For a non-Olympic sport like chess, the Olympiad is the most sought-after event among its followers. In keeping with its ever-growing status – the number of participating nations reached a record 187 – the opening ceremony of the 44th Chess Olympiad at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai was truly groundbreaking.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and several celebrities including actor Rajnikanth attended the event which was conceptualized by director Vignesh Shivan. A few segments of the evening were simply breathtaking and the show showcased the richness of Tamil culture and heritage, with choreography by Shaimak Davar and voice actor Kamal Haasan. Also, the 3D mapping was truly world class.
Social media posts indicated that the impact of the over-the-top extravagance was felt beyond the world of chess. Never before in the previous 43 editions of the Olympiad has the opening ceremony been experienced in this way. Appreciation poured in not only from those in the stands, but also from those who watched it in the digital space.
With more than 700 approved dishes on the menus of hotels welcoming chess players, officials and delegates, each establishment tries to highlight the theme of the checkerboard, the king, the queen and the knights. At Four Points by Sheraton, where the event is taking place, the chefs have spared no effort to play the chess card. Most often, the desserts on offer sport the “chess look”…
Randa Seder | Photo credit: AFP
Randa Seder — the most wanted…
Meet Randa Seder, the eight-year-old girl from Palestine. Be it an avid chess spectator, co-participant, or Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Randa’s magic spared no one. Vice-champion of her national championship, Randa’s accession to the Olympiad is indeed very special. Although several countries have players younger than Randa, none have joined their national team for this premier competition. Palestine makes its Women’s Olympiad debut and Randa is looked after by her senior teammates. With the kind of attention Randa continues to get from the chess world, his teammates believe it could help the sport thrive in war-torn Palestine.
It can be said that chess is one of the very few sporting disciplines that can be called gender neutral. Female players can compete with males in the “Open”, in addition to having a separate female section. But when it comes to Bermuda Day – the Olympics’ most anticipated fun event, dress code guidelines for women have raised many eyebrows.
3.d. Beach briefs, profanity and nude or semi-nude images printed on torn shirts, pants or jeans, holes, visible unclean clothing, sunglasses, sports caps. Revealing clothing, clothing such as denim shorts, cropped shorts, cut off shorts, athletic shorts, crop tops, tank tops and clothing made of transparent materials or clothing that exposes areas of the body that are usually covered where the event is taking place .
As if to redeem themselves, the organizers made it a paying event for the “Kings” and FREE for the “Queens”.
A justification ?