Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the first-ever 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 hit 75 cities across the country as the All India Chess Federation (AICF) unveiled the roadmap on Friday. The International Chess Federation (FIDE) introduced an Olympic-style torch relay tradition for its Olympiad of this year’s event and named India as the starting point for each edition, commemorating the popularity of chess in the country where the sport originated.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this historic moment. I have always been fascinated by the concept of the Olympic Torch Relay and now we have one in chess too. But the most amazing thing is that it will always start in India And as an Indian I am very proud of this fact,” said five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand addressing the media at a press conference.
AICF Chairman Sanjay Kapoor and AICF Secretary and Olympiad Director Bharat Singh Chauhan also attended the event.
Starting from the national capital, the historic Olympiad torch relay will travel across the country before reaching its destination – Mahabalipuram on July 27. Leh, Srinagar, Jaipur, Surat, Mumbai, Bhopal, Patna, Kolkata, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thrissur, Port Blair and Kanyakumari are among the 75 cities.
“The Chess Olympiad torch relay is a great medium to popularize the sport in India. We have made sure that it reaches and covers every corner of the country, inspiring many people. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone. -lifetime experience. I believe this will greatly contribute to making India a global chess power,” said AICF Secretary and Olympiad Director Chauhan.
“This Olympiad Torch Relay will add a golden chapter to Indian sports history and, starting with each edition in India, will motivate generations to practice this sport. On behalf of the Federation, we thank the Honorable Prime Minister Modi ji for accepting our invitation. Events of such magnitude require a lot of effort and we are fortunate to have had the support of everyone, including the government and other stakeholders,” added AICF President Kapoor.
The 44th edition of the world’s largest chess event will take place from July 28 to August 10 in Mahabalipuram near Chennai.
In nearly 100 years of Chess Olympiad history, it is the first time India has hosted this prestigious event. With 188 countries registered for the upcoming Olympiad, Indian sports history will also witness a huge congregation of nations on Indian soil at an event for the first time. And to celebrate, AICF has unveiled a ‘Namaste World’ social media campaign, welcoming the chess community from around the world to this event.
AICF had previously announced two Indian teams, each in the open and women’s sections, as the 44th Chess Olympiad has attracted 343 teams in both sections.
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