Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], May 11 (ANI): Five-time Chess world champion Viswanathan Anand said on Wednesday that he is optimistic about India's chances of winning big at the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022, which will begin in Chennai on July 28.
The chess legend was talking to ANI after a training session with Team-A, one of the teams that will represent the country at the olympiad.
Vidit Gujrathi, who led India to the gold medal in the 2020 Chess Olympiad, held virtually, will be part of India's first team in the open section alongside Pentala Harikrishna and Chennai-based Krishnan Sasikiran, who has represented India on numerous occasions. The 19-year-old Arjun Erigaisi and SL Narayanan will also be part of the first team.
"We had a training season today which covered general things that happen to players regularly. Every player is coming with good results so I continue to be optimistic about the olympiad. We have a good team. Today's session was great, Boris Gelfand is doing most of the sessions and it was nice doing it with him," Anand to ANI.
Bharat Singh Chauhan, the secretary of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) is also optimistic about India's chances at the event.
"I would say that India is good enough to win any medal at this event, be it men or women. I personally prefer Team B, which has a lot of youngsters," he said while interacting with the media.
India will host the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022 for the first time ever in the country, scheduled in Chennai from July 28 to August 10.
India had bid to host the tournament after the International Chess Federation (FIDE) took the Chess Olympiad and all other official competitions away from Russia because of their military operations in Ukraine.
Over 2,000 participants will battle it out for the top prize in the competition. World Champions, Super Grandmasters and national champions will be among the top stars participating from more than 150 countries across the world as the Chess Olympiad 2022 will see a golden chapter being added to the Indian sporting history.
The first Chess Olympiad was played in 1924 in Paris. However, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) began conducting it officially from 1927.
The 44th Chess Olympiad 2022 will be the second major world event to be held in the country after the World Championship match in 2013 between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen in Chennai. (ANI)