Gopakumar Sudhakaran becomes first Indian to be appointed as Deputy Chief Arbiter for Chess Olympiad


International Arbiter Gopakumar Sudhakaran has been appointed as the Deputy Chief Arbiter for the 44th Chess Olympiad.

Gopakumar Sudhakaran became the first Indian to be nominated for this prestigious and responsible post at the world’s biggest chess event.

Previously, as an arbiter, Gopakumar has officiated in three Olympiads as well as World Youth Championships and multiple Grandmaster events. Gopakumar has also officiated at Commonwealth Championships and Asian events, among other top chess events.

“The only thing I can say is that the Air Force made me what I am today. I am indebted to Bharat Singh Chauhan (Olympiad Director) for encouraging me to pursue my interest. I am also thankful to Air Vice Marshal J. Rajendra and the Air Force Sports Control board for providing much-needed support and also to my wife,” said Gopakumar.

The 41-year-old Gopakumar is Air Force officer by profession who was adjudged a Fair Play Officer at the World Rapids and Blitz event held in Warsaw earlier this year.

Arbiter Gopakumar will officiate at the 44th edition of the prestigious event in Chennai

The upcoming 44th edition of the Chess Olympiad is scheduled to take place in Mahabalipuram, near Chennai, from July 28 to August 10.

All the top players from across the globe will compete for top honors at the two-week-long Chess Olympiad in Chennai.

Gopakumar’s love for chess began after he was crowned under-12 Kerala champion. In 1996, the 15-year-old took over the pairing at a local tournament in his hometown after his arbiter father was assigned some urgent work and this accidental initiation took over his life.

Gopakumar also has a gold and silver medal to his name in the 3000m steeplechase and cross country in the Air Force respectively. He is currently a qualified Technical Official for the Athletics Federation of India.

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