Chennai: Announcing the start of the 44th edition of the Chess Olympiad on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there are no losers in the game, only winners and future winners.
PM Modi sporting a shawl and dhoti with a border of chessboard design said that the Chess Olympiad, the most prestigious tournament, is organized by India, which is the home of chess at a particular time in its history.
Starting his speech with a “Vanakkam (a Tamil word for greetings)” in Chennai, the Prime Minister assured the best hospitality to players from far and wide, quoting ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’ slogan, which means ‘our guests are like God.’ Also, the Prime Minister cited Tamil saint-poet Tiruvalluvar’s couplet on the significance of hospitality.
“Sports are beautiful because it has the inherent power to unite. Sports bring people and societies closer. Sports nurture a spirit of teamwork,” he said.
The Chess Olympiad 2022 is held at the Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort and Convention Centre in Mahabalipuram.
The Olympiad was held in India for the first time after being moved out of Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. It has attracted many entries in the Open (188) and women’s (162) sections.
Earlier today, Pakistan withdrew from the prestigious event, citing the torch relay of the event passing through Jammu and Kashmir. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said it was “miserable” that Pakistan has “politicised” the prestigious international event.
This edition of games will witness a record of 188 teams in the Open section and 162 in the women’s category. The Olympiad will run till August 10.