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The Chennai Chess Olympiad Documentary

by Himank Ghosh - 24/10/2022

The Chess Olympiad 2022 was held in Chennai. It was the single biggest chess event held in India so far - a total of 188 nations took part in this mega chess festival. Abhyudaya Ram from the ChessBase India team created a documentary on the full Chennai Chess Olympiad and the events which lead up to it. In this article, we share the whole documentary with timestamps, and a short Q&A with the chief editor of this documentary, Abhyudaya Ram. This will give you a good idea on the overall work of the ChessBase India Team in the Chennai Chess Olympiad. Thumbnail: Abhyudaya Ram

The 44th Chess Olympiad through the Camera Lens

44th Chess Olympiad, Chennai | DOCUMENTARY | ChessBase India

The biggest chess event to have ever taken place on Indian soil - 44th Chess Olympiad saw the participation of more than 180 countries. Amidst this massive participation, team India performed admirably. Two bronze medals - India 1 in the women's section and India 2 in the open section. India also won 7 individual medals as well as the Gaprindashvili Cup. This documentary celebrates not just India's performance but also the very fact that such a massive event took place on Indian soil. So many wonderful things happened in those 12 days and this documentary of 50 minutes tries to encapsulate that. A huge congratulations to the organizers (FIDE, AICF and TN Government), all the players and the people who made this a huge success.

Video:  ChessBase India

Edited by: Abhyudaya Ram

Camera work: Aditya Sur Roy, Abhyudaya Ram, Shahid Ahmed, Sagar Shah, Amruta Mokal.

Special thanks to Samay Raina and Nodwin Gaming!

Video Timestamps:

0:00 - Teaser 

0:33 - How COVID-19 affected OTB chess

1:08 - The 2020 Online Chess Olympiad

1:43 - 2021 Chess Olympiad (Virtual)

3:02 - 2022 Chess Olympiad supposed venue

3:22 - 44th Chess Olympiad Coming to India

3:54 - Top players’ reaction on Olympiad coming to India

4:25 - 5 months to go

5:19 - Torch Relay across the nation

6:55 - Day 0 and location tour

8:36 - Round 1

10:45 - Round 2

13:16 - Round 3

15:12 - Round 4

17:18 - Round 5

19:15 - Round 6

21:24 - Bermuda Party

22:50 - Round 7

25:49 - Round 8

28:36 - Round 9

32:48 - Round 10

38:55 - Round 11

41:37 - Post Tournament Scenes

42:43 - Prize Distribution

43:22 - Divya Deshmukh 

43:29 - Tania Sachdev

43:57 - Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa

44:07 - Arjun Erigaisi

44:22 - Vaishali Rameshbabu

44:39 - Nihal Sarin

44:48 - Gukesh D

45:23 - India B Team (Bronze Medal)

45:43 - Armenia (Silver Medal)

45:57 - Uzbekistan (Gold Medal)

46:28 - India Women A (Bronze Medal)

47:09 - Celebration

48:18 - Credits


Q&A with Abhyudaya Ram, editor of the documentary

Q1. How much time did it take you to produce this beautiful documentary?

Abhyudaya: It took a bit over 20 days to produce this documentary. In these 20 days, the work went to-and-fro between me and Sagar. I used to give him the documentary, he made a few changes, and we would watch it together. We would brainstorm a few ideas to make it as crisp as possible, so that people get a good idea of what the Chess Olympiad was all about. This was the main idea: when a person sees the documentary, he should get an idea about how the whole Olympiad happened in India. That's why in the documentary, we show things from the pre-pandemic time as well - how the chess scene was in India, how the pandemic hit, etc. We have shown the entire journey there. The first draft of the video was actually 1 hour and 15 minutes long, later we cut it down to 48 minutes. It was my first big long-form content, there was a lot of material to work on, we had to segregate it, and there were many creative decisions to make.

Just to give you an idea about the content produced in Chennai Olympiad - there are 374 videos in the Olympiad 2022 playlist! 
Q2. Who were the people who worked with you in this project?

Abhyudaya: I was the editor for the documentary. A lot of people helped in the camera work - it was Aditya, me, Sagar, Amruta, Shahid, and everyone. Aditya took most of the videos in his phone. I handled the handycam and took some montages, also experimented with a new camera angle. Sagar took some of the interviews, and Amruta filmed those. When it comes to editing, I edited most of it, and Sagar had so many creative inputs. He had shown the first 1-2 minutes of the documentary to his friends. They loved it, and we thought we should go ahead with this!

Q3. How was your experience in the Chess Olympiad?

Abhyudaya: I have been working with ChessBase India for the past 2 years, and this was my first time travelling with the team to a tournament, which also happens to be the biggest chess tournament in the world [smiles]. It was a great experience! The organizing team had done a great job in the Chess Olympiad. I was able to see some top players like Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, and of course Praggnanandhaa in the Indian team. It was overwhelming! I met a lot of new people from different parts of the world, and also so many ChessBase India fans as well. So many people recognized us, that was a great feeling!

The editors goodbye to Chennai

Q4. What was the favorite moment you captured on camera in the Chennai Chess Olympiad?

Abhyudaya: The one thing which comes to me off the top of my head is when Gukesh blundered and lost the game against Nodirbek the 10th round. He closed his eyes and I took a closeup shot of that - that was my favorite. I came there at the perfect moment, and I took the entire post-match reaction. Apart from that, there was a very nice video of Praggnanandhaa's game against GM Vasif Durarbayli from Azerbaijan - I'm very proud of these.

It needs a World Champion to STOP the CHAMPION | Gukesh vs Abdusattorov

Q5. What are some things about the Olympiad trip that will stay in your memory forever?

Abhyudaya: There are so many memories I would cherish! It was very nice meeting people who I've seen and interacted with in our streams, and so many volunteers. I made new friends there, a lot of people identified me with my ChessBase India T-shirt! Seeing Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand was surreal - since we had the media pass, we had full access to the playing hall. Vishy Anand had come to our stream, and I got to interact with him.

Vishy Anand joins the ChessBase India Live Commentary in Round 10

There was a funny police incident which happened on August 6th while we were shooting the post-match video with Sagar - it was very late and a police offer came in [laughs] 

Summary of Round 8 of the Indian Teams at the Chess Olympiad 2022 + Special session with police

The closing ceremony was very beautiful. We were with the Indian team while they were receiving the prizes, that was a very proud moment. It was the first time we spoke with them, and we took a lot of good videos. Working with the ChessBase India team was great fun! We discussed a lot of things, had a lot of fun, shot a lot of clips, it was really great.

Check out the complete Olympiad 2022 playlist of ChessBase India clips - we guarantee you'll have a great time!


Abhyudaya Ram - Creative Head of ChessBase India

Once India no.2 Vidit Gujrathi told Sagar Shah, "Sagar, you seemed to have upped your YouTube game! Look at your thumbnails. They are so professional!" One man has been responsible for the same - Abhyudaya Ram. Abhyudaya is the creative head of ChessBase India. He has been working over 2 years with ChessBase India and has made a lot of things aesthetically pleasing. From thumbnails, to professional video edits, to better layouts, it's been possible because of this youngster from Karnataka. And when it comes to his usage of memes on ChessBase India clips, very few can beat his sense of humor.