Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: To mark the ‘World Chess Day’ Wednesday the official stamp of the 44th Chess Olympiad was unveiled at a function here this afternoon.
The 44th Chess Olympiad is scheduled to be held at Mamallapuram, Chennai from July 28 to August 10. India is hosting the spectacular sports extravaganza for the very first time and 25 Indians will be seen in action at the Olympiad.
Union Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Jesingbhai Chauhan and Minister of Youth Welfare and Sports Department, Tamil Nadu Siva V Meyyanathan were the chief guests for the occasion.
Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta, team member of the Chess Olympiad along with President of All India Chess Federation (AICF) and Chess Olympiad Organising Committee, Sanjay Kapoor and Olympiad Director and AICF Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan were also present at the function
“It is an absolute honour that we are organising this event in India. Chess is our very own sport. I would also like to thank our respected Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi Ji for his vision that has made it possible to change and shape sports in this new India,” said Mr , Devusinh Jesingbhai Chauhan.
“The 44th Chess Olympiad stamp release is very important to this event. It is a prestigious event and would like to thank everyone present here to be part of the stamp unveiling,” opined Siva V Meyyanathan,
The Olympiad has attracted a huge response with 187 countries registering–the highest-ever in close to hundred years of Olympiad history. The world chess governing body, FIDE also initiated a Torch Run for the first time, starting with India.
The hosts will be represented by three teams in the open section and two in the women’s section.
“This is an historic occasion as the Department of Posts has issued a commemorative Postage stamp on 44th Chess Olympiad just days before the Olympiad commences,” Organising Committee President Sanjay Kapoor said on the occasion.
Olympiad Director and AICF Secretary Chauhan added: “This seems like a recognition for the hard work and efforts put in by everyone associated with the Olympiad to make it a big success.”
GM Abhijeet Gupta said the Chess Olympiad will boost the popularity of the game in India. “Truly a proud moment as an Indian citizen and a chess player. This will be like a motivational booster to give our best for the country and bring home a medal,” he said.