New Delhi: The ongoing first-ever Chess Olympiad Torch Relay will continue in the Gujarat leg on Friday July 1, with events being organised in Surat and Dandi. From there, the torch will enter Daman and Diu.
On Thursday, the torch relay entered Gujarat from Rajasthan and events took place across Ahmedabad, Kevadia and Vadodara. While Sh. Harsh Sanghavi, Minister of Youth, Sports and culture, government of Gujarat, was the chief guest at the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, Shri Purnesh Modi, Smt. Geetaben Rathwa – MP, Govt. Of Gujarat, was chief guest at the Statue of Unity in Kevadia.
Shri Rajendra Trivedi, Minister of Revenue, Govt of Gujarat, was the chief guest at the torch relay event at Vaghodia Sports Complex, Vadodara. Apart from the mentioned chief guests, Chess Grandmasters Tejas Bakre and Ankit Rajpara were also present and took forward the Chess Olympiad torch relay.
The two Grandmasters will also be present on Friday for the events. The Municipal corporation indoor stadium in Surat, the Gandhi Ashram in Dandi and the Swami Vivekananda auditorium in Daman are the venues for the events. Sh. Praful Khoda Patel, Lt. Governor – UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, shall remain the chief guest in Daman.
The launch of this historic torch rally was done in the presence of the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi at the IG Stadium in New Delhi. The relay will cover a total of 75 cities, commemorating the occasion of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav – 75 years of India’s independence.
On the historic launch day of the torch relay on June 19 in New Delhi, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich handed over the torch to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, who handed it over to Indian Chess legend Viswanathan Anand. Following the historic launch, the torch travelled to iconic locations including Red Fort in the national capital, the HPCA in Dharamshala, the Attari Border in Amritsar, the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow, among others.
The torch relay events start with simul chess, where Grandmasters and dignitaries play the game with local athletes. Following the events, the torch travels to the various locations via an open jeep. Besides, various cultural events take place including an interactive bus tour travelling from one city to another, a cultural parade varying from region to region which features young chess players’ community.
For the first time in the history of the prestigious competition, India not only hosts the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad but is also the first country that starts off a torch relay that has been instituted by FIDE for the first time in the history of the competition which started in 1927. From now on, every two years when the Chess Olympiad happens, the torch will go out from India to the host country.
Being the host, India is set to field 20 players – their biggest ever contingent – at the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad. India is entitled to field 2 teams each in the Open and Women’s category. Over 2000 participants will be representing at the event from 188 countries, highest in the history of the Chess Olympiad. The 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad will be held in Chennai from July 28 to August 10, 2022.