Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the historic torch relay for the 44th Chess Olympiad at Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi.
PM Modi also addressed the gathering on the occasion where he said, "Our ancestors invented the games like Chaturanga and Chess for the analytical development of the brain."
"Children who play Chess are becoming good problem-solvers. In the last 8 yrs, India has improved its performance in Chess," PM Modi added.
This year, for the very first time, the International Chess Body, FIDE, has instituted the Chess Olympiad Torch which is part of Olympic tradition but was never done in the Chess Olympiad. India will be the first-ever country to have the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay.
Notably, taking the Indian roots of Chess to a greater height, this tradition of Torch Relay for the Chess Olympiad will henceforth always begin in India and travel across all continents before reaching the host country, said an official release.
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich handed over the torch to Prime Minister, who in turn then handed it over to Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand.
This torch will then be taken to 75 cities in a span of 40 days before the final culmination at Mahabalipuram near Chennai. At every location, chess grandmasters of the state will receive the torch.
The 44th Chess Olympiad will be held in Chennai from July 28 to August 10, 2022. The prestigious competition, which has been organised since 1927, is being hosted in India for the first time and in Asia after 30 years. With 189 countries participating, this will be the largest participation in any Chess Olympiad.