For the second time, the Estonian Draughts Federation was granted rights by the World Draughts Federation (FMJD) to organize the World Checkers/Draughts Championship in Tallinn. The next World Checkers Championship will take place in Tallinn from March 13-31.
Next March, Tallinn will host both the men's and women's world championships, with 40 and 16 participants, respectively, from nearly 30 different countries.
"The Estonian Draughts Federation as an organizer of title events has managed to be very successful in international competition," Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said in a federation press release. "Nearly every year over the past 17 years, at least one title tournament has taken place in Tallinn — a total of 15 European or world championships."
According to the mayor, the fact that the Estonian Draughts Federation is bringing the checkers world's most important tournament to Tallinn for a second time, and just four years later, is an impressive sports achievement.
"Tallinn has been the checkers capital of the world according to the FMJD since 2017," he highlighted. "From 2007-2017, the European Draughts Federation was headquartered in Tallinn. It is very important to Tallinn that international title events take place in Tallinn and Estonia, which bring us fame not only as a tourist destination but also as a global sports arena which is equally attractive to all sports. Estonian checkers is a model."
"The national federation's international competitiveness is demonstrated by being granted the right to organize title events," FMJD President Janek Mäggi said. "The Estonian Draughts Federation is currently certainly among the checkers world's strongest organizers of title events. Over the years, Estonia has gained knowledge, skills and the desire to organize top tournaments. Being granted organizational rights requires trust in the national federation as well as the strong support of the organizing country and city. The City of Tallinn has been a strong supporter of checkers for several decades. As have been the Estonian state, the Estonian Olympic Committee (EOK), and many local sponsors. Estonia managed this in cooperation with many parties."
"The world's top checkers players consider Tallinn to be a high-class location," Estonian Draughts Federation President Tarmo Tulva said. "Last year, the women's world championship took place in Yakutsk, Russia, and the men's world championship in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire. The top world competitions are organized worldwide, on all continents, but in recent decades, Tallinn and Estonia have certainly been among the top three locations for organizing title events. We earn medals at title events, and we have many talented young people with bright futures ahead of them as athletes. Today we are at the forefront as organizers as well, which definitely significantly helps promote and popularize checkers."
Tulva noted that Tallinn will also be hosting the European youth championships on August 1-9. "We have a very busy and extraordinary checkers year ahead," he said.
The European Draughts Championship has been held in Tallinn twice — in 2008, and in 2014. It also hosted the men's and women's World Checkers/Draughts Championship in 2017. It has also hosted title matches in other prior years.
The World Checkers/Draughts Championship is held every two years. Next year, participants from nearly 30 different countries are expected to compete in Tallinn. Competition will take place according to international draughts rules on 100-square playing boards.
Editor: Aili Vahtla