Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath welcomed the first-ever torch relay for the Chess Olympiad, which is to be held in Tamil Nadus Mahabalipuram from July 28 to August 10, in front of the Vidhan Bhavan here on Sunday.
Adityanath made a ceremonial move on a chessboard opposite Grand Master Vishwanathan Anand, the Uttar Pradesh government said in a statement here.
The chief minister said International Chess Federation FIDEs decision to commence the torch relay from India was a matter of pride for the country.
“Chess has its origin in India and has a 5,000-year-old tradition. We are getting an opportunity to be a part of it. This is not only an honour for India but also for the glorious legacy of chess in the country,” he said.
The torch will travel to Ayodhya, Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Prayagraj on June 27 and then to Jhansi on July 5, the statement said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on June 19 in Delhi flagged off the torch relay for the Chess Olympiad ahead of the 44th edition of the event.
For the very first time, FIDE has instituted the torch relay, which is part of the Olympic tradition but was never practiced in the Chess Olympiad.
The chess federations president Arkady Dvorkovich had handed over the torch to Modi, who passed it to the legendary Viswanathan Anand.
The torch will be taken to 75 cities in a span of 40 days before arriving in Mahabalipuram near Chennai. At every location, chess grandmasters of the state will receive the torch.
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