Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the historic torch relay for the 44th Chess Olympiad on June 19, flagging off the relay at 5 PM from Indira Gandhi Stadium, Delhi. He will also address the gathering on the occasion.
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich will hand over the torch to PM Modi, who in turn will hand it over to Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand.
This torch will then be taken to 75 cities in 40 days before the final culmination at Mahabalipuram near Chennai. At every location, chess Grandmasters of the state will receive the torch.
This year, for the very first time, the International chess body, FIDE, has instituted a torch relay, that is part of Olympics tradition but was never done for Chess Olympiads.
India will be the first-ever country to organise the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay.
Notably, taking the Indian roots of chess to a greater height, this tradition of Torch Relay for the Chess Olympiad will henceforth always begin in India and travel across all continents before reaching the host country.
The 44th Chess Olympiad will be held in Chennai from July 28 to August 10. With 189 countries participating, this will be the largest participation in any Chess Olympiad.