Kanpur: Kanpurites gave a warm welcome to the Chess Olympiad torch relay team which reached the city in the afternoon. The torch relay, led by grandmaster Tejas Wakhare and Vantika Agrawal reached the Green Park around 3 pm where scores of sportspersons and officials welcomed them.
The two grandmasters handed over the torch to chief guest Satish Mahana, speaker of UP Legislative Assembly and people’s representatives. The chief guest, in his short address, stated that those were the proud moments for India. The Chess Olympiad started around 100 years ago and India is hosting it for the first time from July 28 to August 10 at Chennai.
It was also a proud moment for UP that the Olympiad torch relay will pass from nine districts of the state in the first phase of the journey from Delhi to Chennai, Mahana said. “Chess is a brain game and it needs a lot of discipline. Youths should play chess and play with superior players to learn the game”, he added.
President, All India Chess Federation Sanjay Kapoor, said chess was introduced to the world by India and at that time it was known as “chaturanga”. In the 100-year-old history of Chess Olympiad, the chess Olympiad torch relay for the first time had been introduced in India.
“Now it is a custom for the Chess Olympiad that before every Olympiad, a torch is lit in India and it reaches the host country. In the 44th Chess Olympiad, players of 187 countries would display their brawn of the brain under one roof”, Kapoor said.
Later, the torch relay left for Lucknow.
The two grandmasters Tejas Wakhare and Vantika Agrawal met with two dozen young chess brains of the city and played a couple of moves with each of them.
Besides Satish Mahana, Satyadev Pachauri and Devendra Singh Bhole (both MPs), mayor Pramila Pandey, divisional commissioner Raj Shekhar, district magistrate Vishakh G Aiyar were present on the occasion. Students of several schools were also present to witness the programme.
The 24 chess kids who got chance to play some moves against the grandmasters are Tanya Verma, Anushka Gupta, Ridhima Shukla, Asmi Umrao, Avanya Gupta, Aastha Singh, Chinmay Pal, Jaitra Sinha, Shreyansh Sharma, Manikya Atmani, Sresth Yadav, Aryan Kushwaha, Sakhi Verma, Sanvi Pandey, Ananya Srivastava, Sumukhi Shukla, Garima Singh Tomar, Shristi Kushwaha Daivik Chaurasia et.