Friday, August 19, 2022

Modi declares open FIDE 44th Chess Olympiad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared open the FIDE 44th Chess Olympiad here on Thursday, and encouraging the players, said that in sports there are no losers, but winners and future winners.
“Sports is beautiful because it has inherent power to unite. Sports brings people and societies closer. Sports nurture a spirit of teamwork,” he said. The Chess Olympiad, the most prestigious tournament, is hosted by India, the home of chess at a special time in its history, which marks 75 years of freedom from colonial rule, he said.
The 44th Olympiad has been a tournament of many firsts and records and this is the first time the Chess Olympiad is being held in the place of origin of chess, India, he said. It is coming to Asia for the first time in 3 decades.
In his address during the inaugural at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Modi said it is an honour to have international chess players at such a special time.
“In sports there are no losers, there are winners and there are future winners,” he said. “May the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai be an enriching experience for everyone. Best wishes to all the participants.”
The Prime Minister said there has never been a better time for sports in India than the present. “India had its best-ever performances in the Olympics, Paralympics and Deaflympics. We achieved glory even in sports where we had not won earlier”, he said.
India’s sporting culture is becoming stronger due to the perfect mix of the energy of youth and the enabling environment, he said.
The PM, as in the events held in Tamil Nadu in the past began his speech by uttering the Tamil word for greetings, ‘Vanakkam.’
He said that in a short period of time, the organisers have made outstanding arrangements. The Tamil Nadu government along with the Centre’s full support is hosting the event.
Assuring the best hospitality to players from far and wide, Modi quoted the ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’ slogan which means ‘our guests are like God.’
Also, the Prime Minister cited Tamil saint poet Tiruvalluvar’s couplet on the significance of hospitality. He assured the players that they would get all help to bring their talent on their boards.
The Prime Minister said that the event has the highest ever number of countries participating, highest ever number of teams and highest number of entries in the women’s section. “Even God played a game of chess with a princess,” he said.
The reference was to a Lord Shiva temple in Tiruvarur district which has a connect to chess. The presiding deity of the temple is “Sathuranga (name for chess in Tamil) Vallabhanathar”.
The Prime Minister said Tamil Nadu hence has a strong historical connection with chess and it is a chess powerhouse for India. “It has produced many of India’s chess grandmasters. It is home to the finest minds, vibrant culture and the oldest language in the world, Tamil.”
Tamil Nadu temples have sculptures representing different sports and thus sports is always considered divine in Indian culture, he said.
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. The sporting event will be held in the nearby Mamallapuram, about 50 km from here.
The Olympiad is being held in India for the first time ever, after being moved out of Russia following its invasion of Ukraine and has attracted a record number of entries in the Open (188) and women’s (162) sections.

SourcePTI

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