International Chess Federation
Wednesday, 22 May 2024 12:37
FIDE Torch Relay heads to Latin America

The FIDE 100 Torch Relay, marking the centennial celebration of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), is set to light up Latin America 

Following celebrations in India, Africa, Switzerland, Canada and Morocco, the FIDE100 Torch is making its way to Latin America. The nine-day event in Medellin, Colombia’s second-largest city, will bring together FIDE officials, players and chess fans from the continent.

The central ceremony will take place on May 26, when the Torch Relay will make its journey through five public parks in Medellin, all having a chess theme connected to them. The caravan will depart from the Chess Park (Antioquia Chess League) – the only park in Latin America designed specifically for chess. From there, the caravan will make its way to the University of Antioquia, continue to the Jorge Eliecer Gaitan Park and then move to the Plazoleta San Ignacio. The caravan will continue to the Plazoleta of the Estadio subway station before returning to the chess park, a landmark location for chess in Latin America.

The nine-day celebration will feature a classical chess tournament – the XVII Absolute Chess Championship of the Americas 2024. Organized by the Chess Confederation for America, the event is a part of the FIDE World Championship cycle and is open to all Chess Federations of the American Continent, featuring some of the best chess players from the Americas. In addition, there will be a Rapid and a Blitz tournament.

In addition, the former world champion candidate Veselin Topalov will do social chess activities in a Colombian prison, a pediatric hospital and chess schools of Medellin. Other prominent chess players participating in the events are GM Shirov (Spain) and the U20 junior world champion from Argentina Candela Francisco.

“It is a great honor for Colombia to be chosen as the Latin American host of the FIDE100 Torch Relay. Chess has an important place in our culture and a growing interest from the public, and this event will help promote the game further. Latin America has a prominent place in chess history so it’s only natural to have one of the torch ceremonies here. We are looking forward to welcoming the Torch and FIDE officials, and – for a few days – to take center stage in the chess world, celebrating 100 years of the International Chess Federation,” said Weymar Fernando Munoz, President of the Colombian Chess Federation.

 “We are proud that Colombia is part of our jubilee, and we are thankful for the event they have prepared. In recent years, Colombia and Latin America, in general, have seen chess grow in popularity, and it is only natural for FIDE to look for having more events and chess opportunities hosted in this part of the world,” said Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Deputy Chair of the FIDE Management Board.