Chennai, chess & carnival

The Chess Olympiad began with fanfare in Chennai.  A total of 187 teams in the open section will vie for the Hamilton-Russell Cup, and 162 teams in the women’s section for the Vera Menchik Cup, while the best combined results of a nation in both the sections will decide the winner of the Nona Gaprindashvili Trophy.

The 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad and Women’s Chess Olympiad are over-the-board team events. National chess federations compete in classical games for gold medals, trophies, and the title of strongest chess nation in the world. The event consists of an 11-round Swiss tournament; each player from a national team plays against another player from the opposing national team. Teams receive “game points” for winning or drawing games and “match points” for winning or drawing a match. Teams with the most match points for each section become the champions of their section, with a third award going for the team with the most points from both sections.

The mascot Thambi is a perpetual presence all over the city, with the slogan Namma Chennai, Namma Chess. Chief Minister M K Stalin said that the Chess Olympiad has turned the world’s attention on Tamilnadu and this grand event would enhance the state’s tourism prospects.