37e Olimpiadi degli Scacchi | Torino 2006

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Untitled Document
March 2018

Turin becomes the Italian chess capital

Assegnazione Olimpiade
10 November 2002: the 37th edition of the Chess Olympiad is assigned to Italy

It was early in 2002 when the Turin Chess Club submitted its proposal to organise the 2006 Chess Olympiad to the local authorities. The idea was at once simple and courageous: given that Turin was to host the 2006 Winter Olympics and was equipping itself to handle the organisation of that event, why not use the work and structures, not to mention the accommodation and the international publicity, to host the Chess Olympiad too, immediately afterwards? Right from the start, the project received the support of the three local authorities in the persons of the Mayor, Sergio Chiamparino, the President of the Provincial Government, Mercedes Bresso, and the President of the Regional Government of Piedmont, Enzo Ghigo who offered their personal support to a demanding undertaking that would see Turin meet the competition of two rivals vaunting much greater chess prestige: India and Estonia. So on August 1 2002 the Promotion Committee for the 2006 Chess Olympiad was formed in Turin with the firm intention of bringing the leading world chess event to Italy for the very first time. The following months were feverish. Contacts and meetings with the International Federation, Fide, the first moves to sound out the possibility of finding private sponsors, the meticulous preparation of the candidacy with the presentation scheduled for November in Bled, Slovenia. A diplomatic battle with a triumphal outcome. On November 10 2002, at the Plenary Congress of the International Chess Federation, the result was overwhelming: 108 delegates out of 130 voted for Turin. The thirty-seventh edition of the Chess Olympiad had been assigned to Italy. It will take place in late spring, from May 20 to June 4 2006. The Organising Committee was set up on July 6 2004 with the participation of all three local authorities. President of the Committee was Paolo Fresco, at the time still Chairman of Fiat, who as an enthusiastic chess fan had contributed to the project right from the start. One of the decisive factors in the choice of the International Federation was, of course, the fact that the Winter Olympics will be held in Turin in February 2006. For the very first time, chess and winter sports will be hosted in the same city in the same year. An association which guarantees the broadest possible media coverage and which exploits the exceptional opportunity to house players in the newly built Olympic structures which will have already been broken in by the participants in the Winter Games. Fulcrum of the event will be the Olympic Village, a complex of thirty buildings divided into comfortable apartments, which will become a veritable chess city, housing players, delegates, Fide offices and officials, arbiters and press facilities. For a fortnight it will become a magnate for world chess that will attract the attention of the media of 150 countries. It is from here that the live Internet broadcasts will be made, a possibility that was already an enormous success at the Bled Olympiad in 2002 and which, in 2006, with technology even more advanced and with a much increased potential, will enable fans all over the world to watch the event in real time.