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Budapest to host Hungary’s first World Chess Olympiad in 2024

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Budapest, Hungary – The city of Budapest has been selected as the host of the 46th edition of the World Chess Olympiad in 2024, exactly one century after the first installment of the competition was held in Paris, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) announced.

This will be the first time Hungary hosts the prestigious chess tournament, to be held in the Hungexpo Exhibition and Conference Centre in Budapest, due to be reconstructed and expanded next year, over two weeks in September 2024.

The Budapest edition of the World Chess Olympiad will come with a number of innovations, and include live broadcasts of chess games and special chessboards for visually-impaired players.

According to early reports, the Hungarian government has earmarked more than 16 million € for the biennial event expected to draw around 3,500 participants.

The general assembly of the Switzerland-based International Chess Federation simultaneously announced that both the 44th (cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and postponed to 2021) and 45th edition (initially supposed to be hosted by Belarus) will be held in Russia.

Home of some of the world’s greatest chess Grandmasters like the Polgar sisters Judit and Zsuzsa, Hungary is ranked at a more than commendable fourth place in the overall Olympiad medals table after the Soviet Union, the United States and Russia.

Hungary won gold at the Chess Olympiads four times in history (1926, 1927 and 1928 and 1978) and came second more than half a dozen other times (in 1924, 1930, 1937, 1970, 1972, 1980, 2002 and 2014).

Russia remains the uncontested world leader in the chessboard game, with a grand total of 24 Olympiad wins (18 for the USSR and 6 for the Russian Federation).

Created as an off-shot of the Olympic Games, the first unofficial Chess Olympiads were held in Paris in 1924 (won by Czechoslovakia) and Budapest in 1926 (won by Hungary). The first official competition was held in 1927 in London.

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