Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that Tamil Nadu has strong historical connection with the ancient game of chess.
Delivering his address in an eyecatching inaugural event, Modi said “Chathuranga Vallabanathar Temple in Tiruvarur shows that even Gods played chess with their queens. This shows that Tamil Nadu has a strong historical connection with the case and hence it is the chess powerhouse of India.”
Modi appreciated the DMK-led State government for arranging the event at a short span and recalled the highlights of the 44th Chess Olympiad for which the State had spent a splendid Rs 102 crore assuring the world class event the best arrangements with a digital edge.
“This Olympiad has the highest number of players participating, the highest number of teams participating, the highest participation of women players when compared to other Olympiads. This is the first ever Olympiad where a torch relay was conducted. From now, the torch relay for all future Chess Olympiads will commence from India. The torch for the Olympiad travelled in 75 cities for 27,000 kilometres across the country,” said Modi.
Chief Minister MK Stalin also said that Tamil Nadu has the highest number of grandmasters in the country. “Among the 73 grandmasters in the country, Tamil Nadu has 26 grandmasters which comes to around 36 per cent of the total grandmasters in the country. For this reason, Tamil Nadu is rightly called the Chess capital of India,” said Stalin, who also added that references of Chess are found even in artifacts found in Keezhadi archaeological site.
A flag march of all the 180 countries was held in which two representatives from each country carried their flags and marched. However, only the Indian contingent was full with all the players participating in the march.