Kolam to welcome the Chess Olympiad in Chennai
For a few years, the kolam, which once exhorted the virtues of the Indian woman is changing. Kolam artists have added another dimension to their traditional themes, reinterpreting the chess tournament according to their culture and imagination.
The 44th Chess Olympiad will be held for the first time in Tamil Nadu, India (29 July to 10 August). The competition was originally scheduled to take place in Russia, but the pandemic and the war in Ukraine prevented it. The event will be held at the Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort and Convention Center. It is located 60 km south of Chennai in Mamalapuram, one of India's tourist destinations, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hindu monuments. Chennai (Madras) is the home to legendary 15-time world champion Viswanathan Anand and rising star Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa who defeated five-time world chess champion Magnus Carlsen in February and May 2022. The teenager, had become the youngest international master in history at the age of 10 in 2016.
Kolam for the chess tournament
Today, the cultural as well as the economic context for the kolam has changed in Tamil Nadu. For a few years, the kolam, which once exhorted the virtues of the Indian woman is changing. The status and the territory of urban women have been remodelled and extend far beyond the home to conquer public space. These two worlds are not necessarily opposed; it is just an extension of the territory, and so an extension of women’s power and emancipation. The home, the family, and more particularly the woman, is invested with a new role. She is not only the guardian of the house but also the custodian of traditions and of the soul and spirit of India. She is also the precious link between ancestral customs and modernity. Since the tournament was announced, kolam artists have added another dimension to their traditional themes, reinterpreting the chess Olympiad according to their culture and imagination.