The historic torch relay for the 44th Chess Olympiad was launched at Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi by PM Modi.
Starting from the national capital, the historic Olympiad Torch Relay will travel all across the country ahead of reaching its destination – Mahabalipuram on 27th of July.
Leh, Srinagar, Jaipur, Surat, Mumbai, Bhopal, Patna, Kolkata, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thrissur, Port Blair and Kanyakumari will be amongst the 75 cities.
GM of the states will get the torch at every location.
The ceremony commenced with the traditional dances of India showcasing the 64 squares, and during the show, the hosts depicted the history of chess, its origin, and its evolution.
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich handed over the torch to the PM of India, Narendra Modi, who then handed it over to GM Vishwanathan Anand.
Prime Minister Modi also made the Khelo Chess Ceremonial move, after Ms Humpy Koneru making a move.
Union Ministers Shri Anurag Singh Thakur and Shri Nisith Pramanik, chess players and enthusiasts, ambassadors, and chess officials were among the people who attended the ceremony.
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich obliged the Government of India for taking the initiative in starting a new tradition of torch relay which will publicize and electrify the game all over the world.
“The inaugural edition of the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay will only travel through India, but in future editions, it will be expanded to the entire world, in line with the traditions of the Olympic Games”, FIDE President said.
“It will travel across all continents visiting FIDE member territories, ultimately culminating in the host country and city ahead of the opening of the Chess Olympiad,” he added.
Speaking on the event, PM Narendra Modi abide on the Indian heritage in chess. “Our ancestors invented games like chaturanga or chess for analytical and problem-solving brains”, he said.
“Chess, via India, reached many countries of the world and became very popular. Today, chess is being used in schools as an educational tool for young people, for children,” he appended.
He also observed that in recent years, India has consistently ameliorated its chess performance. India’s squad in the Chess Olympiad is the biggest this year. The Prime Minister showed the hope that India will establish a new record of medals this year.
The 44th Chess Olympiad will be conducted in Chennai from 28th of July to 10th of August 2022. The reputed competition, which has been conducted since 1927, is being hosted in India for the first time.