The first-ever Olympic Chess Torch Relay reached Maharashtra today and passed through major venues in Nagpur and Pune. The torch will reach Mumbai at 6:30 p.m. from where it will depart from Maharashtra to Goa tomorrow.
As India celebrates its 75th anniversary of independence, the Chess Olympiad torch is being carried to 75 cities across the country before reaching Chennai, the host city of the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad from July 28 to August 10, 2022.
Olympic Chess Torch Relay enters Maharashtra at Zero Mile, Nagpur
The Torch Relay reached the famous Zero Mile of Nagpur, the geographical center of India, from Daman at 6 am. Grand Masters Raunak Sadhwani, Divya Deshmukh and Sankalp Gupta received the Torch. NCC Cadets from Maharashtra 20th Battalion, Nehru Yuva Kendra and District Sports Officers and other sports enthusiasts warmly welcomed the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay.
Later, the Grand Masters moved the torch forward in an open jeep to various locations. The rally passed through the main city square of Nagpur passing Sanvidhan Chowk, All India Radio, Maharaj Bagh, Law College, Ravi Nagar Chowk, Wadi T Point, Hingana Link Road or GH Raisoni Institute of Engineering and Technology, Shraddha Park , near MIDC police. Station, Chhatrapati Square and Hingana Wadi Link Road. Later, the torch was taken to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Nagpur at around 8 am to continue its journey.
The Olympic Chess Torch Relay has reached Pune
Grandmasters Isha Karwade and Abhijit Kunte, representatives of Maharashtra Chess Association, Sports Department officials received the torch at Pune airport.
The torch was carried by the Grand Masters to Amanora Township in Hadapsar around noon, where it was greeted with a grand reception. State Sports Commissioner Om Prakash Bakoria, Pune Metropolitan Area Development Authority Commissioner Dr. Suhas Divase, Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar and Chess Association Board Members from Maharashtra were also present on the occasion.
After the grand reception, the flame was taken on a road trip to significant locations in the city, including the historically significant Shaniwarwada, before beginning its road trip to Mumbai.
Torch of the Chess Olympiad at the famous Shaniwar Wada in Pune
The torch is expected to reach Mumbai at 6:30 p.m. where it will be received by Grandmaster Pravin Thipsay. Grandmasters Abhijit Kunte and Soumya Swaminathan will also be present. A large reception for the Torch was organized at the Wankhede Club around 7 p.m.
About the Chess Olympic Torch Relay
India was the first country to launch the Olympic Chess Torch Relay in keeping with Olympic tradition. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the historic torch relay at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi on 19e June 2022 and handed it over to Grand Master Vishwanathan Anand
Since its launch, the torch has traveled to iconic locations including the Red Fort in Delhi, Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, the Attari border in Amritsar, the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow and Dandi in Gujarat , among others.
Host India will field 20 players at the Olympiad to be held in Mahabalipuram, near Chennai. With 188 countries entered in the Olympiad, India is set to witness a huge gathering of nations for a sporting event for the first time on Indian soil.
Chess as we know it today has its origins in the Indian game of Chaturanga, dating back to the 6th century CE. The game spread throughout Asia and Europe over the centuries to come, and eventually evolved into what we call chess around the 16th century.