Updated: Jul 19
Since its official start on June 19 at the IG Stadium in this city, the ongoing first-ever Chess Olympiad Torch Relay has traveled through more than 20 Indian cities. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present.
To mark the 75th anniversary of India's independence, or Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the relay will pass through a total of 75 cities.
The torch was passed from PM Modi to Viswanathan Anand, a legend in Indian chess, by FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich. Following its historic inauguration, the torch visited several famous sites, including the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Red Fort in the nation's capital, the HPCA in Dharamshala, the Attari Border in Amritsar, and the Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow, among others.
Beginning on June 30, the torch relay reaches Gujarat before moving on through the western, eastern, north-eastern, and final destinations of the south, north, and east parts of India. The last 10 days of the North India tour were spent in Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
There was a lot of involvement in the torch relay events held in the cities. While 8000 people attended the torch relay ceremony at the Attari Border, only 3000 people attended the Vidhan Sabha event in Lucknow. Several notable chess grandmasters, including Viswanathan Anand, Dibyendu Barua, Deep Sengupta, Tejas Bakre, and Vantika Agarwal, as well as other dignitaries, attended the events.
Jammu & Kashmir's ruler Among the notable personalities that attended the numerous Chess Olympiad torch relay ceremonies were Manoj Sinha, Governor of Punjab Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath, Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, and Law Minister Kiren Rijiju.
Chess matches between Grandmasters and dignitaries and local athletes precede the torch relay competitions. The torch moves to several locations after the activities. In addition, several cultural events are held, such as a cultural parade featuring the community of young chess players and an interactive bus tour that travels from city to city.
India is the first nation to start a torch relay that FIDE instituted for the first time in the competition's history, which dates back to 1927. This is a first in the renowned event's history. India is also the first country to host the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad. The torch will henceforth be carried every two years when the Chess Olympiad takes place.
The 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad will feature the largest contingent of players ever for the host nation, India, with 20 competitors. India is allowed to enter two teams in the Open and Women's divisions. The Chess Olympiad will have the most participants ever with over 2000 from 188 different nations. Chennai will host the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad from July 28 to August 10.