Leh, June 20: The Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, RK Mathur, received the torch from Grand Master (GM) Dibyendu Barua during the 1st ever Torch Relay for Chess Olympiad- a biennial chess tournament organised by FIDE, at Leh Palace today. India will host the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai from July 28th to August 10th.
The torch, launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi at New Delhi on June 19, reached Leh today and shall be taken from Leh Palace till Shanti Stupa via Leh Main Market and Sankar.
Terming the occasion as historic for Ladakh and also the country, LG Mathur stated that it is an honour for the country to host the 44th Chess Olympiad in which chess players from 189 countries will take part. He said that the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay is a tribute to India for inventing the game of ‘chaturanga’ which later took the form of chess.
Praising GM Dibyendu Barua for being the second Grand Master after Vishwanathan Anand to receive the title, LG Mathur stated that the players from Ladakh are privileged to get the opportunity to play rapid chess matches with GM Barua. He said Ladakh is proud to be the second place after Delhi to receive the torch.
Stating that players from Ladakh are doing well in outdoor games, LG Mathur also encouraged them to take up chess and make Ladakh proud. He also wished luck to the Indian team for the Chess Olympiad.
GM Barua briefed about the Chess Olympiad to be held in India for the first time and thanked FIDE for initiating the Torch Relay.
Secretary, Youth Services and Sports, Ravinder Kumar, shared the efforts made to identify talented chess players from Ladakh to play demo matches with GM Barua and also to motivate the players to take up the sport.
GM Barua played rapid chess matches with players from Ladakh.
Advisor Umang Narula; Secretary YSS, Ravinder Kumar; Deputy Commissioner Leh, Shrikant Balasaheb Suse; Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Leh, PD Nitya; Councillor, Lower Leh, Tsering Namgial; Councillor. Khaltse, Lobzang Sherap; Regional Director (North), Sports Authority of India, RK Matoo; President, Municipal Committee Leh, Dr Ishey Namgial; Deputy Director, Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYK), Tajammul Ara; District Youth Services and Sports Officer, Tsering Tashi, volunteers from NYK and other district officials were present during the event.