New Dellhi :Union Minister for Law and Justice, Shri Kiren Rijiju addressed the torch hand-over ceremony at the historic Red Fort today. The iconic Red Fort was one of the 75 iconic locations that are a part of the 40-day first-of-its-kind Chess Olympiad torch relay. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, Secretary Sports Smt. Sujata Chaturvedi, DG SAI Shri Sandeep Pradhan, AICF President Shri Sanjay Kapoor, Chess legend Viswanathan Anand and other dignitaries from Ministry, SAI, AICF and FIDE were also present on this occasion.
The historic launch of the ceremony was made in the presence of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi on Sunday at the IG Stadium. The Prime Minister of India started the torch relay and handed it over to chess legend Viswanathan Anand. On Monday, Shri Rijiju took the torch from Anand and handed it to Chess Grandmaster Dibyendu Barua, who will take the relay forward to Leh, Ladakh. Barua was the second Indian after Viswanathan Anand to become a Grandmaster in the year 1991.
“The fact that the torch for every forthcoming Chess Olympiad will be lit from India every two years is a landmark in the history of Chess itself,” Shri Rijiju said on Monday. “The process of lighting the torch signifies sanctification and this is why the Olympic torch always gets ignited in Greece, the birthplace of modern Olympics. Having the Chess Olympiad torch relay originating now from India is a moment of great pride for everyone. I thank FIDE for taking this step. Let this be the best Chess Olympiad in the history of the Chess movement”.
Recalling moments from his recent visit to Mongolia, Shri Rijiju added, “Chess is born in India. I recently visited Mongolia where Zandanshatar Gombojav, the Speaker of their Parliament, and I interacted about chess. He is an avid player of the game. He told me Chess is India’s gift to the world. This is the impact our country has had on the game.”
The torch travels to Leh, Ladakh next, before moving to Srinagar, Jammu, Dharamshala, Shimla and so on. The 40-day torch relay spanning 75 districts across every State and UT of India will culminate in Chennai on July 27. The 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad will be held in Chennai from July 28 to August 10, 2022.