Gaya (Bihar) [India], July 6 (ANI): The first-ever Chess Olympiad Torch Relay reached Gaya in Bihar on Wednesday.
In Gaya, MP Vijay Kumar received the torch at Mahabodhi Temple Complex. Grandmaster Pravin Thipsay took the torch forward in presence of eminent dignitaries.
"1st Ever ChessOlympiadTorchRelay Update City- GAYA: July 6 Vijay Kumar, MP received the torch at Mahabodhi Temple Complex. Veteran GM Pravin Thipsay takes the Torch forward in Gaya in presence of eminent dignitaries Take a look India4ChessOlympiad AmritMahotsav," tweeted SAI Media.
Earlier on Wednesday, the torch travelled to Rajgir and Patna in Bihar.
"1st Ever ChessOlympiadTorchRelay Update City- RAJGIR: July 6 Rural Development Minister, Government of Bihar @Shrawon_Nalanda received the torch at Rajgir. GM Pravin Thipsay takes the Torch forward in Rajgir in presence of eminent dignitaries Take a look," tweeted SAI Media.
"1st Ever ChessOlympiadTorchRelay Update City- PATNA: July 6 Governor of Bihar Phagu Chauhan received the torch at Gyan Bhawan. Veteran GM Pravin Thipsay takes the Torch forward in Patna in presence of eminent dignitaries Take a look India4ChessOlympiad," added SAI Media in another tweet.
Other cities that have been covered so far include Leh, Jammu, Srinagar, Dharamshala, Shimla, Chandigarh, Patiala, Amritsar, Panipat, Gurugram, Kurukshetra, Dehradun, Haridwar, Meerut, Kanpur, Kevadia, Ahmedabad, Dandi, Surat, Jaipur, Daman, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Panaji, Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior and Jhansi.
The torch relay was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The torch will travel to 75 cities for 40 days before it culminates at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. Over 200 countries are participating in the Chess Olympiad. Chess grandmasters will receive the torch at various identified venues.
This year, for the very first time, the International Chess Body, FIDE, instituted the Chess Olympiad Torch which is part of the Olympic tradition but was never done in the Chess Olympiad. India is the first-ever country to have the Chess Olympiad Torch Relay.
The 44th edition of the world's biggest chess event will be held in Mahabalipuram near Chennai from July 28 to August 10. (ANI)