Sheikh Saud Bin Abdul Aziz Almualla with Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur and All India Chess Federation members.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Sheikh Saud Bin Abdul Aziz Almualla, President of the Arab Chess Federation and Chairman of the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club, attended the launch of torch relay for the Chess Olympiad, which was held in Mahabalipuram in July 18.
The torch relay ceremony was held at Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday, ahead of the 44th edition of the event.
Sheikh Saud got an invitation to attend the ceremony from the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 44th World Chess Olympiad and the All India Chess Federation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first-ever torch relay for the Chess Olympiad.
FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich handed over the torch to the Prime Minister, who in turn handed it over to Grandmaster and ex-World Champion Viswanathan Anand. This torch will be taken to 75 cities in a span of 40 days before its final culmination at Mahabalipuram near Chennai.
At every location, chess grandmasters from every state will receive the torch.
Leh, Srinagar, Jaipur, Surat, Mumbai, Bhopal, Patna, Kolkata, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thrissur, Port Blair, and Kanyakumari are among the 75 cities.
This year, for the very first time, the International Chess Body, FIDE, has instituted the Chess Olympiad torch. It is part of Olympic tradition, but was never done in the Chess Olympiad.
India will be the first-ever country to have 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.