44th Chess Olympiad

The 44th Chess Olympiad, organised by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) and comprising open and women's tournaments, as well as several events designed to promote the game of chess, will be held in Moscow, Russia, during the summer of 2021. Initially, the event was supposed to take place in Khanty-Mansiysk, which hosted the Chess Olympiad 2010, along with the Chess World Cup 2019 but later FIDE decided to move it to Moscow. Thus, Moscow is set to become the first city to host the Chess Olympiad three times after the city previously hosted the event in 1956 and 1994. Knathy-Mansiysk will, however, host the opening ceremony and the inaugural Chess Paralympics specifically designed for people with disabilities, who were allowed to participate as members of the teams representing blind, deaf and physically disabled players in the past. The event was originally scheduled to take place from 5–17 August 2020, but it was later postponed and rescheduled as a result of the growing concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bidding process

The bidding procedure for the 43rd Chess Olympiad and the FIDE Congress in connection with a possible bid for the Chess World Cup 2019 was opened in late 2015. Each city interested to host the event had to submit their bid to FIDE by 31 March 2016. The bids were to guarantee that all necessary provisions in accordance with the Olympiad Regulations of the FIDE Handbook would be covered by the organiser, including articles 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 pertaining to the organising committee, finances, and provision of amenities and stipends, respectively. There was only one bid to host the Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, although it was reported that the national federations of Argentina and Slovakia also showed initial interest.

The final decision was made at the 87th FIDE Congress in September 2016 in Baku, where FIDE's president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov approved the bid.

Concerns and controversies

WADA's recommendations

On 23 November 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency's Compliance Review Committee published a series of recommendations concerning Russian Anti-Doping Agency's non-compliance, including a ban to host major events in the upcoming four-year period. A few days later, Russian Chess Federation's president Andrey Filatov announced that WADA's recommendations have nothing to do with them and Russia will host all scheduled events, including the Chess Olympiad. On 28 November, FIDE officially responded to the recommendations made by WADA that the contracts for the Candidates Tournament and the Chess Olympiad have already been signed. They added that there was only one application to organise each event and they therefore believe that both tournaments fall under the exception formulated by WADA.

COVID-19 pandemic

On 24 March 2020, FIDE published an official statement in which it was announced that the Chess Olympiad will be postponed and rescheduled for the summer of 2021 at the same locations as a result of the growing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on people's lives.