Prime Minister Modi launches first-ever torch relay for Chess Olympiads

In the nearly 100-year history of the Chess Olympiad, this is the first time that India has hosted the prestigious event

In the nearly 100-year history of the Chess Olympiad, this is the first time that India has hosted the prestigious event

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced the first-ever Chess Olympiad torch relay ahead of the 44th edition of the event, which will be held in Mahabalipuram from July 28 to August 10.

The international chess body, FIDE, for the very first time instituted the torch relay, which is part of the Olympic tradition but has never been practiced in the Chess Olympiads.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich handed over the torch to the Prime Minister who handed it over to the legendary Viswanathan Anand.

The torch will be taken to 75 cities in 40 days before arriving in Mahabalipuram near Chennai. At each location, the state’s chess grandmasters will receive the torch.

Leh, Srinagar, Jaipur, Surat, Mumbai, Bhopal, Patna, Kolkata, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Thrissur, Port Blair and Kanyakumari are among the 75 cities.

First Chess Olympiad in India

In the nearly 100-year history of the Chess Olympiad, this is the first time that India will host this prestigious event. With 188 countries registered for the next Olympiad, the country should attend a huge assembly of nations for a sporting event for the first time on Indian soil.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Modi, who performed a ceremonial gesture on the chess board against female Grandmaster Koneru Humpy, said: “The first ever torch relay of the Chess Olympiad starts from the ndia is also the first time that India has hosted the big event.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi plays chess with Indian chess player Koneru Humpy during the launch of the torch relay for the 44th Chess Olympiad, at Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi on June 19, 2022.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi plays chess with Indian chess player Koneru Humpy during the launch of the Torch Relay for the 44th Chess Olympiad, at Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi on June 19, 2022. | Photo credit: PTI

Chess returns to its birthplace: PM Modi

“We are proud that the sport has come out of its birthplace and made its presence felt around the world. We are thrilled to see chess return to its birthplace and celebrate its success in the form of the Olympiad. failures.

“FIDE has decided that the torch relay will start from India. It is not only the honor of India but the honor of chess.” Prime Minister Modi said chess was not just a game, but had become an educational tool.

“In India wrestling, kabaddi, malkhamb were played to keep fit and for analytical skills, our ancestors invented chess. Chess traveled all over the world and became popular. Today chess have become an educational tool, chess players become problem solvers,” he said. .

Prime Minister Modi has said yoga and meditation are essential for chess success.

Forever Torch Relay from India

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, who also attended the big event, thanked the Prime Minister for his support for sports.

“It is a great opportunity for India to have the home country of chess hosted in this country. I thank the Prime Minister for his efforts and support.” “Whenever the torch relay takes place, it will start from India. In 1956, India participated for the first time in the Chess Olympiad and then took years to win a medal, but after that, she never looked back,” he said.

“Today, there is a huge awareness of sports in the country, thanks to our PM. He is not only a sports enthusiast, a sports lover, he is also a sports enthusiast who cares about our athletes. World Chess Organization President Mr Dvorkovich said he was grateful to the Indian government for hosting the prestigious event.

“I am delighted to start the new tradition of the torch relay in India. The Olympic flame is a symbol of the Olympic movement and friendship, so will the torch relay. In the future, we We plan to expand the torch relay to the whole world, but it will always start from India.

“FIDE is grateful to the Government of India for taking this initiative which will make this game popular. I hope chess can be part of the educational curriculum of all schools in India and around the world,” he said. .

“India today is the fastest growing chess country in the world. It is a dream to host the Olympiad in India.” The ceremony began with the traditional dances of India representing the 64 squares.

The program also presented the history of the ancient game, its origin and its evolution.