Presence of Chess Olympiad Torch Relay in Chhattisgarh will act as inspiration for the budding players here; Chess will be promoted in schools:Bhupesh Baghel

Raipur (|The first ever torch relay for the 44th Chess Olympiad was given a rousing welcome upon its arrival at Raipur city in Chhattisgarh on Saturday. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Sports and Youth Welfare Minister Umesh Patel, several sports associations, sportspersons, school children and public representatives welcomed the torch. Chess Grandmaster and Arjuna Awardee Mr. Praveen Thipsay carried the torch and formally handed it over to Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel at a function held at Pt. Deendayal Auditorium here. They also played a game of Chess on the stage. Mr. Baghel handed over this torch to the state’s chess player, Woman FIDE Master, Kiran Agarwal. Ms. Agarwal along with State Chess Association General Secretary Vinod Rathi will carry this torch to Hyderabad. The 44th Chess Olympiad is being organized in India for the first time as a part of 75th Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. This torch relay will pass through 75 cities of the country with Raipur being the 61st stop. MLA and Chhattisgarh Housing Board President Kuldeep Juneja, Mayor Aijaz Dhebar and Chhattisgarh Olympic Association General Secretary Gurcharan Singh Hora also attended the welcome event.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said “It is a matter of great pride that for the very first time, International Chess Federation (FIDE) has instituted Chess Olympiad torch relay on the lines of Olympic-style tradition. In future Chess Olympiad may be organized in any country; but the torch relay will begin from India. It is a proud moment for the country to host Chess Olympiad. I especially congratulate the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr. Stalin, for providing a guarantee of Rs.75 crore and world-class infrastructure on behalf of his state to host this proud event. Over 2000 players from 188 countries will participate in the Chess Olympiad to be held in Tamil Nadu’s Mahabalipuram.”