Home Olympiad The 44th Chess Olympiad Begins in Chennai!

The 44th Chess Olympiad Begins in Chennai!

by Ogunsiku Babatunde

After a four (4) year hiatus, where COVID deprived the world chess of her biennial gathering, the World Chess Olympiad is back, and to its roots.

Chess began in India as Chaturanga, evolved in Persia as Shatranj, and eventually got its most popular name (chess) from Europe.

The Venue for the Games in Chennai!

The official World Chess Olympiad first held between the 18th of July to the 30th of July, 1927, in London, United Kingdom. Forty-three (43) Olympiads later and we are back in India.

Chess has taken in a lot of evolution over the millennia, and it will continue to evolve, because it is life in itself.

As the event was flagged off with the opening ceremony yesterday, we take a look at some of the African countries participating in the 75th World Chess Olympiad, as well as the pairings for today.

Participating African Federations:

Apart from the fact that it is an event where chess players from across the world meet, this year, the world chess delegates will elect leaders to champion the course of chess growth for the next four years, at the General Assembly during the Olympiad.

Hence, it is a lot more important for the federation leaders/delegates to be at the event.

In the last couple of years, we have seen FIDE try to help federations having issues with their leadership structures, with the introduction of Reverse Delegates. These individuals head the activities of the federations until an election can be conducted between the parties holding the federation to ransom.

However, these reverse delegates do the bidding of FIDE, and not the bidding of the people of the federation (as seen in the issue of Cote d’Ivoire). Thankfully, a few federations have had headway (however late or close to the Olympiad it might be).

African federations (in pictures) who have made it to the Olympiad includes, but not limited to:

Algeria Team| Image Credit: Algeria Chess Federation
Nigeria Team| Image Credit: Nigeria Chess Federation
Djibouti Team| Image Credit: Djibouti Chess Federation
Ethiopia Team| Image Credit: Ethiopia Chess Federation
Seychelles Team| Image Credit: Seychelles Chess Federation
Team Kenya| Image Credit: Kenya Chess Federation
Team Zimbabwe| Image Credit: Zimbabwe Chess Federation
Team Uganda| Image Credit: Uganda Chess Federation
Team South Sudan| Image Credit: South Sudan Chess Federation
Team Zambia| Image Credit: Zambia Chess Federation
Team Liberia| Image Credit: Liberia Chess Federation
Ghana Team| Image Credit: Ghana Chess Association
Togo Team| Image Credit: Togo Chess Federation
Team Cape Verde| Image Credit: Cape Verde Chess Federation
Team Mozambique| Image Credit: Mozambique Chess Federation
Team Namibia| Image Credit: Namibia Chess Federation

The opening ceremony has been described by many as the most colorful opening ceremony ever conducted (kudos to the organizing team), and this will be a pointer for the Olympiad to one day come to Africa.

Infusing the colorful culture of India and the brilliance of chess, the World Chess Olympiad 2022 was officially opened to the world, and what a spectacle the opening ceremony was.


As the matches are scheduled to kick off today, it is good to note that India is in the time zone of GMT+5 area. Plan your times accordingly, so that you do not miss any of the actions that will go down in Chennai.

The pairings are quite interesting as a few African countries got themselves and would be hoping to start on a solid high note. If there is something I have come to understand about chess, it is to play the board first, and then play the man during the game. Selah.

Africa’s Round 1 Pairings for the Open Section!
Africa’s Round 1 Pairings for the Women’s Section

Which of the matches are you most looking out for and why?

Leave your comments in the box below.

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Ajibade Olayemi (Olarov) July 29, 2022 - 11:55 am

I am looking forward to the South African vs Ukraine Match and the Brazil Vs Tunisia Matches.
Nice write up.
Viva Africa!

Michael Olugbenga Sile July 30, 2022 - 7:12 am

We can’t wait! Thanks for the detailed info sir. I see Team Nigeria going far in this tournament.


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