Updated: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:58 PM IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, July 28th opened FIDE 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai in the presence of Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin, five-times chess champion Viswanathan Anand and several others at a dazzling ceremony. The grand inaugural ceremony of the world's biggest Chess Olympiad is being held at Nehru Indoor Stadium.
“Let the games begin,” said Modi minutes after Anand handed over the Olympiad torch to Modi and Stalin, following which it was handed over to young grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa.
“Chess Olympiad is hosted by India at a special time in its history, which marks 75 years of freedom from colonial rule.”
“In sports, there are no losers, there are winners and there are future winners,” he added.
#WATCH | Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand hands over the #ChessOlympiad torch to PM Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin.— ANI (@ANI) July 28, 2022
The torch was then handed over to young Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa and others at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. pic.twitter.com/lXeDW4wRam
On PM's arrival in the stadium, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin felicitated him. He was accorded a warm welcome with performances by musicians and percussionists all along the route he took by road to reach the venue, the Nehru stadium.
Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi, Chief Minister M K Stalin, Union Ministers Anurag Thakur and L Murugan among others were present during the glittering opening ceremony.
Sand artist Sarvam Patel created magic inside the stadium in downtown Chennai with his skill by interspersing ancient Mamallapuram shore temple, the game of chess and the host nation India, besides that of Modi and Stalin. The FIDE 44th Chess Olympiad begins on July 28 and ends on August 10.
A special dance song "Vanakkam Chennai, Vanakkam Chess", was screened. The lighting displayed multiple colours and the magic of light embossed on the foreground a grand chessboard and the flags of participating countries.
With an orchestra playing pulsating music, teams from dozens of countries including Japan, China, Australia, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Austria, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, and Barbados were welcomed to unceasing rounds of applause in the stadium. 'Jai Ho' was among the Indian instrumental music played while 'Vande Mataram' was rendered.
All the eight forms of Indian classical dance, Kathak, Odissi, Kuchupudi, Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Manipuri, Sattriya and Bharathanatyam were performed. People who gathered for the inaugural also revelled in the musical treat of Chennai-based musician Lydian Nadhaswaram. FIDE anthem was played and a pledge was taken by participants. Top actor Rajinikanth was among the star invitees who were present.
(With Agencies Inputs)