Arunachal Pradesh : First-Ever Chess Olympiad Torch Relay Reaches Itanagar 

Posted in Arunachal Pradesh, Featured, Northeast


  • NET Web Desk

The first-ever torch relay of the 44th Chess Olympiad, which will be held in Tamil Nadu later this month, reached the Arunachal Pradesh’s capital – Itanagar on Wednesday.

Grand Master Mitrabha Guha handed-over the torch to the Chief Minister – Pema Khandu, in presence of the state Sports Minister – Mama Natung and other eminent dignitaries at DK Convention Hall, Itanagar.

Prior to the ceremony, Guha participated in simultaneous chess with players belonging to different age-groups; and clean bowled 12 players from Arunachal’s schools within just 14 minutes.

This relay travelled all the way from Mizoram.

Taking to Twitter, the Arunachal Pradesh CM wrote “IT COMES A FULL CIRCLE: Chess returns to its place of origin, India. Proud to have received first-ever Chess Olympiad Torch Relay that travelled through Mizoram, from Grandmaster Shri @MitrabhaGuha in presence of Hon Sports Minister Shri @NatungMama, today.

Checkmate from Grandmaster! Grandmaster Shri @MitrabhaGuha clean bowled 12 players from Arunachal’s schools in 14 minutes here today. The initiative taken by Hon PM Shri @narendramodi Ji to start chess Olympiad torch relay has kindled interest among the children.” – he further added.

The 1st Ever Torch Relay for 44th #ChessOlympiad to #ArunachalPradesh was honoured by HCM @PemaKhanduBJP Ji at #DKConvention Hall, #Itanagar. Congratulations& best wishes #NamasteWorld @ArunachalCMO @ChessOlympiad @FIDE_chess @aicfchess @co44tn @IndiaSports @PMOIndia” – wrote the Arunachal Pradesh’ Sports Minister.

As India is celebrating its 75th year of independence, the Chess Olympiad torch is being taken to 75 cities of the country before reaching Chennai – the host city of the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad from July 28 – August 10, 2022.

India has been the first-ever country to start the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay as per the Olympic tradition. Therefore, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the historic torch relay at Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi on June 19, 2022. FIDE president – Arkady Dvorkovich handed-over the torch to PM Modi, who handed it over to Indian Chess legend Viswanathan Anand.

Since its launch, the torch has travelled through iconic locations including Red Fort in Delhi, Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, the Attari Border in Amritsar, the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow and Dandi in Gujarat; among others.

Hosts India is fielding 20 players at the Olympiad being held at Mahabalipuram, near Chennai. With 188 countries registered for the Olympiad, India is set to witness a huge congregation of nations for a sporting event for the first time on Indian soil.

Recently, the International Chess Federation noted that the Olympiad torch relay would always begin from India, where the sport originated, and would travel across all continents before reaching the host city.

The All India Chess Federation however mentioned that, due to lack of time, the torch relay would only traverse in India this year.

Its worthy to note that Chess traces its origin to the Indian game of Chaturanga, which dates back to 6th century CE. Over the following centuries, the game spanned throughout Asia and Europe before eventually been developed into what is currently known as Chess.

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