New Delhi: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi declared open the 44th Chess Olympiad at JLN Indoor Stadium, Chennai today. Shri R N Ravi, Governor Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Shri M. K. Stalin, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports; Shri Anurag Singh Thakur and Union Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Shri L Murugan, President of International Chess Federation (FIDE), Mr Arkady Dvorkovich were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister welcomed all the players and chess lovers from all over the world to India. He noted the significance of the time of the event as it falls during the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. He added that the most prestigious tournament in chess has come to India, the home of chess.
The Prime Minister noted that the 44th Chess Olympiad has been a tournament of many firsts and records. This is the first time the Chess Olympiad is being held in the place of origin of chess, India. It is coming to Asia for the first time in 3 decades. It has the highest ever number of countries participating. It has the highest ever number of teams participating. It has the highest number of entries in the women’s section. The first ever Torch Relay of the Chess Olympiad started this time, he said.
The Prime Minister highlighted that Tamil Nadu has a strong historical connection with chess. This is why it is a chess powerhouse for India. It has produced many of India’s chess grandmasters. It is home to the finest minds, vibrant culture and the oldest language in the world, Tamil.
During his address Union Minister Shri Anurag Thakur said that India is the land where the game of chess originated and it’s a pride moment for us to see India hosting this prestigious event for the first time in the history. Union Minister added that 40 days ago, the first ever torch relay of the Chess Olympiad was handed over to the Prime Minister, who then handed it over to our chess legend Vishwanathan Anand. Torch Relay travelled to 75 icon places as the country celebrates 75th years of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahostav.