- Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared open the FIDE 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai
- Modi said that in sports there are no losers, but winners and future winners
- CM Stalin thanked Modi and the Centre for holding the event
In a glittery event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared open the FIDE 44th Chess Olympiad here on Thursday. Encouraging the players, Modi said that in sports there are no losers, but winners and future winners. "Sports is beautiful because it has inherent power to unite. Sports brings people and societies closer. Sports nurture a spirit of teamwork," he said.
Chief Minister M K Stalin said that the Chess Olympiad has turned the world's attention on Tamil Nadu and this grand event would enhance the state's tourism prospects. The mascot for the event was named 'Thambi,' symbolises brotherhood and that all the people are one fraternity. Stalin thanked Modi and the Centre for holding the event.
The Nehru Indoor Stadium here sparkled with classy lighting, and a sense of excitement was palpable during the inaugural event.
The sprawling arena in downtown Chennai was buzzing with fresh ideas represented in the form of elegant decor with the undercurrent being the nerve-wracking game of chess. The stadium's dais was decked with king-sized brightly coloured chess pieces of king, bishop, rook, queen, knight and the pawns.
Modi said the Chess Olympiad, the most prestigious tournament, is hosted by India, the home of chess at a special time in its history, which marks 75 years of freedom from colonial rule.
The 44th Olympiad has been a tournament of many firsts and records and this is the first time the Chess Olympiad is being held in the place of origin of chess, India, he said. It is coming to Asia for the first time in 3 decades.
In his address during the inaugural at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Modi said it is an honour to have international chess players at such a special time.
"In sports there are no losers, there are winners and there are future winners," he said. "May the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai be an enriching experience for everyone. Best wishes to all the participants."
On his arrival here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accorded a warm welcome with performances by musicians and percussionists all along the route he took by road to reach the venue, the Nehru stadium.
Modi sported a shawl and dhoti with a chessboard design border. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin wore a silk like yellow shirt, dhoti and an 'Angavastra' (shawl). The FIDE 44th Chess Olympaid commences on July 28 and ends on August 10. This is the first time, India is hosting the event.