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First time in India: PM Narendra Modi launches torch relay for 44th Chess Olympiad

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For the first time ever torch relay for the 44th Chess Olympiad was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at IG Stadium, New Delhi on Sunday. This 44th edition is scheduled to be held in Mahabalipuram from July 28 to August 10.

The torch relay, which is part of the Olympic tradition, happened for the first time in the Chess Olympiad.

Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President handed over the torch to the PM Modi and then passed it to five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi also played chess here with gold medalist Koneru Humpy (Chess Olympiad 2020) and started the event.

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The torch will be taken to 75 cities before arriving in Mahabalipuram, Chennai in 40 days. At every site, chess grandmasters of the state will receive the torch.

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In 100 years of the history of Chess Olympiad, India is a host for the first time. A total of 188 nations registered so far for the upcoming Olympiad on Indian soil.

PM Modi’s Mentions

“We are proud that the sport rose from its birthplace and has made its presence felt all over the world. We are delighted to see chess return to its birthplace and celebrate its success in the form of the Chess Olympiad.

“FIDE has decided that the torch relay will start from India. It is not just India’s honor but honor for chess.”

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Modi also said that Chess is not just a game but also an educational tool.

“In India wrestling, kabaddi, and malkhamb were played to remain fit and for analytical skills, our forefathers invented chess. Chess traveled to the whole world and became popular. Today chess has become an educational tool, chess players are becoming problem solvers,” he said.


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