Back At Home: PM Modi Inaugurates Chess Olympiad

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By: Rajgopal
Updated: 29 July, 2022 1:07 am IST

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted India’s connection with the game of chess as he inaugurated the International Chess Olympiad in Chennai on Thursday.

“In sports, there are no losers. There are winners and there are future winners. I wish all the teams and players gathered here the very best for the 44th Chess Olympiad. I hope you form great memories of India and treasure them in the times to come. India will always welcome you with open arms. All the best! Now, I declare the 44th Chess Olympiad open! May the games begin!” PM Modi said.

Recounting the many firsts and records of the 44th Chess Olympiad, PM Modi said, “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. It has the highest ever number of countries participating. It has the highest ever number of teams participating. It has the highest number of entries in the women’s section. The first ever Torch Relay of the Chess Olympiad started this time. This Chess Olympiad will be in our memories forever.”

This prestigious event has come to India at a time when the country is celebrating its Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

Signifying the cultural importance of chess in Tamil Nadu, PM Modi said that the state has had deep connections with chess for hundreds of years.

“Sport has always been considered divine in our culture. In fact, in Tamil Nadu, you will find the temple of Chaturanga Vallabhanathar. This temple at Thirupoovanur has an interesting story related to chess. Even God played a game of chess with a princess! Naturally, Tamil Nadu has a strong historical connection with chess. This is why it is a chess powerhouse for India,” he said.

Sports is one such thing which unites people and societies. PM Modi lamented that global pandemic Covid-19 had disrupted things but even in these trying times, sports gave a ray of hope.

“Two years ago, the world began to fight the biggest pandemic seen in a century. For a long time, life came to a standstill. In such times, it was various sports tournaments which brought the world together. Each tournament gave the important message – we are stronger when together. We are better when together. I am seeing the same spirit here,” the prime minister said.

On Friday, PM Modi will participate in the convocation ceremony of Anna University in Chennai.

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