COVID19-World Chess Olympiad Postponed: CHESSAM Concerned
The Chess Association of Malawi-CHESSAM says the postponement of this year’s World Chess Olympiad is a blessing in disguise as it will provide an opportunity for the association to enhance its preparations as well mobilize adequate resources in readiness for next year’s event.
The world governing body, International Chess Federation-FIDE, has announced the postponement of this year’s tournament in Russia to next year due to the escalating threats by Coronavirus.
CHESSAM President Susan Namangale told Zodiak online that though the postponement is frustrating, the association will still proceed with its preparations including organizing local competitions to keep the players selected to represent the nation in shape.
“We are disappointed as an association because our athletes were ready for the event, all is not lost though because we can also look at the brighter side as this means our athletes will have enough time to prepare more.
“Though they were prepared and ready for the tournament but the postponement will give us ample time to revisit our programs and restrengthen our week points.”
In a statement to its member associations, the International Chess Federation-FIDE says this year’s World Chess Olympiad, which was due in Russia this August, has been postponed to the summer of 2021 in the wake of the coronavirus which has wrecked havoc in most part of Europe.
According to FIDE, the postponement follows a request by the Russian government in line with restrictions which the Kremlin has set to counter the effects of the virus.
FIDE further says it could not afford taking chances bearing in mind that the World Chess Olympiad brings together thousands of people, including players, coaches and officials as well as spectators.
Namangale says the ten players, who were earmarked to represent the country, will be kept busy through local competitions and the association will also expand its basin for resource mobilization in readiness for next year’s showpiece.
Coronavirus, which the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic, has decimated the world sports calendar with major European leagues and other events, such as the Olympics Tokyo 2020, suspended.