The international chess federation (FIDE) president Arkady Dvorkovich on Friday said five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand has agreed to be “part of his team” as he seeks re-election in Chennai during the 44th Chess Olympiad later this year.
“I am committed to run for re-election and Anand will be a huge part of our team,” said Dvorkovich on Friday.
When Anand was asked whether he was moving into administration he said: “Dvorkovich offered that we can work together as part of his team. I have seen the great work he and his team do and I would be happy to contribute. For the moment we didn’t nail down what role and so on, but I expect to tell you something soon.”
The Olympiad is scheduled from July 28 to August 10. India is hosting it for the first time and around 2000 participants from 180 countries are expected to compete. This will be the first major chess event in the country since the world championships clash between Anand and Magnus Carlsen in 2013.
It was a swift move from All India Chess Federation (AICF) to bring the event to India after FIDE withdrew the tournament from Moscow following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. AICF swung into action, and after getting a quick go-ahead from Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin, submitted a bid proposal.
“Normally it takes four years to organise an event of this scale but in 48 hours we have booked 3500 rooms, confirmed the venue, and given a guarantee, all thanks to the Tamil Nadu government for their support,” said AICF president Sanjay Kapoor.
Dvorkovich said India moved so fast there was no choice to think about any other candidate. “India have a great culture of chess and I am sure this event will have a major impact. The immediate support of the TN government was symbolic that there is clear interest to hold the best Chess Olympiad ever.”
Anand said the event will inspire youngsters. “It is an event of huge scale and there will be excitement for a couple of weeks. There will be a lot of opportunities for fans to come and watch, and meet so many players. I hope fans from all across India come to Chennai. It will inspire a lot of future players to take to the game and do well.”