SRINAGAR: The first-ever Chess Olympiad Torch Relay reached Srinagar on Tuesday. Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha took the torch and handed it over to Grandmaster Pravin Thipsay.
The torch will travel next to Jammu. "1st Ever #ChessOlympiadTorchRelay Update City 3 Srinagar - June 21 Hon. Lt Governor of J&K Shri @manojsinha_takes the Torch forward in Srinagar, he then hands over it over to GM Pravin Thipsay The Torch will next travel to Jammu #India4ChessOlympiad #AmritMahotsav," tweeted SAI Media.
The office of LG Manoj Sinha also tweeted, "Handed over the #ChessOlympiadTorch to Chess Grandmaster Pravin Thipsay at SKICC, Srinagar, earlier today. The torch will travel to 75 cities in 40 days before it culminates at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu for the 44th Chess Olympiad."
Earlier, Leh hosted the first-ever Torch Relay of the 44th Chess Olympiad on Monday. The torch, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, began its relay from Leh, this evening. The torch will travel in 75 cities for 40 days before it culminates at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. 189 countries are participating in the Chess Olympiad.
Chess grandmasters will receive the torch at various identified venues. Grand Master Dibyendu Barua brought the torch from Delhi and handed it over to LG RK Mathur, to begin the relay from Leh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the historic torch relay for the 44th Chess Olympiad on Sunday at Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi.
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, Indian Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand and Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur were present at the opening of the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay. This year, for the very first time, the International Chess Body, FIDE, has instituted the Chess Olympiad Torch which is part of Olympic tradition but was never done in the Chess Olympiad.
India will be the first-ever country to have the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay. 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.