Kevadia (Gujarat) [India], June 30 (ANI): The first-ever Chess Olympiad Torch Relay reached Kevadia on Thursday.
In Kevadia, MP Gitaben Rathva received the torch from Grandmaster Tejas Bakre and handed it over to Grandmaster Ankit Rajpare. The torch was also taken forward to the Statue of Unity.
"1st Ever #ChessOlympiadTorchRelay Update City- Kevadia: June 30 Hon. MP Gitaben Rathva received the torch from GM Tejas Bakre and handed it over to GM Ankit Rajpare at Kevadia. Our GMs also took the Torch forward at #StatueofUnity #India4ChessOlympiad #AmritMahotsav," tweeted SAI Media.
Earlier, the torch had reached Ahmedabad on Thursday.
"1st Ever #ChessOlympiadTorchRelay Update City- AHMEDABAD: June 30 Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Goverment Of Gujarat @sanghaviharsh received Torch from GM Tejas Bakre and handed it over to GM Ankit Rajpare Check out #India4ChessOlympiad #AmritMahotsav," tweeted SAI Media.
Earlier on Wednesday, the torch had travelled to Jaipur.
Other cities that have been covered so far include Leh, Jammu, Srinagar, Dharamshala, Shimla, Chandigarh, Patiala, Amritsar, Panipat, Gurugram, Kurukshetra, Dehradun, Haridwar, Meerut and Kanpur.
The torch relay was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The torch will travel to 75 cities for 40 days before it culminates at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. Over 200 countries are participating in the Chess Olympiad. Chess grandmasters will receive the torch at various identified venues.
This year, for the very first time, the International Chess Body, FIDE, instituted the Chess Olympiad Torch which is part of the Olympic tradition but was never done in the Chess Olympiad. India is the first-ever country to have the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay.
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 over 200 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.
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)