Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared open the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai on Thursday in the presence of state CM MK Stalin and Chess Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand. The five-time world chess champion, Anand on Thursday handed over the Olympiad torch to PM Modi and CM Stalin during the inaugural ceremony. The torch was then further handed over to Indian Chess players.
In what is India’s first time as the host of the world’s biggest chess tournament more than 2000 chess players from over 180 nations will participate. The Olympiad is scheduled to take place from July 28 to August 10 at Poonjeri village in Mamallapuram. The event was flagged off at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in the presence of big names like Indian Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.
PM Narendra Modi wished the players the best for the tournament as he wrote “May the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai be an enriching experience for everyone. Best wishes to all the participants.”
May the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai be an enriching experience for everyone. Best wishes to all the participants. https://t.co/u2DZzotHGF
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 28, 2022
In view of PM Modi’s visit, the Greater Chennai Police have put in place a five-tier security arrangement and have deployed 22,000 personnel. Flying of drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles has been banned in the city limits on July 28 and 29 under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Also, the Tamil Nadu Government announced a holiday for schools, colleges, and other non-essential government offices in four districts for Thursday, July 28, in view of the opening day of the Olympiad. The Chennai traffic police have announced diversions in parts of the city on Wednesday and Thursday.
While the Prime Minister declared the mega event open, state CM Stalin inaugurated an exquisite sculpture, carved out by artisans of the State-owned Poompuhar (Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation) at the entrance to Mamallapuram.
PM hails Tamil Nadu for producing so many Chess GM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Tamil Nadu for producing many Chess masters from the country during his speech at the opening ceremony. “There are many temples in Tamil Nadu with beautiful sculptures that represent different sports. Tamil Nadu has a strong historical connection with Chess. The state has produced many Chess masters. It’s home to a vibrant culture and the oldest language ‘Tamil’,” said PM in his inaugural speech.
“Today sports is seen as a great profession of choice, due to the perfect mix of the energy of youth and enabling environment by the government. Talented youngsters, from small towns are brining glory to the nation,” he added.