The message reads in part:
“The initiative to hold online competitions met with broad support. It brings together teams from 163 countries. I am confident that your comprehensive international tournament will effectively replace in-person competitions for the 44th Chess Olympiad that, unfortunately, had been postponed due to the complicated epidemiological situation.
“Interactive chess has already become popular; over 16 million online games are played every day. But a major event like the FIDE Online Olympiad 2020 is taking place for the first time. I hope the chess-playing public at large will recognise your tournament, that it will boast high organisational and technical levels, and that it will help promote chess further through advanced information technologies.
“I wish good luck and every success to tournament participants who will display their professionalism and the ability to think creatively in the next few days. And I also wish exceptional and unforgettable impressions to fans and chess lovers.”