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India to field record 6 teams in Chess Olympiad; all 15 players in Open team are Grandmasters

Woman Grandmaster Tania Sachdev will be part of the India-1 Women’s team. (Pic credit: AICF)
Woman Grandmaster Tania Sachdev will be part of the India-1 Women’s team. (Pic credit: AICF)

This is the first time ever that India is hosting the Chess Olympiad, with the 44th edition taking place in Mamallapuram, Chennai. With a record 187 countries taking part with 188 teams in the Open section and 162 in the Women’s section, the Chess Olympiad will witness the highest ever participation.

A record total of 30 Indian players across six teams (three in the Open and three Women) will be participating at the Chess Olympiad.

Each chess team will have five members out of which four will be fielded in each round. The captain of the team, in most cases non-playing, will decide the team composition.

The Chess Olympiad will be an 11 Round Swiss League event. Host countries can field two teams, but India could field one additional team in both the categories as the total number of teams is odd.


Three Indian Open chess teams seeded second, 11th and 17th, respectively

The second-seeded India-1 Open team consists of Vidit Gujrathi, P. Harikrishna, Arjun Erigaisi, S.L. Narayan and Sasikaran Krishnan.

The India-2 Open team members are Nihal Sarin, D. Gukesh, B. Adhiban, R. Pragnanandhaa and Raunak Sadhwani.

The India-3 Open team comprises Surya Shekhar Ganguly, S.P. Sethuraman, Abhijeet Gupta, Karthikeyan Murali and Abhimanyu Puranik. Incidentally, all 15 players in the Open Team are Grandmasters.

In the Women’s section, India-1 team is seeded first while India-2 and India-3 team are seeded 11th and 16th, respectively.

The India-1 Women’s team consists of Koneru Humpy, D. Harika, R. Vaishali, Tania Sachdev, and Bhakti Kulkarni.

The India-2 Women’s team members are Vantika Agrawal, Soumya Swaminathan, Mary Ann Gomes, Padmini Rout and Divya Deshmukh.

The India-3 Women’s team comprises Eesha Karavade, Sahithi Varshini, Pratyusha Bodda, Nandhidhaa PV and Vishwa Vasnawala.

In the 2014 Olympiad held in Tromso, Norway, India won a bronze medal in the Open category and in the 2020 virtual Olympiad, India won the joint gold medal. In the 2021 virtual Olympiad, India finished with a bronze medal.


Chess Olympiad Venue

The 44th Chess Olympiad will be held at the Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort and Convention Center from July 28 to August 10. The resort is located on the East Coast Road, Chennai.


Chess Olympiad Format

All matches at the Chess Olympiad will be played in the Classical Swiss League Format.


Matches

The tournament will begin with ‘Round 1’ on July 29 and continue till ‘Round 11’ on August 9. The rest day will be on August 4 and the teams will depart on August 10.


Timings

All the matches will start at 3 pm IST.


Chess Olympiad Schedule

July 29: Round 1

July 30: Round 2

July 31: Round 3

August 1: Round 4

August 2: Round 5

August 3: Round 6

August 4: Rest Day

August 5: Round 7

August 6: Round 8

August 7: Round 9

August 8: Round 10

August 9: Round 11


Prizes

The Olympiad features a team and individual non-monetary prizes based on performance.


Team Prizes

1st place in the Open section: Hamilton-Russell Cup

1st place in the Women’s section: Vera Menchik Cup

1st place in combined classification: Nona Gaprindashvili Trophy

Players from the top-three teams will also receive team medals:

1st place: Gold medal

2nd place: Silver medal

3rd place: Bronze medal


Individual Prizes

Players assigned to the same board number compete for individual medals, awarded according to their performance rating


List of editions with most participants

CHENNAI, 2022: 188 (Open), 162 (Women)

BATUMI, 2018: 185 (Open), 151 (Women)

BAKU, 2016: 180 (Open), 142 (Women)

TROMSO, 2014: 177 (Open), 136 (Women)

ISTANBUL, 2012: 157 (Open) 127 (Women)

KHANTY-MANSIYSK, 2010: 148 (Open), 115 (Women).

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Edited by Puranjay
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