Chennai : The 44th Chess Olympiad is to be held in Mahabalipuram near here and the chess playing state of Tamil Nadu is strong, so the chess players of the state are surprised.

Because, they are not getting the Tamil Nadu women’s team participating in the ongoing MPL 19th National Team Chess Championship-2022 in Jalgaon, Maharashtra.

A senior functionary of the Tamil Nadu State Chess Association (TNSCA) told IANS on condition of anonymity, “This is really news to me. I was surprised to learn that the women’s team is not playing in the national team championship.”

Another chess official told IANS, “There are seven women grandmasters and 13 women international masters in the state. Even in the non-title category, the state has good players with good ELO ratings.”

Both said it was strange why TNSCA did not send a team for the national team championship.

“Representing the state in the national championship makes a player eligible for employment in the government sector,” said an official.

He said that if the top players who had qualified in the state championship had refused, they could have been sent to the next order.

Team Championship cannot be called weak as many International Masters (IM R Vaishali, WGM, Soumya Swaminathan, Karavade Isha and Mohota Nisha), WGM (Divya Deshmukh, Gomes Mary Ann), WIM (Arpita Mukherjee, Priyanka) Nutki, K. Priyanka) is seen in action.

Chess players said a game against him would have been very important for the budding Tamil Nadu players.

Incidentally, two players from Tamil Nadu Vaishali and K.Priyanka are playing in the National Team Championship for their employer Airports Authority of India. The interesting thing is that the men’s team of Tamil Nadu is competing in the tournament.