World Chess Olympiad Opens in Batumi

Georgia’s Black Sea coastal city Batumi is hosting the 43th World Chess Olympiad, organized by the World Chess Federation (FIDE).

The opening ceremony took place on September 23 at Black Sea Arena in Shekvetili and was attended by famous Georgian sportsmen, honorary guests from abroad and the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili.

The opening ceremony saw performances and a gala concert with famous Georgian singers, musicians and dancers.

The closing ceremony will be held at the Batumi State Music Center on October 5. 

Part of the Olympiad started on September 24 and representatives of 190 countries will fight for championship in Batumi until October 6.

Aside from the Olympiad, FIDE and Continental presidential elections, the FIDE 89th Congress and other important chess events will take place in Batumi. 

Chess players, captains, arbiters, accompanying persons, congress delegates and foreign journalists have already arrived in Batumi for the Olympiad.

While delivering a speech at the chess Olympiad, President Margvelashvili stated it is an honor for Georgia and Batumi to host such an important sporting event.

The President noted that Georgia is well-known for its hospitality, and ensured all that the organizing committee of the Olympic Games in Georgia, as well as the Georgian Chess Federation, will offer a high-level event.

“Chess has always been very popular in our country. We are proud of legendary champions Nona Gaprindashvili and Maia Chiburdanidze, who won the World Championship title five times each, and Nana Alexandria who is twice World Champion, having won six Chess Olympiads,” Margvelashvili stated.

He expressed hope that, as always, Georgian chess players will succeed in the 43th Olympiad.

The Head of the AR Adjara government, Tornike Rizhvadze, informed the guests that Batumi has been named the Sport City of Europe.

"Batumi has been named the 2019 European Sport City by the European Capitals and Cities Association. The status is important for our city; one of the best ways to popularize a healthy lifestyle, the position of our city in the international arena, as well as within the country,” said Rizhvadze, wishing success to the Olympiad participants.

The Chess Olympiad is open to all National Federations affiliated to FIDE, who can nominate one team for the open section and one for the women's section. Each team must consist of four players, one reserve and one captain. The captain may be, but is not limited to being, one of the players or the reserve. Additionally, each delegation can nominate one head of delegation and one delegate for the FIDE congress.

In parallel with the teams of different countries, the Organizing Committee of the 2018 Chess Olympiad invited the most motivated, erudite and enthusiastic young people (18-30) to volunteer and work in the framework of the 43rd Chess Olympiad. 

The Olympiad venue, Sport Palace, situated in the center of Batumi, was opened this year and the Olympiad is the first event to be held there.


By Thea Morrison

Photo: 1TV 
24 September 2018 13:51