Chess Olympiad Live: Let the game begin, concludes Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Anurag Thakur, Governor R N Ravi, Union Minister of State L Murugan and Chief Minister M K Stalin share the dias.
Chess Olympiad Live: Let the game begin, concludes Modi

The event ends as Modi and Stalin leave the stadium.

Now, I declare the 44th Chess Olympiad open. May the game begin, concludes Modi amid rousing reception.

In sports, there are no losers. We have winners and future winners, the Prime Minister adds.

In the UK, 22nd Commonwealth Games is beginning too. Thousands of Indians are waiting to live their dreams: Modi

India's sporting culture is becoming stronger due to energy of youth and enabling environment. Our talented youngsters from small towns and women bring us glory: Prime Minister

For a long time, life came to standstill due to Covid.It was sports that brought us together. We are stronger, better now. Post Covid period has made us realise the value of physical and mental fitness, Modi adds

I hope you all get the opportunity to explore Chennai, Mahabalipuram and its nearby areas: Modi tells international players

Even God played this game of chess in Tamil Nadu. The State has a strong historical connection with chess. That's why the State is the chess power house of India, he adds.

On behalf of every Indian I extend my thanks to FIDE for this guesture. This Chess Olympiad is happening in this beautiful city. Sports has always been considered divine in our culture: Modi 

The tournament has the highest number of players in women's section this time. This will be a memory forever: PM

This is the first time the Chess Olympiad is being held at its place of origin. It is coming to Asia for the first time in 3 decades, he adds. 

The most prestigious event has come back to its home. It is an honour to have you all here at such an important time for our country. Friends, I would like to applaud the organisers of the tournament. They have made outstanding arrangement, says Modi

Vanakkam! Good evening, Chennai, begins Narendra Modi

I welcome each and every player from around the world to Tamil Nadu. It’s indeed a honour to host you all: Stalin

We would love to hold more of these international events. I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving us such an opportunity: TN Chief Minister

The term Thambi is a symbol of brotherhood which indicates that we are all one. The iconic leader of Tamil Nadu "Perarignar Anna" used to fondly call everyone 'Thambi’. The mascot’s name is such a honour, Stalin says

We spent around Rs 102 crore for this event. Also, we are more than happy to bear all the expenses of our Indian players, he says.

Out of 73 Grand Masters in India, 26 are from Tamil Nadu. This means 36 per cent of Indian grandmasters are from TN: Stalin

Chess is being played with some changes in form across the world. The tournament will be held at the museum of Indian architecture, Mahabalipuram, the Chief Minister says.

When the location was shifted from Russia to India, I had instructed my ministers to grab the opportunity. It will usually take 18 months to plan for any international event. But, with immense pride I say that the Tamil Nadu govt made all arrangements within four months, Stalin says

I convey my heartfelt gratitude to all the officials who extended their support to help us conduct this event, Stalin adds

I had planned to visit him in person to invite him for the event. However, due to Covid, I was admitted to the hospital and couldn’t visit him. But the Prime Minister had called me and said ‘Take rest and I will be there.’ : Stalin

Nehru Stadium has got world recognition by hosting this international event. Prime Minister, We all know you are fond of chess. During your tenure as CM, you had hosted a grand chess festival with 20K players. It’s very apt that such a supporter of chess has come today to inaugurate the event: Stalin

Today is a great day of pride for India. Hosting the Chess Olympiad for the first time in India is a great honour for us, Stalin says.

Torch lit up by Praggnanandhaa and 2 other TN players

Torch relay handed over to CM Stalin by grandmaster Viswanathan Anand.

I wish all our participants, the highest ever contingent in the chess olympiad, best of luck. Kudos to the entire team of Stalin and FIDE for their untiring efforts for this event: Thakur

The torch relay crossed 75 iconic places and 27,277 kms, including Statue of Unity in Gujarat, Taj Mahal in Agra, Gandhi Ashram in Gujarat, Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu: Thakur

We have gathered for a historic location. There is a feeling of pride in me in seeing India hosting this mega event. Today, we are all set for the tournament. 40 days ago, the torch was handed over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Thakur says.

Union Minister for Sports Anurag Singh Thakur begins his speech.

Arkady Dvorkovich: Let me thank you all on behalf of FIDE. We all enjoyed the cultural performance which showed the greatness of Tamil Nadu and its culture. We are grateful to the Government of India and Tamil Nadu.

I extend my best wishes to all the players participating in the event, he adds.

Modi and Stalin are the two reasons why Chess Olympiad is happening here today, says L Murugan

Singer Dhee and Kidakuzhi Mariyammal  perform "Enjoy Enjaami"

Director Vignesh Shivan conceptualised the 'Tamizh mann' skit played at the stadium

Artistes perform a skit on Civilization of Tamil Nadu, narrated by Ulaganayagan Kamal Haasan.

Stalin presents a statue of Mahabalipuram Shore Temple to Modi

My hearty welcome to Stalin who meticulously planned the event. Without him, this would not be possible, he adds.

This Chess Olympiad will not be possible without the support of Prime Narendra Modi. It is my pleasure to welcome Governor RN Ravi, says Meyyanathan

Minister of Sports development Siva V Meyyanathan delivers the welcome speech.

Everyone stands for the National Anthem and Tamil Thai Valthu at the Stadium.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Anurag Thakur, Governor R N Ravi, Union Minister of State L Murugan and Chief Minister M K Stalin share the dias.

PM Modi arrives at the Nehru Stadium

PM Modi is on his way to Nehru Stadium.

Chief Secretary Irai Anbu and DGP Sylendra Babu at INS Adyar receive Prime Minister Modi.

Modi arrives at INS Adyar

Lydian Nadhaswaram plays Harry Potter theme using his right hand and Mission Impossible theme using his left hand. 

Blind-folded Lydian Nadhaswaram plays the grand piano, amid arousing cheers. 

Mr. Laurent Freyd, Chief Arbiter of the Olympiad says, "We pledge that we shall officiate the 44th Chess Olympiad with complete impartiality, administering and honouring the FIDE rules and sportsmanship."

Ms. Koneru Humpy, India's Women Chess Grandmaster, addresses the gathering

Audience stand for International Chess Federation Anthem

Cultural performance by renowned artistes begins 

Players from 180 countries complete their parade with Zimbabwe being the final flag-bearer

Prime Minister Modi has landed in Chennai for the curtain-raiser of the 44th Chess Olympiad opening ceremony. Ministers Duraimurugan and Ponmudy have received him.

International Chess players along with flag-bearers participate in a parade.

Udhayanidhi Stalin arrives at the venue, greets Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth and Vairamuthu

CM Stalin, clad in traditional attire, arrives at Nehru Stadium for the 44th Chess Olympiad ceremony

Edappadi K Palaniswami leaves to Airport to welcome Prime Minister Modi

Rajinikanth leaves his house to attend the Chess Olympiad ceremony at Nehru stadium

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's private flight, which was scheduled to reach at 4.45 pm today, is 25 minutes late.

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