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THE Post Office presented a new commemorative stamp yesterday, celebrating the Chess Olympics which will be held between 14 and 31 October in the Majorcan municipality of Calvia. It is anticipated that some 2'000 of the best chess players from 140 different countries will take part in the tournament.
The new stamp, issued with yesterday's date, 18 March, formed part of a print-run of a million, detailing the Olympic logo, the black and white competition mascot known as “Peonín”, and the name of the great 16th century Spanish chessplayer, Ruy López de Segura. “The world of philately wanted to play its part in a great event, such as is the case with the Chess Olympics, by producing this commemorative stamp” declared Evelio Antich, regional Post Office director. Prior to the presentation of the stamp, the Chess Olympics organising Committee had held a meeting, chaired by the head of the Spanish Chess Federation, Javier Ochoa. On the agenda was the final adjustments to the tournament budget which has now been set at 3.4 million euros. Ochoa confirmed to the media that “everything is going according to plan”, and that the Committee is hopeful of organising “one of the best Olympics of all time” he said. “Calvia is keen to make sure that everything possible will be done to ensure the comfort of players and visitors alike and that the tournament is a major success. With media images of the event being flashed round the world, I am convinced that the municipality will be the first to benefit from being in the spotlight”, he added. The Chess Olympics to be held later this year on Majorca had already been presented in Moscow during the last qualifying round of the UEFA Cup between Real Mallorca and Spartak, a match which was attended by the leader of the Balearic government, Jaume Matas and the regional minister for Tourism, Joan Flaquer. Between 14 and 31 October, it is anticipated that some “number ones” of the chess world will be participating in the tournament at the Casino de Mallorca in Calvia, including Gari Kasparov, Vladimir Krámnink and Wiswatan Anand. The Chess Olympics are held every two years and is an event which is considered second only on a global scale to the Olympic Games with respect to the number of countries and sportsmen participating. One of the great attractions of the event, apart from the renowned chess players already mentioned, will be the Minorcan Paco Vallejo, world champion in the under 18s group, who almost without doubt will form part of the Spanish team; and the Majorcan, Mónica Calzetta.