India’s ‘Sathurangam capital’ comes into its own.

The 44th Chess Olympiad will cement Tamil Nadu's position as the premier destination for the checkered board game.


The location of the 44th Chess Olympiad, which begins on July 28 in Mamallapuram near Chennai, pays homage to Tamil Nadu’s status as the “chess capital of India” and Chennai’s status as the “mecca of Indian chess.” The south Indian state has produced the most international players in the country, including legendary world champion Vishwanathan Anand. The Olympiad is expected to boost the state’s reputation as the premier destination for the checkered board game.

Tamil Nadu has 27 of the country’s 74 Grandmasters, including Anand; West Bengal is a distant second with nine, followed by Delhi with seven. S Vijayalakshmi, India’s first female Grandmaster, was born in the state.

“Chennai, Where the Old Meets the New, is the Mecca of Indian Chess,” the International Chess Federation (FIDE) says of the Olympiad’s host city on its website.

“This is a special tournament, and it is our honour that it is being held in India, that too in Tamil Nadu, which has a glorious association with chess,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will inaugurate the championship, tweeted.

“The World Chess Olympiad is being held in chess’s birthplace!” “This is a historic moment for India,” cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar tweeted.



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