Bhubaneswar: Marking a glorious moment for Chess in India and Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today handed the first ever Relay Torch for Chess Olympiad over to Padmini Rout at a function at Convention Centre in Loka Seva Bhawan.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that it’s a proud moment for India as it is hosting an international sport event like Chess Olympiad on the 75th year of independence. He added that Chess was originated from India and was known as Chaturang.
WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty brought relay torch to Loka Seva Bhawan and handed it over to Chief Patron of AOCA Dr Achyuta Samant. The Chief Minister received the torch from Dr Samant. Both Kiran and Padmini are celebrated international chess players from Odisha. As many as 6 players from Odisha including Padmini Rout will participate in Chess Olympiad to be held in Chennai.
oThe Chief Minister said that Odisha has been producing good results in Chess. Some of our players have done exceedingly well at national and international events. We have also organized the World Junior Chess championship in 2016. We intend to further strengthen the game across the state especially in Schools. This is a game which can be easily be spread as not much infrastructure or equipment is required. We will create competitions at school and college levels regularly and promote the game in a professional manner, he said expressing his vision for chess promotion.
Extending his best wishes to the All India Chess Federation, All Odisha Chess Federation, Government of India and Government of Tamil Nadu for organizing this grand event, the CM said that probably for the first time in India representatives from around 200 countries will participate in a sports event.
The Chief Minister said that India has produced some of the best chess players in the world. This mega event will further promote the game and create future champions, he added.
He said he is happy that the Torch relay will be taken to our heritage sites in Puri and Konark.
He wished good luck to the Indian contingent which is taking part in this Olympiad. He hoped victory for the Indian contingent.
The Olympic Relay Torch was received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at New Delhi on June 19 and he has handed it over to Grand Master Viswanathan Anand. The Relay Torch will be carried to 75 iconic places of India including Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark in Odisha.
Speaking on the occasion, Sports Minister Tushar Kanti Behera said that Odisha has received immense appreciation in the field of sports under the visionary leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. We are building international standard sports infrastructure and hosting international sporting events quite successfully.
Chief Patron of AOCA Dr. Achyut Samant in his welcome address praised the Chief Minister for his phenomenal efforts to build sports infrastructure and promotion of sports. He also appreciated for launching Olympic value education in Odisha.
Joint Secretary of AOCA Ranjan Mohanty offered the vote of thanks. Sports Secretary R. Vineel Krishna was present on the occasion.