Today evening, the Chess Olympiad Torch Flame reached city of Joy – Kolkata, West Bengal at the Netaji Subhas Eastern Centre, office of Sports Authority of India, Kolkata. Grand Master Saptarshi Roy Chaudhary handed the torch over to the Governor of West Bengal, Jagdeep Dhankhar, who then passed it on to Grand master Mitrabha Guha to carry the torch forward. The first ever Chess Olympiad torch relay in the almost hundred-year history of Chess Olympiad was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19th June from the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.
Yesterday morning, the Olympiad Torch Flame reached Patna, Bihar at the Gyan Bhavan, where Governor of Bihar, Phagu Chauhan received the torch and handed it over to India’s third Grandmaster Pravin Thipsay from Maharashtra. Once again, the program was replete with Simultaneous displays and interaction with upcoming players.
Viswanathan Anand, the first GM from India was the first torch bearer , accepting it from the PM and then passed it on to GM Dibyendu Barua at the Red Fort on 20th June. Since then the Torch Relay has traversed all of North India, some parts of Central India and is heading eastwards. The Olympiad flame will visit 75 cities before culminating at Mahabalipuram, Chennai just before the start of the Chess Olympiad.
India is hosting the 44th Chess Olympiad from 28th July to 10 th August where a record 187 countries, the highest ever in the history of the Chess Olympiad are participating.
Report – Pratyusha Mukherjee