New Delhi [India], June 18 (ANI): The All India Chess Federation President, Sanjay Kapoor, on Friday said that the future of chess is bright in India as the country will be holding the 44th Chess Olympiad tournament for the first time at home.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to launch the first-ever Chess Olympiad Torch Relay for the 44th edition of the event on Sunday at the Indira Gandhi International Stadium in New Delhi.
The inaugural edition of the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay will visit 75 cities across the country as the All India Chess Federation (AICF) revealed the route map on Friday.
This is a proud moment for us. The future of chess is bright in India, we have 74 grandmasters & in the coming 2 years, it'll cross 100. India stands at number 4 in the world tally, we have to bring it to the first position," said Sanjay Kapoor, President, All India Chess Federation.
Starting from the national capital, the historic Olympiad Torch Relay will travel across the country before reaching its destination--Mahabalipuram on July 27. Leh, Srinagar, Jaipur, Surat, Mumbai, Bhopal, Patna, Kolkata, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thrissur, Port Blair and Kanyakumari will be among the 75 cities.
"I am very delighted that we could take Olympiad home. We are thankful to the Karnataka state government that they help us in every manner and we won the bid," Kapoor told ANI.
"India has potential and we have lots of youngsters who can do better at chess. We have good players and our chances are very bright that we will win a medal in this Olympiad. India is currently at number 4 in ranking but we need to take India at number one," he added.
The 44th edition of the world's biggest chess event will be held in Mahabalipuram near Chennai from July 28 to August 10.
In nearly 100 years of the history of the Chess Olympiad, it's the first time that India will be hosting this prestigious event. With 188 countries registered for the upcoming Olympiad, Indian sporting history is also set to witness a huge congregation of countries on Indian soil for the first time at an event. And celebrating this, AICF has unveiled a social media campaign 'Namaste World', welcoming the chess community from around the world for this event.
AICF had earlier announced two Indian teams each in the open and women's sections as the 44th Chess Olympiad has attracted 343 teams in both sections. (ANI)