The 42nd Chess Olympiad is scheduled to start on 1st September with a grand opening ceremony at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The team of 400 artists, choreographers, composers and support staff is making the final dry runs of the ceremony that is supposed to last about one hour. The designer of the ceremony, Viktor Nikolayevich, said the experience would be unforgettable – “The spectators will see a brilliant show.”

Opening ceremony dry runs

Opening ceremony dry runs

The chess competitions will start on 2nd September with a record-breaking participation of 182 teams representing 176 countries in Open and Women sections.

In parallel, the 87th FIDE Congress will be held from 5-13th September in the Fairmont Hotel, one of the Flame Towers. Considered to be a symbol of Baku, the Flame Towers’ impressive lightning will display the images of chess pieces and other elements of chess.

Flame Towers

Flame Towers

According to the director of the Baku Chess Olympiad Operating Committee, Mahir Mammedov, more than 3100 players, arbiters, journalists and congress delegates have been registered to attend the Olympiad.

To further prove that Baku is the real chess-city, the Chess Olympiad Operating Committee has branded two buses of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in the run-up to the Olympiad and put them into operation in the capital. The double-deck buses will take passengers to the best sights of Baku and promote chess.

Chess buses launched in Baku

Browsing the preliminary lists, the top rated teams in the Open section are Russia 2768, USA 2761, China 2743, Azerbaijan 2715, Ukraine 2698 and France 2693.

The top rated teams in the Women section are China 2557, Russia 2504, Ukraine 2503, Georgia 2488 and India 2431.

The host country Azerbaijan will be represented by three teams in each section.

Record-breaking Chess Olympiad to start in Baku

Photo by Takis Nikolopoulos

Both sections will be completed over 11 rounds of Swiss system. Draw offers are not allowed before move 30. The playing venue is the beautiful Baku’s Crystal Hall. FIDE and the organizers have prepared strict anti-cheating procedures to avoid any form of cheating.

In addition, all visitors of the 42nd World Chess Olympiad will have a unique opportunity to see an exhibition of the Russian Chess Federation’s Chess Museum. Rare exhibits and vintage posters from various historical competitions will be on show.

The participants and guests are looking forward to attend an unforgettable Chess Olympiad!

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