Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin is going all out to make the 44th Chess Olympiad an outstanding success. This mega event is to be hosted at the heritage town of Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram), between July 28 and August 10. A stylised mascot Thambi has sprung up at many vantage points in Chennai. The historic Napier Bridge has been painted like a chess board and a teaser ad featuring Stalin and AR Rahman shot on it was released by the superstar Rajinikant. But, while doing all these publicity gigs the Stalin government seems to have conveniently forgotten to focus on their very own home grown heroes Viswanathan Anand, India’s greatest chess Grandmaster and Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu, the new Grandmaster. Except for a “blink and you miss glimpse “, both were not highlighted in the publicity drive. Critics allege it was an intended snub for Brahmins. Stalin moved his pawn like a grandmaster when an opening presented. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him up to wish him speedy recovery when he was admitted to Kauvery Hospital for Covid treatment. Stalin quickly latched on to this bonanza door opener and requested Modi to inaugurate the Chess Olympiad, adding he would depute MP K Kanimozhi and TR Baalu to personally invite him. Perhaps, Stalin was trying to mend fences after DMK leader A Raja publicly threatened Modi that TN would secede if not granted more autonomy. But, will Modi inaugurate the Chess Olympiad? Wait and watch.