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 spectacular inaugural ceremony was studded with cultural extravaganza show casing the classical dances of India, pictorial representation of Tamil culture and history, mind blowing musical show by the prodigy Lydian Nadhaswaram, ‘enioyi enjami’ live show by singer Dhee and team among others. 186 countries participated in the march past. The chess Olympiad will be happening at the UNESCO world heritage site Mahabalipuram between July 28 and August 10. Around 2000 players are participating from 186 countries.
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.