Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday flagged off the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad in Chennai. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Chess maestro Viswanathan Anand, and several other prominent people were present in an ostentatious ceremony at the sprawling Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai.
PM Modi, while opening the ceremony, said, “The 44th Chess Olympiad has been a tournament of many firsts and records. This is the first time the Chess Olympiad is being held in the place of origin of chess, India. It is coming to Asia for the first time in 3 decades.”
The celebrated event has the highest ever number of countries taking part and also has the highest number of participants in the women’s section.
Vishwanathan Anand handed over the Olympiad torch to the Prime Minister and then to the Chief Minister of the state, to which Modi claimed “Let the games begin.” Thereafter, the torch was passed over to the young grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa and others.
PM Modi also said that Tamil Nadu has strongly been related to Chess, and therefore it is a chess powerhouse for the country. He further added that Tamil Nadu has produced some of India’s best chess grandmasters.