IN another sad, sad day for sports, the 44th World Chess Olympiad and FIDE Congress scheduled in Moscow and Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia this summer have been postponed.
The events have been rescheduled to the summer of 2021 at the same locations.
In a statement released to the members of the chess community, the FIDE ( International Vhess Federation) Council said the growing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on people's lives forced the postponement of the two most popular events in the chess calendar.
The full.FIDE statement also posted on its official website on March 25:
"As you know, the Chess Olympiad is the most popular FIDE event, attended by thousands of people, including players, coaches, officials, and spectators.
The mission of Chess Olympiads is not only to determine the sportive results but also to popularize our game and unite chess lovers around the world in this truly global sports festival.
At the same time, FIDE is deeply concerned about the growing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on people's lives.
Taking into account the reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicating the constant increase in the number of cases worldwide, and given today's IOC statement regarding the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, FIDE has decided to postpone the 44th Chess Olympiad (including the competition for players with disabilities) and the FIDE Congress.
These events, to be held in Moscow and Khanty-Mansiysk during the summer of 2020, are rescheduled to the summer of 2021 at the same locations.
FIDE will continue to work hard in order to support various chess activities, at the same time caring first and foremost about the health and well-being of the entire chess community."
The Philippines is scheduled to send a young but takent-laden team to the World Chess Olympiad originally set Aug. 5-18 in Khanty-Mansiysk.
The team is composed of GM Rogelio Barcenilla, GM John Paul Gomez, GM Darwin Laylo, IM Paulo Bersamina and IM Haridas Pascua.
The team is being supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), headed by chairman/president Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr. and secretary-general Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino Jr. and the philippine Sports Commission (PSC), thru Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez