Emphasizing that there are no losers in the game, but just winners and future winners, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the 44th edition of Chess Olympiad open on Thursday.
Modi, sporting a shawl and dhoti with a chessboard design border, said the Chess Olympiad, the most prestigious tournament, is hosted by India, the home of chess at a special time in its history. It represents 75 years of freedom from colonial rule. He also certified the best hospitality to players from far and wide, quoting ‘Athidhi Devo Bhava’ slogan which means our guests are like God.
On the significance of hospitality, PM Modi cited Tamil saint poet Tiruvalluvar’s couplet. He said, “Sports are beautiful because they have an inherent power to unite. Sports bring people and societies closer. Sports nurture a spirit of teamwork.” The Chess Olympiad 2022 is being held at the Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort and Convention Centre in Mahabalipuram.
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.
“It was highly unfortunate that Pakistan has politicised the prestigious international event”, said the External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. This edition of games will see a record 188 teams in the Open section and 162 in the women’s category. The Olympiad will happen till August 10.