The 42nd Chess Olympiad, the biggest in the event's 89-year history, has been opened in Baku.
A total of 176 countries have entered the event with 181 teams in the men's event and 142 in the women's.
The Opening Ceremony was held at the National Gymnastics Arena, the venue built for last year's European Games in Azerbaijan's capital.
The competition is due to be held at the Crystal Hall, host of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and several sports during the European Games.
The Olympiad is due to conclude on September 14.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, his wife Mehriban Aliyeva and family members attended the event.
Azerbaijan’s First Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub Eyyubov and President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov made speeches at the event before Aliyev officially declared it open.
Aliyev also made first move of the game between Russian female player Alexandra Kosteniuk and Scotland's Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant.
FIDE organised the first official Olympiad in 1927 in London,
The Olympiads were occasionally held annually and at irregular intervals until World War II; since 1950 they have taken place regularly every two years