. The event was won by the Soviet Union, followed by Yugoslavia and Argentina.
The 18th Chess Olympiad in Siegen in 1970 featured the debut of Bobby Fischer, who led the USA to its first and only gold medal in the open section. Fischer scored an incredible 10/11 on board one, defeating several top players such as Boris Spassky, Bent Larsen, and Miguel Najdorf.
The 26th Chess Olympiad in Thessaloniki in 1984 was the first to include a separate women's tournament, which was won by the Soviet Union. The open section was also won by the Soviet Union, with Garry Kasparov scoring 9/10 on board one.
The 30th Chess Olympiad in Manila in 1992 was the first to be held after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which resulted in the emergence of new chess powers such as Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, and Georgia. The open section was won by Russia, while the women's section was won by Georgia.
The 36th Chess Olympiad in Calvia in 2004 saw the first use of anti-cheating measures, such as metal detectors and mobile phone jammers. The event was won by Ukraine in both sections, with Ruslan Ponomariov and Kateryna Lahno scoring 10/13 on board one.
The 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul in 2012 witnessed the first gold medal for China in the open section, led by Wang Hao and Ding Liren. The women's section was won by Russia, with Valentina Gunina scoring 8/9 on board two.
The 43rd Chess Olympiad in Batumi in 2018 was the last one to be held before the COVID pandemic. It was also the first to use a new tie-break system based on match points instead of board points. The open section ended in a four-way tie between China, USA, Russia, and Poland, with China winning on tie-break. The women's section was also won by China, with Ju Wenjun scoring 7/9 on board one.
The format and rules of the Chess Olympiad
The Chess Olympiad is played in a Swiss system over 11 rounds, with one round per day and two rest days. Each team consists of four players plus one reserve player. Each match consists of four games played simultaneously on four boards. The team that wins more games scores two match points, while a draw results in one match point for each team. The final standings are determined by the total number of match points scored by each team.
The time control for each game is 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes to the end of the game, plus a 30-second increment starting from move one. If a player does not make a move within the allotted time, he or she loses the game on time. If both players run out of time before delivering checkmate or reaching a draw, the game is declared a draw.
The Chess Olympiad follows the FIDE Laws of Chess, which govern the rules and regulations of chess play. Some of the important rules are:
A player must touch a piece before moving it (t