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Will chess soon become an Olympic discipline? This is being fought for by the gaming community and the arguments are mounting. Chess is growing in popularity, and this year it was one of the accompanying sports at the European Games.

Chess is one of the oldest games in the world, and has been growing in popularity again recently. According to a conservative estimate by Chess.com, chess is played by around 600 million people worldwide. Importantly, the International Olympic Committee recognises the game as a sport.

Chess was also played during the European Games. One of the accompanying events was the European Pairs Blitz Chess Championship. The competition took place in a unique venue – the Krakow Opera House.

Eight teams from eight countries took part in the event. Armenia was the winner, as the country’s representatives (Shant Sargsyan and Elina Danielian) collectively scored the highest number of points.

The Polish national team took fourth place. In the match for third place, Jan-Krzysztof Duda had to surrender superiority to Shakhiyar Mamedyarov. The Polish grandmaster played in a pair with Oliwia Kiolbasa.

Emotions were high, and there were plenty of fans in the stands to take part in a tournament specially prepared for them.

“Thanks to Jan-Krzysztof Duda, we have fallen in love with the sport, but we would like as many people as possible to be interested in it. We are pleased that chess has appeared on the occasion of the European Games, and in such a place as the Krakow Opera House,” says the Krakow Mayor’s Plenipotentiary for the Development of Physical Culture, Vice President of the European Games 2023 Organising Committee, Janusz Kozioł.

Now the world community is making efforts for chess to appear at the Olympic Games. It certainly won’t happen in Paris next year, but the chances of it happening in the future are growing. Krakow’s debut at the Games went well.