The 44th Chess Olympiad has brought festive cheers to the hospitality players in Chennai as rooms in leading hotels and resorts in and around the city have been fully sold out ahead of the world’s biggest chess event. The event will be held between July 28 and August 10 in Mahabalipuram, a coastal town and UNESCO Heritage site, located 40 km south of Chennai.

ITC Hotels said its WelcomHotel Kences Palm Beach property in Mahabalipuram has been fully booked for the event and is one of the early short-listed hotels by the government and chess federation authorities. Tucked away amid lush greenery and swaying palm trees, the hotel boasts  of 94 luxurious guest rooms, including 17 Club Rooms, 23 Garden Cottages, 42 Garden Bungalows and 8 Beach Villas and 4 Sea Suites to name a few amenities. 

“With limited inventory, and the surge of international visitors, the demand for hotels on East Coast Road and Old Mahabalipuram Road is high; the city hotels are surely going to be positively impacted. ITC Grand Chola has been receiving a significant number of enquiries from international travelers,” said Zubin Songadwala, GM ITC Grand Chola and Area Manager ITC Hotels, South.

Similarly, a spokesperson from the luxury hotels brand Taj said it will be hosting the participants of the Chess Olympiad at its iconic Taj Fisherman’s Cove Resort & Spa, Chennai. The luxury hotel brand said a number of chess players will also be staying at its contemporary 5-star hotel, Vivanta Chennai at IT Expressway, which has 200 design-forward guest rooms and suites with immaculate service.

The Chess Olympiad was originally scheduled to be held in Russia. However, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) decided to change the venue due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, giving India an opportunity to host the world’s biggest chess event for the first time. The event is likely to attract nearly 2,000 visitors from over 180 countries. 

TN to benefit

Shabin Sarvotham, Sr. General Manager, Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay, Mamallapuram, said the event will put Tamil Nadu in the global tourism spot map. “Tamil Nadu has a bouquet of tourist attractions including temples, beaches, heritage sites, UNESCO sites, hill stations, national parks etc. We have been quiet about it all along. This event will change everything.”

Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay is located a kilometer from the event venue. It has allocated around 140 rooms for the Chess Olympiad participants and delegates. 

ITC Hotels’ Songadwala also said the Chess Olympiad will surely catapult Tamil Nadu to a global scale and Mahabalipuram in particular. “The scalability and scope of execution of this large event will re-instill confidence in Brand Tamil Nadu. This is the second largest movement into the city after the Chinese Premier’s visit, which has benefited Welcomhotel Kences Palm Beach, and ITC Grand Chola.”

The Taj spokesperson also said events of this stature will help shine the spotlight on India as a leading travel and hospitality destination on the global stage.

Anticipating a huge foreign tourist arrival, the State government and All India Chess Federation (AICF) have also requested hotels in the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) and East Coast Road (ECR) to not accept any other bookings till the event concludes, a hospitality player said.