Batumi to host World Chess Olympiad 2018

Black Sea coastal city Batumi. Photo by, 14 Aug 2014 - 13:48, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Black Sea coastal city Batumi has won naming rights to host the world’s largest chess sporting event – the World Chess Olympiad in 2018. 

Batumi proved to be the most popular venue to host the 2018 event, and beat rival venue Cape Town, South Africa in an election last night at the General Assembly of World Chess Federation (FIDE).

The elections, held last night in Tromso, Norway, saw Batumi gain votes from 93 Assembly members, while its rival gained 53 votes.

To gear up for the Georgia’s first Chess Olympiad tournament, local government gave a €20 million bid to hold the 2018 event in Batumi.

Georgia’s Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Levan Kipiani congratulated Georgia’s success as being named hosting rights for such a prestigious competition and said "it was the whole nation’s victory”.

"Hosting the World Chess Olympiad in Georgia is a significant step forward to restore the past fame of our country,” Kipiani said.

He believed the local authority was ready to support the Olympiad and would earmark appropriate financial resources needed to host the event.

"I am confident the 2018 Olympiad will be well-organized in Georgia and will merit the approval not only from the tournament participants and chess lovers but from FIDE officials,” Kipiani said.

The elections were part of the 41st world Chess Olympiad 2014, which is being held in Tromso over a week.

Earlier this week Georgian chess Grandmaster Zurab Azmaiparashvili was elected president of the European Chess Union (ECU) in Tromso. Azmaiparashvili today congratulated Georgia on its victory.

"I warmly congratulate Georgia on its victory in hosting the Chess Olympiad 2018 and the delegates of FIDE that have put their trust in us. We will do our best to ensure an unforgettable Olympiad experience for our foreign guests,” Azmaiparashvili said.

The FIDE General Assembly also decided Azerbaijan would host the 42nd Chess Olympiad in 2016.