The first ever Chess Olympiad torch relay will be welcomed in Ponda on July 3, 2022. Once the tradition of the Olympics, it is now incorporated in the Chess Olympiad for the first time. International chess body, FIDE, has given this opportunity to India, the country where chess was born.
On June 19, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the torch relay ahead of the 44th Chess Olympiad, from the Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi. The torch will be taken to 75 cities in India in a span of 40 days. Mumbai, Srinagar, Surat, Kanyakumari, Jaipur, Gangtok, Goa and Port Blair are among the 75 cities.
The reception ceremony of the torch will be held at Revolutionary Ground (Kranti Maidan) in Ponda. On July 3, 2022, the torch is expected to arrive at 7:30 am from Nagpur, Maharashtra. Chess grandmasters of Goa will receive the torch, and then it will be taken to the Rajiv Gandhi Kala Mandir through a walkathon rally.
“A participation letter regarding the torch event has been delivered to the government and grant schools, and high schools in Goa,” said the Director for Sports & Youth Affairs, Ajay Gaude. The Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs will host the commemoration event.
At the torch launching ceremony that was held in New Delhi, Goa's Chess Grandmaster, Bhakti Kulkarni, shared the stage with India's five-time chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and several other Indian Chess contingents. FIDE President, Arkady Dvorkovich, and members of chess federations from various countries were also present on the occasion.
India is hosting the prestigious Chess Olympiad for the first time. The tournament will be held in Mahabalipuram, Chennai, from July 28, 2022, to August 10, 2022. Being the host, India is all set to field 20 players at the Olympiad. India is entitled to field 2 teams each in the Open and Women’s category. Over 2,000 participants will be represented at the event from 188 countries.