PM launches the torch relay for Chess Olympiad

Chess has many cognitive benefits and children who play this game could become good problem-solvers, said PM Narendra Modi on Sunday during the historic launch of torch relay for 44th Chess Olympiad.

Highlighting India’s contributions in the invention of games like Chaturanga and Chess, the PM said that these games help the brain to refine analytical skills and children who play such games could become good problem-solvers. India has improved its performance in Chess in the last eight years, the PM added.

In this 44th Chess Olympiad, over 2000 players from 188 countries will participate, said Union Minister of sports Anurag Thakur.

“Till now no torch relay happened in Chess Olympiad but FIDE (International Chess Federation) took the decision to do a torch relay for the first time from India” added Thakur.

The inaugural edition of the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay will visit 75 cities across the country as the All India Chess Federation (AICF) revealed the route map on Friday..

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) introduced an Olympic-style Torch Relay tradition for its Olympiad from this year’s event and named India as the starting flame point for each edition, commemorating the popularity of chess in the country where the sport originated.

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. 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.

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Roy Walsh

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