“Our ancestors invented games like Chaturanga or Chess for analytical and problem-solving brains”:

New Delhi, June 19 (IANS): Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the historic 44th Chess Olympiad torch relay at the Indira Gandhi Stadium here on Sunday.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich handed over the torch to the Prime Minister, who in turn handed it over to Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand. This torch will be taken to 75 cities in 40 days before the final climax at Mahabalipuram near Chennai.

At each location, the state’s chess grandmasters will receive the torch.

Prime Minister Modi also performed the Khelo Chess Ceremonial move followed by Koneru Humpy. Union ministers Anurag Singh Thakur and Nisith Pramanik, chess players and enthusiasts, ambassadors, chess officials were among those present on the occasion.

Dvorkovich thanked the Indian government for taking the initiative to start the new torch relay tradition which will popularize and galvanize the game worldwide.

“FIDE is grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his presence and for honoring us,” he said and recalled the Prime Minister’s speech on the occasion of most players playing chess in one place in 2010 on the importance of chess in the construction of new abilities. and the role of the combination of education and sport in achieving success.

The FIDE President hoped that chess would be part of every school in India and around the world.

“India is today the fastest growing country of chess and you have every reason to be proud of it. We are grateful for your leadership for all the fantastic work you are doing for the benefit of the failures,” he said.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said, “Today the first torch relay for the games of the Chess Olympiad departs from India. For the first time this year, the “India will also host games of the Chess Olympiad. We are proud that a sport, starting from its birthplace and leaving its mark all over the world, has become a passion for many countries.”

“Centuries ago, the torch of this sport went all over the world in the form of India’s Chaturanga. Today, the first Olympic torch in chess also goes out of India. Today, so as India celebrates its 75th anniversary of independence, Amrit Mahotsav, this Chess Olympiad torch will also go to 75 cities across the country,” Prime Minister Modi said.

“FIDE has decided that the torch relay for each game of the Chess Olympiad will start from India itself. This honor is not only the honor of India, but also the honor of this glorious legacy of chess. I congratulate FIDE and all its members for that,” he said.

The Prime Minister dwelt on India’s chess heritage. He said: “Our ancestors invented games like Chaturanga or Chess for analytical and problem-solving brains. Chess, via India, reached many countries of the world and became very popular. Today, chess is used in schools as an educational tool for young people, for children.”

He noted that in recent years, India has been steadily improving their chess performance. This year, India’s contingent at the Chess Olympiad is the largest yet.

Modi expressed hope that India will set a new medal record this year. He talked about many lessons that chess gives us in our lives.

Emphasizing the need for adequate support for everyone, regardless of their place in life, Prime Minister Modi said: “Just like every chess piece has its own unique strength and ability. If you make the right move with a piece and use its power properly, then it becomes the most powerful. This chessboard specialty gives us the great message of life. If given the right support and environment, no goal is impossible, even for the weakest.

Highlighting another lesson of chess, he said, “Another great characteristic of the game of chess is farsightedness. Chess tells us that real success comes from foresight rather than short-term success.”

The Prime Minister pointed out that this lesson informs India’s sports policy and programs such as the Target Olympic Podium Program (TOPS) which have started to show results.

Referring to India’s recent successes at the Tokyo Olympics, Paralympics, Thomas Cup and boxing, the Prime Minister said, “There is no shortage of talent in our country. There is no shortage of courage, dedication and strength among the young people of the country. our young people had to wait for the right platform. Today, under the “Khelo India” campaign, the country is seeking and shaping these talents.”

Sports talents are emerging from remote parts of the country under Khelo India and modern sports facilities are being created in different cities and districts of the country.

He also pointed out that sport has been treated like other academic subjects under the new education policy. He said many new dimensions of sports like physiotherapy, sports science are being brought forward and many sports universities are being opened in the country.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the pressure of expectations on the player and advised him to give his one hundred per cent with zero per cent tension or pressure.

He said the country sees your hard work and dedication. As much as winning is part of the game, preparing to win again is also part of the game.

Referring to the cost of a wrong move in chess, the Prime Minister said that while the game can go down on a single mistake, one can restore the situation using brain power, so staying calm is of the utmost importance .

He suggested that yoga and meditation can greatly help with this. He appealed for yoga to be part of everyday life and for enthusiastic participation in the upcoming International Yoga Day.

This year, for the very first time, the International Chess Body, FIDE, instituted the Olympic Chess Torch which is part of the Olympic tradition, but has never been performed as part of the Chess Olympiad. India will be the first country to host the Olympic Chess Torch Relay. Notably, taking the Indian roots of chess to greater heights, this Olympic Chess Torch Relay tradition will now always start in India and cross all continents before reaching the host country.

The 44th Chess Olympiad will be held in Chennai from July 28 to August 10. The competition, held since 1927, is held for the first time in India and Asia after 30 years. With 189 participating countries, it will be the largest participation in a Chess Olympiad.