Olympic-style torch to mark beginning of 44th Chess Olympiad

Chennai, 7 Jun: For the first time ever an Olympic-style torch relay will be conducted ahead of the 44th Chess Olympiad, slated to be held in July-August near here.
The torch relay will be a regular feature at the prestigious event from now onwards. It will always begin from India — the birth place of chess — and will travel across all continents before reaching the host city, the world governing body of the sport FIDE announced.
The torch relay will, however, be run only in India this time due to paucity of time. The legendary Viswanathan Anand will be one of the participants.
“This initiative will help in popularising the game of chess and galvanising the support of fans across the world,” FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich said.
“Starting from the next edition of the Olympiad, in line with the traditions of the Olympic Games, the torch will travel across all continents visiting FIDE member territories, ultimately culminating in the host country and city ahead of the opening of the Chess Olympiad,” he added.
The dates and routes of the torch relay will be announced soon after consultation with the government, FIDE and other stakeholders, Olympiad event director Bharat Singh Chauhan said in a press release.
“50 days to go for Chennai Olympiad. Do watch, cheer and join me at the Olympiad Torch Relay,” Anand tweeted.
Top Indian woman chess player Koneru Humpy said in a tweet, “What a time to be an Indian #chess player. Proud moment. Kudos @aicfchess #OlympiadFlame #ChessOlympiad #50 days to go.”
India is hosting the Chess Olympiad for the first-time ever.
“It is indeed a huge honour for the country. What Athens means for the Olympics is how India will be to the chess community,” Chauhan said.
The 44th Chess Olympiad will be held in Mahabalipuram near here from July 28 to August 10.
A record 343 teams from 187 countries have already entered for the tournament in Open and Women’s sections. (PTI)