Odisha government to promote chess in schools and colleges
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday said his government would promote chess at schools and colleges.
Naveen said this while handing the Chess Olympiad relay torch to Padmini Rout, celebrated international player, at an event in Loka Seva Bhavan on Friday. The torch will be taken to heritage sites in Puri and Konark.
Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Kiran Manisha Mohanty brought the relay torch to Loka Seva Bhavan and handed it over to Chief Patron of All Odisha Chess Association (AOCA) Achyuta Samant. The chief minister received the torch from Samant. Both Kiran and Padmini are celebrated international chess players from Odisha.
As many as six players from the state will participate in the Olympiad to be held in Chennai. India will host the Chess Olympiad for the first time from July 28 to August 10.Speaking on the occasion, Naveen said that it’s a proud moment for India as it is hosting an international sport event like the Chess Olympiad on the 75th year of independence.
“Some of our players have done exceedingly well at national and international events. We have also organised the World Junior Chess championship in 2016. We intend to further strengthen the game across the state, especially in schools. This is a game that can easily be spread as not much infrastructure or equipment is required. We will create competitions at school and college levels regularly and promote the game in a professional manner,” Naveen said, expressing his vision for chess promotion.
Congratulating the organisers of the Olympiad, the chief minister said that probably for the first time in India representatives from around 200 countries would participate in a sports event.
“The mega event would further promote the game and create future champions,” Naveen said.
The relay torch was received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on June 19, and he handed it to Grand Master Viswanathan Anand. The relay torch will be carried to 75 iconic places of India, including Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark in Odisha.
Odisha sports minister Tushar Kanti Behera said: “We are building international standard sports infrastructure and hosting international sporting events quite successfully.