Breaking: Chess Olympiad 2022 will take place in Chennai, India, confirmed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin. Confirmations from FIDE, AICF, and multiple grandmasters followed. The Chess Olympiad 2022 has gone through multiple hassles. Initially, it was set to be played in Belarus, but following the wave of protests against Alexander Lukashenko and the support of the Belarus Chess Federation for the protests it was obvious that a change was needed. Last April Russia campaigned through the state agency TASS to become the new venue, a move supported by FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich and RCF President Andrei Filatov. It would have been the first time in history for a country to hold two consecutive Olympiads. Read the story of the Russian bid here
However, with the Russia-Ukraine war in full swing, another change of venue was necessary.
This developing story is followed by Chessdom. Here is a chronological account of the events, scroll down for the latest news on the Chess Olympiad
Official press release by FIDE
The FIDE Council has approved today the bid presented by the All India Chess Federation (AICF) to host the 2022 Chess Olympiad in Chennai, the capital of the Tamil Nadu state.
The exact schedule is still being discussed and will be announced in the coming days, but the event will take place between the end of July and the beginning of August, not very far off from the dates originally planned. The venue will be the convention centre at the Four Points by Sheraton, located in the Mahabalipuram area, one of the main touristic destinations in southern India.
Situated in the Bay of Bengal in eastern India, this city of 7 million inhabitants is also home to the legendary World Champion Viswanathan Anand, the first-ever Grandmaster from India. But the chess tradition of Chennai goes even further back, as the first Indian player to ever achieve the International Master title, Manuel Aaron, also grew up in the city. And, of course, Chennai previously hosted the 2013 World Championship, where Magnus Carlsen was first crowned World Champion, defeating Vishy Anand.
The AICF Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan, who is also a Chairman of the FIDE Technical Commission (TEC), underlined the importance of the experience already gained by him and his team in recent years. “The experience with Delhi Chess Open, the largest event of its kind in the world, will be a big help, as we have already dealt with large numbers. But Olympiad is a big game. I am sure we will make it the best,” he said.
Here is how the story of the Chess Olympiad 2022 developed chronologically.
24.02.2022 Moscow will not host Chess Olympiad 2022
FIDE announced that it needed another organizer a day after the start of the conflict. This year’s Olympiad is set to stage the FIDE congress, the FIDE elections, and the first Olympiad for People with Disabilities.
The International Chess Federation commented, “The 44th Chess Olympiad, including the competition for players with disabilities and the FIDE Congress, will not take place in Russia.”
FIDE set the deadline for bids to be March 10th.
25.02.2022 India comes with a bid for the Chess Olympiad 2022
India reacted immediately to the FIDE announcement and in less than 24 hours compiled a bid for the Chess Olympiad 2022.
Speaking to Chessbase India, Bharat Singh Chauhan, the secretary of All India Chess Federation (AICF) said, “When I spoke with FIDE President Arkadij Dvorkovich, I got to know that the Olympiad will not happen in Russia. At this point I spoke with my team and tried to find out if there was interest and possibility to hold such an event. Two cities in India, the names of which I cannot reveal right now, have shown interest and hence we went ahead and made a bid to organize the Olympiad in 2022.”
27.02.2022 FIDE Congress dates reaffirmed, India bid for Chess Olympiad 2022 welcomed
On February 27, 2022, an extraordinary meeting of the FIDE Council was held on the current situation and the urgent measures to be taken after the military action launched by Russia in Ukraine. Among other decisions, FIDE reaffirmed the dates of the Congress and welcomed the bid from India for the Chess Olympiad 2022.
05.03.2022 Dates for the Chess Olympiad 2022 will not change
As the bids deadline approached, it was decided that dates for the Chess Olympiad will not change. All bids submitted have to include a schedule of the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022 taking place 26 July – 08 August.
13.03.2022 India holds meetings
The Central Council Meeting of the All Indian Chess Federation happened in Kerala. The main topic of the agenda was the bid of the Chess Olympiad. With the short deadline, multiple details had to be cleared. The general outline of the organizational committee was set, as well as an action plan to be presented to FIDE and meet the demands of the International Chess Federation.
The two cities, which earlier this month were not revealed by AICF, are Delhi and Chennai. They were proposed as host cities, as they have the facilities in place to hold a large scale event such as the Chess Olympiad.
15.03.2022 FIDE hold meetings with AICF regarding the India bid
FIDE and AICF are in final talks about the India bid. The most important meeting will happen this afternoon. While it was rumored that more bids were submitted, only one bid is in the official agenda – that of India.
Update 9:35 CET: Santosh Kumar from the Deccan Chronicle says Chennai is the preferred city for the Chess Olympiad
Update 10:30 CET: AICF meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and other local authorities have played a key role in choosing Chennai as a host city for the Chess Olympiad 2022.
Update 18:30 CET: Chessdom can now confirm that the meeting between FIDE and India organizers was successful and the Chess Olympiad 2022 is set to take place in India
Update 18:35: Confirmations from India start coming, including MK Stalin, AICF, and Bharat Singh Chauhan.
FIDE also confirmed through their official account the result of the meeting
The decision and details of the meetings are expected any time now. Stay tuned for the full story