44th International Chess Olympiad Showcased the Best Moves
Uzbekistan and Ukraine clinched the golds
The 44th International Chess Olympiad came to a close with Uzbekistan and Ukraine clinching the gold in the Open and Women's sections respectively. Although things looked promising until the end, both the Indian teams had to settle for bronze.
The Indian women's team led by Tania Sachdev had especially seemed so close to winning the gold until the final day where they suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of team USA. However, this is still the biggest victory for India in the International Chess Olympiad so far. India won two gold medals, a silver and four bronze medals.
It was a special moment as the medals were handed over to the Ukrainian team who braved all odds, including having to flee the war-torn country to participate in this event. The victory was perhaps one of the most uplifting news for the country ever since Russia invaded the country in February this year.
The closing ceremony of the event was held at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium and Chief Minister MK Stalin presided over it. The World Chess Governing Body President Arkady Verkovich and Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand were also present.
In his closing address, Stalin reiterated that his government was taking all efforts to make Tamil Nadu a pioneer in sports. He also spoke about the efforts being taken to host the Chennai Open WTA and the Asian Beach Games. Stalin also mentioned that soon, mini stadiums would be set up in every Assembly constituency. This would be in addition to the mega sports city that was already in April this year.
The closing ceremony saw about 600 artistes performing and showcasing the cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu and India. As India's 75th Independence day celebrations are underway, performances also had glimpses of Tamil Nadu's role in the freedom struggle.
Prominent artists Drums Sivamani, Stephen Devassy, Naveen Kumar and Rajesh Vaidya then performed Semmozhiyaana Tamizh Mozhiyaam, a song composed by A R Rahman and written by former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Kalaignar Karunanidhi. As the ceremony came to a close, Stalin handed over the FIDE flag to Hungary, who will be hosting the 45th chess olympiad in 2024.
The two week-long event saw the whole city come together to celebrate chess, with the venue being packed with visitors throughout the duration of the tournament. On the sidelines of the tournament, there were also events being held everyday. As the event concluded, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "The people and Government of Tamil Nadu have been excellent hosts of the 44th Chess Olympiad. I would like to appreciate them for welcoming the world and showcasing our outstanding culture and hospitality."