The International Chess Federation (FIDE) announced today that they will postpone the chess Olympiad, scheduled for August 5-17 in Moscow, Russia, to 2021. The decision was published on the FIDE website.

The statement from the FIDE Council announced that both the Olympiad (to be held in Moscow) and the FIDE Congress (Khanty-Mansiysk) have been postponed and will be rescheduled for the summer of 2021 at the same locations:

Dear members of the chess community,

As you know, the Chess Olympiad is the most popular FIDE event, attended by thousands of people, including players, coaches, officials, and spectators. The mission of Chess Olympiads is not only to determine the sportive results but also to popularize our game and unite chess lovers around the world in this truly global sports festival.

At the same time, FIDE is deeply concerned about the growing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on people’s lives. Taking into account the reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicating the constant increase in the number of cases worldwide, and given today’s IOC statement regarding the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, FIDE has decided to postpone the 44th Chess Olympiad (including the competition for players with disabilities) and the FIDE Congress.

These events, to be held in Moscow and Khanty-Mansiysk during the summer of 2020, are rescheduled to the summer of 2021 at the same locations. FIDE will continue to work hard in order to support various chess activities, at the same time caring first and foremost about the health and well-being of the entire chess community.

FIDE Council
March 24, 2020

Earlier today, Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, announced that the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and Japan had agreed to postpone the Tokyo summer games by a year. The UEFA EURO 2020 was also postponed by a year, along with other major sporting events.

Currently, the FIDE Candidates tournament is underway in Yekaterinburg, Russia. It is one of the few sporting events that have not been canceled due to the coronavirus. While players have expressed their discomfort with the situation, the organizers and FIDE argue that the risks are limited due to the small number of participants (eight) and the absence of spectators.