Yogi Adityanath plays chess with Viswanathan Anand as Olympiad Torch reaches Kanpur from UP

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As the torch of the Chess Olympiad reached Kanpur on Sunday, Prime Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath was spotted playing chess with five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand. As the two played the game, several photographers gathered to click images. Anand, who was supposed to be taking part in this year’s Olympiad, decided against it and will now coach the players instead.

Torch of the Chess Olympiad reaches Kanpur

Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana accepted the torch from Grandmaster and member of Team India at the 44th Chess Olympiad in Vantika and presented it to Grandmaster Tejas Bakre at Green Park Stadium, Kanpur. After that, the torch travels to Lucknow. Other cities covered so far are Leh, Jammu, Srinagar, Dharamshala, Shimla, Chandigarh, Patiala, Amritsar, Panipat, Gurugram, Kurukshetra, Dehradun, Haridwar and Meerut.

The Olympic-style torch relay was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last Sunday. The torch will travel through 75 cities in 40 days before reaching Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu where the 44th Chess Olympiad will be held. A total of 189 countries participate in the Chess Olympiad and several grandmasters have received the torch at various designated venues.

This year, for the first time ever, the International Chess Federation FIDE introduced the Chess Olympiad Torch, a tradition that was performed at the Olympic Games but never performed at the Chess Olympiad. India will be the very first country to host the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay as this is where the ancient game originated.

China renounces the 44th Chess Olympiad

AICF Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan confirmed that China will not participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad in India. He told PTI: “Yes… the Chinese men’s and women’s (open) teams will not participate in the Chennai Olympics. The reasons for this are not clear.”

With the Chinese not participating in the Olympics, the Indian contingent will receive a major boost. China’s Open team won the gold medal at the Chess Olympiad held in Batumi in 2018 and Tromso in 2014, and would therefore also have been one of the favorites at the event in India. Meanwhile, the Chinese women’s team won gold at the previous two Olympiads in Baku and Batumi respectively.

(Inputs from ANI)

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