Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to launch the first Chess Olympiad Torch Relay for the 44th edition of the event at the Indira Gandhi International Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday. The inaugural edition of the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay will tour 75 cities across the country as the All India Chess Federation (AICF) unveiled the route map on Friday. The International Chess Federation (FIDE) introduced the tradition of Olympic-style flashlight relays to its Olympiad from this year’s event, recalling the popularity of chess in the country and calling India the starting flame for each edition.
“I’m excited to be a part of this historic moment. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of the Olympic torch relay and now we have one in chess. But the most amazing thing about it is that it’s always India. I will start. And as an Indian, I am really proud of that fact, “five-time world champion Vishwanathan Anand told the media during a press conference.
AICF President Sanjay Kapoor and AICF Secretary and Olympiad Director Bharat Singh Chauhan were also present on the occasion.
Starting from the national capital, the historic Olympiad torch relay will travel across the country and reach its destination Mahabalipuram on July 27. Leh, Srinagar, Jaipur, Surat, Mumbai, Bhopal, Patna, Kolkata, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Thrissur. , Port Blair and Kanya Kumari will be among the 75 cities.
“The Chess Olympiad Torch Relay is a great way to popularize the sport in India. We have made sure that it travels to every corner of the country and covers it, which affects a lot of people. It will be a once in a lifetime experience for one. It is sure to go a long way in making India a global powerhouse of chess, “said AICF Secretary and Olympiad Director Chauhan.
“This Olympiad Torch Relay will add a golden chapter to the history of Indian sports and, in every edition starting from India, it will inspire generations to start the sport,” said AICF President Kapoor. “Events of this stature require a lot of hard work and we are fortunate to have the support of everyone, including the government and other stakeholders,” he said.
The 44th edition of the world’s largest chess tournament will be held at Mahabalipuram near Chennai from July 28 to August 10.
For the first time in the nearly 100-year history of the Chess Olympiad, India is hosting this prestigious event. With 188 countries registered for the upcoming Olympiad, the history of Indian sports is also set to witness a large contingent of countries on Indian soil for the first time in a single event. And in celebration, the AICF has unveiled a social media campaign, Namaste World, which welcomes the chess community around the world to the event.
The AICF had earlier announced two Indian teams in the Open and Women’s sections as the 44th Chess Olympiad has attracted 343 teams in both the sections.
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