(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to launch the
first-ever Chess Olympiad Torch Relay for the 44th edition of the
event on Sunday at the Indira Gandhi International Stadium in New
Delhi. The inaugural edition of the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay will
visit 75 cities across the country as the All India Chess
Federation (AICF) revealed the route map on Friday. The
International Chess Federation (FIDE) introduced an Olympic-style
Torch Relay tradition for its Olympiad from this year's event and
named India as the starting flame point for each edition,
commemorating the popularity of chess in the country where the
sport originated, Trend reports citing NDTV .
'I'm really excited to be part of this historic moment. I was
always fascinated by the Olympic Torch Relay concept and now we
also have one in chess. But the most amazing thing about it is,
that it will always start in India. And as an Indian, I feel really
proud about this fact,' said the five-time World Champion
Viswanathan Anand while addressing the media during a press
AICF President Sanjay Kapoor and AICF Secretary and Olympiad
Director Bharat Singh Chauhan were also present at 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 will be among the
'Chess Olympiad Torch Relay is a great medium to popularise the
sport in India. We have ensured that it visits and covers every
corner of the country, inspiring many individuals. It will be a
once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone. I believe this will
contribute immensely towards making India a global chess
powerhouse,' said AICF Secretary and Olympiad Director Chauhan.
'This Olympiad Torch Relay will add a golden chapter in Indian
sporting history and, starting from India every edition, it will
motivate generations to take up this sport. On behalf of the
federation, we thank Honourable Prime Minister Modi ji for
accepting our invitation. Events of such stature take a lot of
effort and we are fortunate to have received the support from
everyone including the government and other stakeholders,' AICF
President Kapoor added.
The 44th edition of the world's biggest chess event will be held
in Mahabalipuram near Chennai from July 28 to August 10.
In nearly 100 years of the history of the Chess Olympiad, it's
the first time that India will be hosting this prestigious event.
With 188 countries registered for the upcoming Olympiad, Indian
sporting history is also set to witness a huge congregation of
countries on Indian soil for the first time at an event. And
celebrating this, AICF has unveiled a social media campaign
'Namaste World', welcoming the chess community from around the
world for this event.
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AICF had earlier 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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