World Chess Championships, Chennai, 2022
Never knew Chennai is the Mecca of Indian Chess! Oh my! Not without a reason. The city with 17 grandmasters the natural favourite to win the bid to host the championships yet again, Chennai has been gripped by chess fever last few weeks. There are chess mascot and chessboard rangolis and kolams adorning our doorsteps. There are theme songs composed for the olympiad. City streets are painted like the chess board. And then there have always been the chess board saris! The championships are underway since last thursday, inaugurated by PM Shri Narendra Modi and CM of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin.
Obligatory post. Blogging for the only reason that I wouldn’t want to miss out on this one even if I play lousy chess without a strategy. Disappointing that local hero Vishwanathan Anand, two times (or more?) world No.1 has bowed out (or stayed out rather) of the olympiad but kudos to him for getting the venue to Chennai. From Koneru Hampi (women’s) to Praggnanandhaa, India has been churning out world grandmasters in steady stream. Chess is everyone’s favourite game not only in Chennai but entire south India. Why not, the Chaturang or Chess originated in India after all. With about 180 participating nations, the current chess olympiad is a big event for Chennai. Magnus Carlson, renowned world chess champion, is the star of the show. He has announced this could be his last, China and Russia not playing seems to have no effect on Chess enthusiasts. Pakistan players pulled out of the olympiad without playing a single tournament. The US are primed to win the championships even if India B pipped India A as both maintain a stead stream of wins.
When scuba divers play chess under Chennai sea:
Chess is clearly a sensation! Happy chessing! Ping me for a game of online chess (just kidding)!