Thanks to five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, chess is now one of the most popular sports in India, as Rafa Nadal is in Spain in this country of 1.4 billion people. This explains why Chennai, its 5th most populous city (11 million), has set up in four months what is planned in Moscow: the Olympiad and the Congress of International Federations (FIDE) which will bring together almost 3,000 people from about 200 people. Countries till August 9. The absence of sanctioned Russia and banned (due to Covid) China gives Spain a chance for a medal.
“I can’t believe it. Four days ago, when I arrived, there weren’t many of these pavilions”, several members of the organization commented separately to EL PAÍS. A few minutes later, at the opening press conference, Olympiad director Bharat Singh said: Apart from the dedication and sacrifice of many people, The Tamil Nadu government has turned upside down. The initial budget is ten million dollars, but of course we are going to spend more.
And what you see indicates that he is not exaggerating. Thousands of posters – some gigantic – advertise the 44th Chess Olympiad across Chennai (formerly Madras), a stark contrast to the lack of advertising on the streets of Madrid a month earlier during the candidates’ tournament. Anand, adored across the country and not playing with the national team (ranked 2), is one of the longest-lived elite chess players in history: 12th in the world at age 52. And he has a strong reason: FIDE’s president, Russian Arkady Dvorkovich, is second in his re-election bid. Anand relayed it for the last time to present the Olympic torch to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who presided over the grand opening ceremony on Thursday.
Thanks to Anand, the great moment of popularity that recorded chess in most of the world was unleashed in India three decades ago. Few mothers and fathers would not change their career (or give it up) and their place of residence to maximize their son or daughter’s mental game potential. This explains why half a dozen of the predictable chess stars within five years will be Indians. India B, ranked 11th out of 188 complete Olympiads (150 in the women’s category, tied for 13th with Spain), is a formidable team for anyone.
In theory, the gold is slightly less than what was awarded to the United States, whose four starters are among the fifteen best in the world: Fabiano Caruana (of Italian parents), Levon Aronian (born in Armenia), Wesley Cho (in the Philippines) and Leinier Domínguez (Cuba). Missing is Hikaru Nakamura (who moved from Japan at the age of three), who wants to focus on becoming a millionaire. Streamer Even if it climbs to the top of the platform, it must be the lion’s tail. World champion Magnus Carlsen, who has announced he will not defend his title in April 2023, will lead third-ranked Norway but will not attend the start.
In theory, Spain (4th in the preliminary list) offers the best team in history. But with many reasonable doubts. Paco Vallejo (39 years old), who was almost inactive during the epidemic, has returned to competition. Alexey Shirov (50) is another impressive case of sporting longevity but erratic performance. David Anton (27), has had a poor performance in his last matches. Eduardo Iturrizaga (32) divides his energies between chess and his recent fatherhood. Only the rising Jaime Santos (26) looks on time to perform at his best.
Chess is not yet ready to eliminate women’s tournaments: there is only one woman in the world’s top hundred, and only one for every ten men. However, this Olympiad will break another significant mark (along with the number of participants): Thirteen women out of 188 teams registered for the full Olympiad competition, something unprecedented before the explosion sparked by the series. Queen’s Gambling (Netflix). All the information collected in different countries during the last year reveals that the increase in the number of trainees is above all noticeable among women.
The oldest archaeological remains of chess have been dated to the landmass of present-day India (around the 6th century), indicating that its history is even older. Curiously, in al-Andalus, where the Arabs brought it at the end of VIII, many women played, as can be seen in the illustrations of the chess book written by Alfonso X. Intellectual, In 1283. But for centuries, chess had a masculine connotation in most of the world. Queen’s Gambling They have reduced the problem a bit. India is number one in women’s competition. Hungarian Judith Bolger, the only woman in the world’s top ten and now a commentator for Chess24, told a morning press conference: “From what I’ve seen in the four days I’ve been here, this is it. It will be an unforgettable Olympics.”
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