Two more weeks to the Chess Olympiad in Turin

5/5/2006 – On May 20th the 37th Chess Olympiad begins in Turin, Italy. It's motto is "Turin 2006: something different", and it is expected to be the biggest and best so far. The venue is a giant sports stadium, the Oval, almost twice as long as a soccer pitch. The players will live in a real Olympic Village just five minutes away. Just two weeks to go!

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The 37th Chess Olympiad is coming!

By Roberto Rivello

From the 20th of May till the 4th of June, the 37th Chess Olympiad will take place in Turin. For the very first time in its history, Italy will be hosting a Chess Olympiad.

We have chosen, as our motto, "Turin 2006: something different" because we hope to offer to all chess players a very new experience and because we wish to set some various different new records: the largest participation, the largest Olympic venue, the most exciting program of cultural events and, for the fist time, accommodation in a real Olympic village.

We will try, in the coming days, to propose to ChessBase readers an insight into the preparation of the Chess Olympiad, but, first of all, I think it is necessary to give you some general information.
Does everybody know the city of Turin? Maybe some of you just associate the name of Turin with that of FIAT, the Juventus soccer team or the recent Winter Olympiad. Turin is much, much more than this. You will be surprised by this city.


A panorama of Turin … and of the Alp mountains, very close to the city


Turin by night

For centuries Turin lingered on the edge of the Ancient Roman “checkerboard” layout legacy (even today a distinguishing feature of the city centre) and it entered a golden age in the 1600s, thanks to the commitment of the Savoia family, who commissioned the greatest architects of the time to enhance their capital: the age of Baroque gave the city some of its greatest magnificence. This is one of the most important aspects of the city so …. just come and see it! Or wait for the ChessBase photographs to come up!

Turin was also the first capital of the Kingdom of Italy (in the 1861, before Florence and Rome).


Turin: the Royal Palace


Turin: San Carlo’s square


Stupinigi hunting lodge


Gran Madre di Dio church

Well, but this is not a tourist tour. Now you know something about Turin, but which is the venue of the Chess Olympiad? It is the Oval!


This is the building: quite large, what do you think?

I think it is the biggest playing venue ever seen for a Chess Olympiad: more than 21,000 sq. m. (the playing area is a rectangle of 210x107 metres, while a football pitch, goalpost to goalpost, measures at the most 110 x 75), with the ceiling height varying between 12 and 18 metres.

The OVAL will be totally dedicated to chess where teams made up of the best players in the world representing 140 federations (and this also is a record!) will do battle for the Olympic crown (450 games a day for 14 days). But there is much more. There is ample room in the OVAL for analysis rooms, where games will be commented live by the GMs present, the 14th World Chess Computer Championship, popular conferences, a marketplace for chess books and materials, and open tournaments for all to play in. Plus giant screens to enable you to follow the most important games, and access to the playing hall so that you can watch the games from close at hand.

Just three months ago there was something different here.

Of course the Winter Olympiad! The Oval was hosting the speed skating. Here Italy's Enrico Fabris became the hero of the day. With two golds and one bronze, deservedly makes the history of Italian sport, the first Italian speed skater to get on the Olympic podium, steals the glory from the American Chad Hedrick who, having come to Torino to win five gold medals, has to “make do” with a gold, a silver and a bronze.

We are waiting for new heroes in the Chess Olympiad.
140 countries will be playing, and the most different ones: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and U.S.A., Sudan, China, all will be in Turin. Chess may be also an instrument of peace.

All players will find accommodation in the Olympic Village.


The Olympic Village, and a room in the Village

All players will be hosted in the same Village, just five minutes on foot to the OVAL: this will be also important.

Ok, for today it is enough. One last thing: the Calendar of events:

37th Chess Olympiad 2006

Saturday 20 May 9:00 pm Opening ceremony
Sunday 21 May 3:00 pm First round
Monday 22 May 3:00 pm Second round
Tuesday 23 May 3:00 pm Third round
Wednesday 24 May 3:00 pm Fourth round
Thursday 25 May 3:00 pm Fifth round
Friday 26 May   Rest day
Saturday 27 May 3:00 pm Sixth round
Sunday 28 May 3:00 pm Seventh round
Monday 29 May 3:00 pm Eighth round
Tuesday 30 May 3:00 pm Ninth round
Wednesday 31 May 3:00 pm Tenth round
Thursday 1 June   Rest day
Friday 2 June 3:00 pm Eleventh round
Saturday 3 June 3:00 pm Twelfth round
Sunday 4 June 10:00 am Thirteenth round
Sunday 4 June 8:30 pm Closing ceremony

77th FIDE Congress 2006

27 / 29 May FIDE Commissions and Committees
30 / 31 May 2006 Executive board/Presidential board
1 June 2006 Continental Meeting
2 / 4 June 2006 General Assembly

International Festival “Città di Torino”
Oval/Lingotto 22-29 May 2006

Open A: Rounds 1 to 9 from Monday 22 May to Monday 29 May 2006. All rounds start at 7:00 pm, except Friday 26 May with two rounds starting at 1:00 pm and 7:30 pm, and last round starting at 6:00 pm with award ceremony to follow.
Open B, C, D: Rounds 1 to 7 from Monday 22 May to Sunday 28 May. All rounds start at 7:00 pm. Award ceremony after the last round.

Active Chess Tournament "Provincia di Torino”: Oval/Lingotto 30 + 31 May 2006.

Open Blitz Tournament “Regione Piemonte”: Oval/Lingotto 1 June 2006

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