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PM Modi flags off torch relay for Chess Olympiad with Viswanathan Anand

PM Modi flags off torch relay for Chess Olympiad with Viswanathan Anand

The first-ever torch relay for the Chess Olympiad was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the 44th edition of the event. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich handed over the torch to the prime minister who gave it to Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand. He also made a ceremonial move on the chessboard against woman Grandmaster Kneru Humpy.

The chess Olympiad will be held in Mahabalipuram from July 28 to August 10. India is hosting the event for the first time. The country is set to see chess players from 188 nations. The Olympic tradition of the torch relay is being instituted for the Chess Olympiad for the first time. The torch will go to 75 cities in 40 days before arriving at the venue of the event in India.

Grandmasters of the state will receive the torch in all cities including Leh, Srinagar, Jaipur, Surat, Mumbai, Bhopal, Patna, Kolkata, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thrissur, Port Blair, and Kanyakumari.

PM Modi said that he is proud to see Chess return to its birthplace and is celebrating its success in the form of the Chess Olympiad. "We are proud that the sport rose from its birthplace and has made its presence felt all over the world". Chess was invented in India around the 8th century before undergoing several changes at the hands of various civilisations including Arabs, Persians, and Europeans.

He added that Chess is not just a game but also an educational tool. "FIDE deciding that the torch relay will start from India is not just an honour for the country but an honour for the sport as well".

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur thanked the Prime Minister for supporting the field. "Today, there is immense awareness about sports in the country. Thanks to our PM.".

World chess body president Dvorkovich said he is grateful to the Indian government for hosting the prestigious event and is delighted to see a new tradition start in India. "The Olympic flame is a symbol of Olympic movement and friendship. The same will be the torch relay".

Legendary Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand had earlier said the country has a bright chance to win medals in the upcoming Chess Olympiad. He will be mentoring the Indian players and said he hopes young players can carry the legacy of chess ahead.

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TAGS:PM Modi Chess Chess Olympiad Viswanathan Anand 
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