Chicago is a long way from Dresden, Germany, but David and Sheila Heiser made the trip to begin stating a case for hosting the 2016 Olympiad in the beautiful city of Chicago. The founders of a hugely-successful Renaissance Knights Chess organization, David went to Dresden with his wife to lobby for the bid.
The Chess Drum’s Daaim Shabazz met David at a FIDE General Assembly session and received a briefing. Surprisingly, there has never been an Olympiad hosted in the United States. The city is also bidding for the 2016 Olympics and has just passed a review with flying colors from the Olympic Committee.
On their promotional website, they explain some of the history of Chicago’s chess events.
Besides being the birthplace of Bobby Fischer, Chicago has a long history with hosting chess tournaments. Chicago hosted the 1983 World Youth Team Championship, the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship in 1968, 1970, 1978 and 1999, and the US Open 14 times between in 1903 and 2006. In addition to the many tournaments and events held each year, the annual Chicago Open is one of the most attended chess tournaments in the United States.
Of course, Chicago is one of the most celebrated cities when it comes to professional sports and is known for its picturesque skyline, world-class restaurants, shopping, museums and parks. Abutting Lake Michigan, there are plenty of venues that could successful house the Olympiad. A city of excitement and tremendous diversity, Chicago has the some of the finest educational institutions in the world and is one of the biggest tourist and convention cities in the world.
The summer months are filled with festivals, parades and free concerts in beautiful Millennium Park. Navy Pier is also a popular venue. The last international event held in Chicago was the 1983 World Youth Team championship at the University of Chicago. The city also has the famous North Avenue beach along Lake Michigan where chess players usually play blitz. A city of great history and character, Chicago chess community hopes to make formal presentation at the next Olympiad in Russia.