The Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai sparkled with classy lighting and a sense of excitement was palpable during the inaugural event of the 44th Chess Olympiad. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Chennai for the inaugural event.
The sprawling arena in downtown Chennai was buzzing with fresh ideas represented in the form of elegant décor, with the undercurrent being the nerve-wracking game of chess.
Sand artist Sarvam Patel created magic with his skill by interspersing ancient Mamallapuram shore temple, the game of chess and the host nation India besides that of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin.
The FIDE 44th Chess Olympiad commences on July 28 and ends on August 10. The classy lighting displayed multiple colors everywhere and the magic of light embossed on the foreground a grand, big chessboard and the flags of participating countries. The stadium’s dais was decked with king-sized brightly colored chess pieces of king, bishop, rook, queen, knight and pawns.
A special dance song “Vanakkam Chennai, Vanakkam Chess”, was screened. An audio visual on the theme of sand-sculpting captured the game of chess to be played in Tamil Nadu’s historic seaport town of Mamallapuram.
With an orchestra playing pulsating music, teams from dozens of countries, including Japan, China, Australia, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Austria, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, and Barbados were welcomed to unceasing rounds of applause in the stadium. Jai Ho was among the Indian instrumental music played while Vande Mataram was rendered.
All the eight forms of Indian classical dance, Kathak, Odissi, Kuchupudi, Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Manipuri, Sattriya and Bharathanatyam were performed. People who gathered for the inaugural also revelled in the musical treat of Chennai based musician Lydian Nadhaswaram.
FIDE anthem was played and a pledge was taken by participants. Actor Rajinikanth was among the star invitees who were present.
(With inputs from agencies)