SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha handed over the Chess Olympiad Torch to Chess Grandmaster Pravin Thipsay today at SKICC. The first ever Chess Olympiad torch which was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 19th June from Indira Gandhi Stadium in Delhi will travel to 75 cities in 40 days before it culminates at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu for the 44th Chess Olympiad.
Speaking on the occasion the Lt Governor said, it is a moment of great pride for everyone in J&K to host the first-ever Chess Olympiad Torch. In its journey from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, this torch will light the way and bring people together to promote values of good sportsmanship, teamwork, peace, harmony and brotherhood, he further added.
The Lt Governor observed that J&K has a very strong sporting culture and such events will motivate aspiring young players to take up competitive Chess. Today, chess competitions are being organized in almost every district. Six youths from UT are being sent to Chennai to watch the 44th Chess Olympiad and take guidance from the legendary Grandmasters, he said.
The game of Chess advances creative thinking, discipline, enhances skills, and analytical ability of the players. UT administration is making every effort to popularize Chess amongst the youth, the Lt Governor said. J&K UT has given many talented chess players to the country including Meenal Gupta, Aarushi Kotwal and Soham Kamotra. I am confident that more budding chess players will bring laurels to the country and the UT in upcoming championships, the Lt Governor added.
The Lt Governor also asked the Chess Association and Jammu & Kashmir Sports Council to make every effort to make the upcoming ‘Kashmir Open International FIDE Rating Chess Tournament’ commencing in Srinagar from July 2, a grand success. The Lt Governor along with Sh Praveen Thipsay, Chess Grandmaster and Arjuna Awardee, also played some initial moves on the chess board to mark the occasion.
Sh. Atul Kumar Gupta, President Jammu and Kashmir Chess Association, in his welcome address expressed gratitude to the Lt Governor led UT Government for promoting sports in J&K. Sh Junaid Azim Mattu, Mayor SMC; Sh Aftab Malik, DDC Chairman Srinagar; Sh Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary Youth Services and Sports; Sh. Athar Aamir Khan, Commissioner SMC; Sh. Mohd Aijaz, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar; Ms. Nuzhat Gul, Secretary, J&K Sports Council, besides senior officers of police and civil administration, prominent sports personalities, budding sportspersons in large numbers were present on the occasion.