Furnishing $10 million guarantee in 5 minutes for hosting Chess Olympiad

Tamil Nadu CM Stalin has shown the way how sports administration can be galvanized

Hari Hara Mishra | March 17, 2022


#M.K. Stalin   #Tamil Nadu   #FIDE   #Chess   #Sports   #Chess Olympiad   #Russia   #Ukraine  
 Dietmar Rabich / Wikimedia Commons / “Schachfiguren, Bauern -- 2022 -- 0022” / CC BY-SA 4.0
Dietmar Rabich / Wikimedia Commons / “Schachfiguren, Bauern -- 2022 -- 0022” / CC BY-SA 4.0

While several sportsmen and women have made us proud with their achievements in various tournaments including in last Olympics, the image of sports organizers and politicians associated with the sports bodies has not been very encouraging generally. For many politicians, the sportsmen and events are just a photo opportunity or a PR exercise.

Against this background, news items detailing India’s successful bid to host the World Chess Olympiad this year in India, was refreshingly encouraging. The International Chess Federation (FIDE) on Tuesday approved the bid by the All India Chess Federation (AICF) to host 2022 Olympiad in Chennai.

Chennai has a long chess history, and for all purposes may be deemed the chess capital of India. Chennai had hosted the 2013 World Championship. It is hometown to Viswanathan Anand, the legendary World Champion,  and  first-ever Indian Grandmaster. In addition, Manual Aaron, the first Indian player to ever achieve the International Master title, also grew up in the city.  Last year, the Government of Tamil Nadu felicitated 14 players of the state who have won Gold in FIDE Online Olympiad 2020, FIDE World Teams 2019, Bronze in FIDE Online Olympiad 2021, along with the newly accredited Grandmaster, Woman Grandmaster, and International Master with a cash award amounting Rs. 1 crore 98 lakh.
 
Originally, the chess Olympiad was planned to be held in Russia. The venue change was necessitated  when Russia-Ukraine tensions escalated. And here comes AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan, who also happens to be the chairman of FIDE Technical commission. He expressed his offer to organize the mega biennial event, which is expected to see 190 countries participating for various awards.

But for the bid to be accepted, a $10 million (Rs 76 crore) guarantee had to be given and venue, accommodation for 2,500 participants like players, coaches, team manager had  to be finalized, and fast. It looked quite challenging given our red tape and babu culture. However, as reported in press, Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin went extra mile to make it happen. Going by news reports, in flat five minutes $10 million (Rs 76 crore) financial guarantee was furnished. Half a dozen IAS officials were pressed into service to make logistics arrangement in booking all 4- and 5-star hotels in Mahabalipuram, one hour drive from Chennai. As a topping, from among 2,000 hotel rooms booked in 23 hotels, 1,200 were sea-facing. Racing against time, India was the only country to submit a proper bid, as per the FIDE Director General.

India is a great country and has the resources pool. But not quite often it acts so decisively, particularly in matters relating to games and sports, to outbid others in a global competitive arena.  

The Chess Olympiad is scheduled from July 26 to August 8 this year in Chennai and is a major physical global games/ sports event to be hosted by India. Hope this attracts new talents and help India aspiring to become a chess superpower. Three cheers for India, and sixty-four cheers for  the chess lovers (Chessboard has 64 squares).

Mishra is a columnist and policy analyst.
 

Comments

 

Other News

A great literary feast (that could’ve been even more sumptuous)

A Case of Indian Marvels: Dazzling Stories from the Country’s Finest Writers Edited by David Davidar Aleph, 390 pages, Rs 999 Change is the only constant, and India has always been doing so. Yet, after independence, if there was a year when the p

Govt e-Marketplace sellers report more business

“My volume of business has increased ever since I registered on GeM (Government e-Marketplace) in 2017. Earlier, I could supply items only in the vicinity of my shop in Fort area and only within Mumbai. Now, I ship my products all over the country! I have tied up with India Post and three private cou

How the Hindi Newspaper Business Changed

The Journey of Hindi Language Journalism in India: From Raj to Swaraj and Beyond By Mrinal Pande Orient BlackSwan, 188 pages, Rs 1,195.00 In India, the English-language media is considered the ‘national media’, while the language press

More reforms in telecom sector in offing: Ashwini Vaishnaw

The telecom sector in the country will witness more reforms in the coming years, minister for communications, electronics & IT and railways Ashwini Vaishnaw has said. He also asserted that the industry too will have to do its bit and reciprocate by improving quality of service significantly.

Left-wing extremism: challenges and response

Left-wing extremism is in existence right from India’s independence, but it became prominent in 1967 under the name of Naxalism. The nomenclature of this movement has changed from time to time and place to place depending upon the leadership. Before 2014 more than 15 states were facing this problem w

Agri Min organises events ahead of International Year of Millets 2023

A series of pre-launch events and initiatives have been organised by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on the MyGov platform in the run-up to the International Year of Millets 2023 to create awareness and a sense of participation in the country  around the ancient and forgotten golden

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter