Baku – APA. The first round of the 42nd Chess Olympiad started at Baku Crystal Hall on September 2.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the opening of the first round.
The head of state first met with President of World Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
The 42nd Olympiad in Baku will come down in history with a record-breaking participation of teams representing 175 countries – a total of 181 men’s and 142 women’s teams will compete in this sporting event. 193 arbiters will officiate at the Olympiad, including 30 Azerbaijani arbiters.
President Aliyev made first move (D2-D4) of the game between member of Azerbaijan men’s team Shahriyar Mammadyarov and Zimbabwean player Rodwell Makoto.
The host country Azerbaijan is represented by three teams in both men’s and women’s events.
In the men’s event, Azerbaijan 1 will face Zimbabwe, Azerbaijan 2 will take on Mozambique, while Azerbaijan 3 will clash with Papua New Guinea. In the women’s event, Azerbaijan 1 will lock horns with Nicaragua, Azerbaijan 2 with Japan and Azerbaijan 3 with Lesotho.
The head of state toured the competition venue, and watched the games.
Ilham Aliyev made first move (E2-E4) of the game between Russian female player Alexandra Kosteniuk and Scottish Arakhamia-Grant.
The Azerbaijani president also watched the games between disabled players.
President Aliyev then viewed the conditions created at the venue. Over 500 volunteers are engaged in all aspects of the Olympiad, both during the preparatory phase and the event itself.
More than 250 local and foreign media representatives are covering the Chess Olympiad.
The 11-round event concludes on September 13th. In parallel with the Olympiad, Baku will also host the 87th Congress of FIDE and meetings of the General Assembly.