Batumi set for thousands of players for largest Chess Olympiad

21 Sep 2018 - 16:39

  • Preparations for the high-level competition have been ongoing in Batumi (pictured) and the Black Sea Arena venue in Shekvetili. Photo: Batumi Chess Olympiad., 21 Sep 2018 - 16:39, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Black Sea resort city of Batumi is about to turn into a central location for international chess for two weeks, with thousands of participants travelling for this year’s international Chess Olympiad opening on Monday.

The 43rd edition of the international competition will be hosted in the coastline city with record-breaking figures, with up to 4,000 players and delegates from 180 countries, a record for the history of the Olympiads.

To be held at the newly completed Batumi Sports Palace and another freshly built hall, the Olympiad will be launched with a “grand opening” at the Black Sea Arena venue in the resort town of Shekvetili, Georgia’s Sport Ministry said.

Involving a wide range of artists from classical and contemporary genres, the launch event has been prepared by over 1,000 staff and crew.

Following the opening, the Olympiad will kick into the gear with teams from each participation nation registered for the Open competition and Women’s section. Four players will be selected for each team in addition to a reserve competitor and a captain.

Beside the competition events, the Olympiad will also see a range of seminars for World Chess Federation (FIDE) arbiters, trainers, school instructors and international organisers.

These activities will aim to educate and train aspiring participants in their fields by inviting established professionals like FIDE Rules Commission Councilor Stewart Reuben and FIDE Trainers' Commission Secretary Efstratios Grivas.

Scheduled to run between September 24-October 6, the tournament will also involve the 89th FIDE Congress — an event that will see the election of a new president for the federation.

The Chess Olympiad is held on a biennial basis, on even numbered years. It has been held since 1924.

Batumi’s hosting of the event coincides with celebrations of the 100th anniversary of declaration of independence of the First Democratic Republic of Georgia, as well as a selection of the seaside city as European City of Sport for 2019.