The first Olympiad was unofficial. For the1924 Olympics an attempt was made to include chess in the Olympic Games but this failed because of problems with distinguishing between amateur and professional players.While the 1924 Summer Olympics was taking place in Paris, the 1st unofficial Chess Olympiad also took place in Paris. FIDE was formed on Sunday, July 20, 1924, the closing day of the 1st unofficial Chess Olympiad.
Chess Olympiad, Drezden 2008. Winners - Georgian National Team
FIDE organised the first Official Olympiad in 1927 which took place in London. The Olympiads were occasionally held annually and at irregular intervals until World War II; since 1950 they have been held regularly evry two years.
Chess is recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC); since June 1999 FIDE has been recognized by the International Sports Federation. As a member of the IOC, FIDE adheres to its rules, including, controversially, a requirement for doping tests.The prospects of chess becoming an Olympic sporting event at some future date remain unclear.
Each FIDE recognized chess association can enter a team into the Olympiad.Each team is made of up to five players, four regular players and one reserve (prior to the tournament in Dresden 2008 there were two reserves).Initially each team played all other teams but as the event grew over the years this became impossible. At first team seeding took place before the competition.Later certain drawbacks were recognized with seeding and in 1976 a Swiss tournament system was adopted.
The trophy for the winning team in the open section is the Hamilton-Russell Cup,which was offered by the English magnate Frederick Hamilton-Russell as a prize for the 1st Olympiad (London 1927). The cup is kept by the winning team until the next event, when it is consigned to the next winner. The trophy for the winning women's team is known as the Vera Menchik Cup in honor of the first Women's World Chess Champion .