Scenes From the Chess Olympiad: Magnus Carlsen Is Still on Top of His Game

The chess world was left reeling by the surprise announcement last month that its biggest star, Magnus Carlsen, would surrender his world title, citing a lack of motivation.

But Carlsen is not going away and expects to continue playing in events other than the world championship. He is playing Board 1 for Norway at the Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India.

Through Monday, he was 6-0-3, but his team was down in 41st place.

The tournament, considered the world’s top international team event, is normally held every two years, but it has not been held in person since 2018 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The opening ceremony included a parade of nations.
Move over, Bing Dwen Dwen: The official mascot of the Chennai Chess Olympiad is Thambi.

Carlsen before his game with Uruguay. He announced last month that he would surrender his world title, citing a lack of motivation.

Uzbekistan led the open competition with a day to go, and India was ahead in the women’s event.

The event was also the site of the election for president of the International Chess Federation. The current president, Arkady V. Dvorkovich of Russia, faced Andrii Baryshpolets, a Ukrainian grandmaster who said the war in Ukraine “was an impetus for me to fight for changes.”

But the result was a landslide: Dvorkovich received 157 votes to 16 for Baryshpolets.

Baryshpolets, above, and Dvorkovich campaigned during the tournament.
Dvorkovich, above, won in a landslide.
Team Liberia in action.
Matches are broadcast with commentary for those around the Olympiad.
After their games are finished, players cannot re-enter the playing hall. They end up following their teammates’ games on their phones.
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