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HomeNewsIndia is serious contender in current Chess Olympiad

India is serious contender in current Chess Olympiad

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Chess became a craze aft Celebrated Bengali Director Satyajit Ray’s movie ‘Shatranj ki Khiladi’ created a big buzz in 1977. But the recent Netflix release ” Queen’s Gambit” took it to a different level worldwide. The story is about a child prodigy living in the 1950s orphanage and how she goes on to challenge the reigning international Grandmaster and wins. It mesmerized even those ignorant of the Chess game and made a massive boom in the US and other countries. The Queen’s Gambit refers to a chess opening parlance that evolves into a strategic game. This opening is still a favourite for every elite player.
Chess suits people of all ages and can be played anywhere, anytime. After Covid, Chess has transformed into a sport that commands a massive online following across YouTube and Twitch streams. In recent times, Artificial Intelligence has been a revolutionary phenomenon that has undoubtedly changed the landscape of Chess.
So it is not surprising why Chennai’s current international Chess Olympiad has created a global chess craze this year. Already Chennai is the chess capital of India as it has encouraged for decades young talents, including the much celebrated Viswanathan Anand. Of the 73 Grandmasters, Tamil Nadu roughly has 40 percent of the total Grandmasters in India. Traditionally, Chennai had seen the birth of several Chess clubs. Tamil Nadu government’s decision in 2012 to make Chess compulsory in all public schools has also led to the growth of Chess in the state.
How did Chennai come into the picture? Russia was to host the 2022 Olympiad, but that changed with the invasion of Ukraine. Then supported by the All India chess federation, the Tamil Nadu government staked a claim to host the event and won.
About 2,000 players from 188 countries are participating in the current Olympiad in Chennai. The ‘who’s who of world chess – Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Mariya Muzychuk – are gathered in Mahabalipuram near Chennai. India’s top-ranked men’s player P. Harikrishna, chess wonder R. Praggnanandhaa and top-seed Koneru Humpry are also participating.
In 1961, Manuel Aaron won the country’s first International Master’s title. Viswanathan Anand became the first Grandmaster from India, Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi, the first Woman Grandmaster in 2001, and Praggnanandhaa, the second youngest Grandmaster in the world, in 2016.

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