"This Olympiad is going to be very special" - Hungarian legend Judit Polgar on the 44th Chess Olympiad being held in India

Hungarian Grandmaster Judit Polgar speaking during the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai. (Pic credit: AICF)
Hungarian Grandmaster Judit Polgar speaking during the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai. (Pic credit: AICF)

Impressed with the craze and passion for chess in India, Hungarian legend Judit Polgar said the 44th Chess Olympiad will be one of the best editions of the prestigious event.

The 46-year-old Grandmaster also lauded the effort made to organize it over such a short period of time.

“I am very happy to be here in the Olympic village. It is amazing to see the interest and passion of the people here. The enthusiasm in the organizing committee is amazing. To get ready for this Olympiad in just four months is incredible,” the veteran champion said on Friday.

She added:

“I have spoken to other people and seen them appreciating the effort and I already feel from a distance that this Olympiad is going to be very special."

Polgar is considered the strongest female chess player of all time. She was speaking at the greet and meet session conducted by the All India Chess Federation (AICF) at the Olympiad venue in Mamallapuram, Chennai.

FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich, AICF president Sanjay Kapoor, and AICF secretary and Olympiad director Bharat Singh Chauhan were present on the occasion.

India was handed hosting rights in April when FIDE decided to shift the event out of its original host country, Russia. Since then, the AICF has put in a Herculean effort, working round-the-clock to prepare for this grand event, which is taking place in India for the first time ever.

“The biennial Olympiad is a celebration of chess, and the event is aimed at unifying, as per our motto, "gens una sumus," which is Latin for 'we are one people’,” FIDE president Dvorkovich said, speaking at the event.
FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich (2nd from L), AICF president Sanjay Kapoor, AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan and Judit Polgar in Chennai. (Pic credit: AICF)
FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich (2nd from L), AICF president Sanjay Kapoor, AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan and Judit Polgar in Chennai. (Pic credit: AICF)

"I think this is going to usher in a new era for chess in India" - AICF president Sanjay Kapoor

AICF chief Sanjay Kapoor said the Olympiad was the biggest extravaganza ever held in India, with all the top players from across the world competing in it.

“Enjoy the show. I think this is going to usher in a new era for chess in India,” said Kapoor.

The 44th Chess Olympiad will be held between July 28-August 10. With the registration of 187 countries, this is a world record in terms of the number of participating countries in a single edition of the Olympiad.

“It still feels like a dream but it’s true that we have managed to prepare for the Olympiad in just four months,” Olympiad director Chauhan said.

He also acknowledged and thanked the Tamil Nadu government and the Central government for their help and support.

The Olympiad was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday evening. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and Governor RN Ravi attended the opening ceremony, along with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.

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Edited by Diptanil
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