New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged off the torch relay for the first time. chess The Olympiad ahead of the 44th edition of the event, which is to be held in Mahabalipuram from July 28 to August 10.
The international chess body, FIDE, has established for the first time the torch relay, which is part of the Olympic tradition, but was never performed at the Chess Olympiad.
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovic handed over the torch to the Prime Minister, who presented it to the great Viswanathan Anand.
The torch will be carried to 75 cities over a period of 40 days before reaching Mahabalipuram near Chennai. Chess masters of the state will get torch at every place.
Leh, Srinagar, Jaipur, Surat, Mumbai, Bhopal, Patna, Kolkata, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thrissur, Port Blair and Kanyakumari are among the 75 cities.
In the nearly 100-year history of Chess Olympiad, this is the first time that India will host the prestigious event. With 188 countries registered for the upcoming Olympiad, the country is all set to witness a massive gathering of nations for a sporting event on Indian soil for the first time.
Speaking on the occasion, PM ModiWho took a formal step on the chess board against female Grandmaster Keeru Humpy, said: “The first torch relay of the Chess Olympiad is starting from India, it is also the first time India is hosting a major event.
“We are proud that the sport emerged from its place of birth and has made its presence felt around the world. We are delighted to see chess return to its place of birth and celebrate its success as a Chess Olympiad.
“FIDE has decided that the torch relay will start from India. It is not just an honor of India but an honor for Chess.”
Modi said that chess is not just a game but has now become an educational tool.
He said, “Wrestling, Kabaddi, Malkhamb were played in India to stay fit and for analytical skills, our ancestors invented chess. Chess traveled all over the world and became popular. Today chess has become an educational tool. Gaya, chess players are becoming problem solvers.” ,
Modi said that yoga and meditation are necessary for success in chess.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, who participated in this grand program, thanked the PM for supporting the sports.
“It is a great opportunity for India that the land where chess originated, will be hosted in this country. I thank the PM for his effort and support.”
He said, “Whenever the torch relay happens, it will start from India. In 1956, India participated in the Chess Olympiad for the first time and then it took years to win a medal, but after that there was no looking back.”
“There is a lot of awareness about sports in the country today, thanks to our Prime Minister. He is not just a sports enthusiast, a sports lover, he is also an ardent sports fan who cares about our players.”
Dvorkovic, president of the world chess body, said he was grateful to the Indian government for hosting the prestigious event.
“I am happy to start new tradition torch relay in India. Olympic flame is a symbol of Olympic movement and friendship, the same will be torch relay. In future we are planning to expand torch relay all over the world but it always starts Will be from India.
He said, “FIDE is grateful to the Government of India for this initiative that will popularize the game. Hope chess can become a part of the educational program in all schools in India and around the world.”
“India, today, is the fastest growing chess country in the world. Hosting an Olympiad in India is a dream.”
The celebrations began with the traditional dances of India depicting 64 classes.
The program also showcased the history of the ancient sport, its origin and development.