'Highly Unfortunate': India Reacts After Pakistan Pulls Out Of 44th Chess Olympiad In Chennai

Pakistan was invited by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) to participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad scheduled to be held in Chennai, from July 28 to August 10.

By Ashita Singh
Thu, 28 Jul 2022 06:02 PM IST
Minute Read
'Highly Unfortunate': India Reacts After Pakistan Pulls Out Of 44th Chess Olympiad In Chennai

India on Thursday criticised Pakistan after the nation pulled out of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Tamil Nadu and said it is "highly unfortunate" that Islamabad has "politicised" the prestigious international event of chess.

Speaking at the weekly press briefing, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi slammed Pakistan's decision and said it was surprising that Pakistan has suddenly taken the decision not to participate in the event. He also revealed that Pakistan's contingent for the Chess Olympiad has already arrived in India.

"The Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are and will remain an integral part of India. It is highly unfortunate that Pakistan has politicised the prestigious international event by making such statements and withdrawing its participation after its team has already reached India," he said.

Pakistan was invited by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) to participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad scheduled to be held in Chennai, from July 28 to August 10.

However, earlier today, citing India’s torch relay through Kashmir on July 21 as a reason for withdrawal, Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar in a statement to Radio Pakistan said that "India chose to politicize this prestigious international sporting event.”

He also said, “Pakistan was invited by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) to participate in the Chess Olympiad. A Pakistani contingent was already training for this event.”

Meanwhile, the 44th Chess Olympiad is being hosted by India for the first time and Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Olympiad in Chennai on July 28. The opening ceremony was also attended by Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin, Rajnikanth, AR Rahman and other important personalities. The 13-day event is organised in nearby Mamallapuram, about 50 km from Chennai. This edition will witness a record of 188 teams in the Open section and 162 in the women's category. 

The Chess Olympiad 2022 is being held at the Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort and Convention Centre in Mahabalipuram. The Chess Olympiad was initially scheduled to be held in Russia and was moved to Chennai after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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