Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the historic torch relay for the 44th Chess Olympiad on Sunday at Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi. He also addressed the gathering on the occasion.FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, Indian Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand and Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur were present at the opening of the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.