Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath welcomed the first-ever torch relay for the Chess Olympiad, which is to be held in Tamil Nadu's Mahabalipuram from July 28 to August 10, in front of the Vidhan Bhavan here on Sunday.
Adityanath made a ceremonial move on a chessboard opposite Grand Master Vishwanathan Anand, the Uttar Pradesh government said in a statement here.
The chief minister said International Chess Federation FIDE's decision to commence the torch relay from India was a matter of pride for the country.
आदरणीय प्रधानमंत्री श्री @narendramodi जी ने गांव व समाज से लेकर राष्ट्रीय और अंतरराष्ट्रीय स्तर तक @kheloindia के माध्यम से खेल प्रतियोगिताओं को बढ़ाने के लिए जो प्रेरणा प्रदान की है, उत्तर प्रदेश सरकार निरंतर उन सभी कार्यक्रमों को आगे बढ़ा रही है। pic.twitter.com/TKo5M42ugT— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) June 26, 2022
"Chess has its origin in India and has a 5,000-year-old tradition. We are getting an opportunity to be a part of it. This is not only an honour for India but also for the glorious legacy of chess in the country," he said.
The torch will travel to Ayodhya, Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Prayagraj on June 27 and then to Jhansi on July 5, the statement said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on June 19 in Delhi flagged off the torch relay for the Chess Olympiad ahead of the 44th edition of the event.
44वें Chess Olympiad games के लिए पहली Torch Relay का आज लखनऊ में प्रदेश वासियों की ओर से भव्य स्वागत किया गया।— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) June 26, 2022
आदरणीय प्रधानमंत्री जी के नेतृत्व में भारत इस प्रतिष्ठित अंतरराष्ट्रीय प्रतियोगिता की पहली बार मेजबानी कर रहा है।
सभी को हार्दिक बधाई और ढेरों शुभकामनाएं! pic.twitter.com/VP9ongekCV
For the very first time, FIDE has instituted the torch relay, which is part of the Olympic tradition but was never practiced in the Chess Olympiad. The chess federation's president Arkady Dvorkovich had handed over the torch to Modi, who passed it to the legendary Viswanathan Anand.
The torch will be taken to 75 cities in a span of 40 days before arriving in Mahabalipuram near Chennai. At every location, chess grandmasters of the state will receive the torch.
(with inputs from PTI)