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Fide, the global chess body, has launched a campaign to have the game included in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. The year coincides with the centenary of Fide’s own founding, and there are reasons why the chances of success have improved.
Chess has for years been an IoC-recognised sport, and has sports status in more than 100 countries. Large audiences may watch a high-profile event. All Magnus Carlsen’s games are televised live in Norway, while the recent speed match between the world woman champion Ju Wenjun and her Russian opponent attracted 60m Chinese viewers.
Chess may also benefit from a separate campaign to have electronic sports included in 2024, since the game is ideal for internet play and has a long history which newer eSports lack. The IoC wants sports that appeal to the young, and 68 per cent of French players are under 20.
Fide’s new president Arkady Dvorkovich, who has made an impressive start with his energetic reforms, has a network of key contacts due to his previous role of chief organiser of the Fifa World Cup.
It will still be a long campaign with an uncertain outcome, which will not be known until Tokyo 2020.
Judit Polgar v Garry Kasparov, Seville 1998. All-time No1 woman v arguably all-time No1 man, and the game has reached rook and knight v rook, normally a draw but not here. Black to move; can you demonstrate the win like Kasparov?
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