Imphal: The historic 44th Chess Olympiad torch relay reached Manipur on Sunday with grandmaster Saptashi Roy as the torch bearer. Manipur Chess Development Association extended a warm reception to the torch rally in a reception held at Imphal’s Kangla Fort this evening.
Manipur MLA, S Premchandra received the torch from grandmaster Saptashi Roy formally and handed it over again for onward journey.
The torch rally will cover 75 cities across the country and Imphal is the 32nd destination. The next destination will be Kohima of Nagaland.
Grandmaster Saptashi Roy played chess with young chess players of the state including students of various schools during the event.
Playing with the grand master, young budding chess players of the state got a new taste of the game, said MLA S Prechandra in his speech as chief guest of the reception function. “Playing with the grandmaster will surely boost the morale of the young chess players of the state,” he said. “Despite its small size, Manipur is not lacking behind in any field of sports. They actively participated in almost every discipline and had brought about laurels to the nation in many disciplines”, the MLA also said. “Being India’s sports powerhouse, full of talented sportspersons, there was no dearth of chess players too in the state,” he added. They will one day shine and bring laurels for the state in the national arena as well for the country in the international arena, the MLA further said.
The MLA also extended his heartfelt thanks to the parents and guardians of the young budding players who attended the event.
President of the Manipur Chess Development Association, Soibam Mangijao, in his presidential speech of the function, informed that Manipur is the 32nd state of the country the torch rally reached. From here, the torch rally will proceed to Nagaland for its onward rally to other states of the country. The torch rally will cover 75 iconic places of the country, he added.
It can be mentioned here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the historic torch relay for the 44th Chess Olympiad on June 19 at Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich handed over the torch to the Prime Minister, who in turn handed it over to Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand. This torch will be taken to 75 cities in a span of 40 days before the final culmination at Mahabalipuram near Chennai.