Chess Olympiad Torch is welcomed in style in Chandigarh.

The first Chess Olympiad Torch Relay reaches Chandigarh, starting from Leh . The torch will run through 75 cities for 40 days before reaching Mahabalipuram, where it will be held from July 28 to August 10 .

CHANDIGARH: On Thursday, the first-ever Chess Olympiad Torch Relay reached Chandigarh, starting from Leh and passing through the mighty Himalayas with stops at Srinagar, Jammu, Dharamsala, and Shimla.Banwari Lal Purohit, the Punjab governor and UT Administrator, was presented with the torch by Grandmaster Deep Sengupta at Rock Garden here.The torch was carried to the Sukhna Lake and Rose Garden from Rock Garden before making its way to Panjab University and Sector 42 lake.It was then taken to Mohali before heading to Patiala and finally ending the tour of Punjab at Amritsar's Attari Border.

On the occasion, Chandigarh mayor Sarabjit Kaur Dhillon and UT Sports Director Tejdeep Singh Saini, DC Vinay Pratap, UT Cricket Association president Sanjay Tandon, SSP Kuldeep Chahal, and Prof Anil Raina of Chandigarh Chess Association were present.According to Tandon, this torch relay would raise the profile of the sport among the population and encourage the youth to participate and play this sport.Hundreds of school children were present at the historic gathering, in which Grandmaster Sengupta also performed with a handful of students to commemorate the occasion.On June 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the relay, taking the initiative of a new tradition from Delhi.

The torch will run through 75 cities for 40 days before reaching Mahabalipuram, where it will be held from July 28 to August 10.The torch will be handed to chess grandmasters at various locations.For the relay from Leh, Grand Master Dibyendu Barua had brought the torch from Delhi and handed it over to LG RK Mathur.For the first time this year, the International Chess Body, FIDE, has developed the Chess Olympiad Torch, which is part of the Olympic tradition but was never used in the Chess Olympiad.

It will be the first time India will host this prestigious event in the chess Olympiad, nearly 100 years in the organization's history.With 188 countries registering for the forthcoming Olympiad, India's sporting history will also see a huge audience of countries on Indian soil for the first time at an event.The All India Chess Federation (AICF) has launched a social media campaign named Namaste World, honoring the chess community from around the world for this occasion.The AICF had previously announced two Indian teams in the open and womens divisions, but the Olympiad has now attracted 343 participants in both sections.