All India Chess Federation (AICF) Secretary Bharat Singh Chouhan said that Khelo Chess initiative on the lines of Khelo India program can revolutionize sports in the country.
The top AICF official said this after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his intention to start the Khelo Chess program during the first torch relay of the Chess Olympiad at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on June 19.
“Chess has a lot of potential in India and AICF is working vigorously on developing young talent. However, a program like Khelo India for Chess can revolutionize the game in the country.
“This will strengthen our mission of making India a chess powerhouse. A nationwide event of that stature will not only inspire and encourage young Indians to take up the sport but will also bring forth the best of talent from across the country,” Chauhan said in a statement.
With stalwarts like Viswanathan Anand and Koneru Humpy performing consistently on the global stage, as well as young promising talents like R Pragyanand and Gukesh D, India has emerged as one of the top chess playing nations in the world in recent years Is.
The country has also won three medals in the world’s biggest chess competition – the Olympiad – since 2014. Two medals, gold and bronze, came in virtual editions held in the last two years.
“Indian players have proved their mettle with some stellar performances at the global level. Some talented youngsters have also emerged who are the future of Indian chess.
“Developing and nurturing young talent is very important and I believe Khelo Chess program can provide an ideal platform,” Chouhan said.
The Khelo India program was launched in 2018 with an aim to develop a sports culture at the grassroots level.
For a game like Chess, which is not yet a part of Khelo India, such an initiative could be a game-changer.
India is all set to add a golden chapter to its chess history by hosting the Chess Olympiad for the first time.
The 44th edition of the Chess Olympiad will be held from 28 July to 10 August at Mahabalipuram near Chennai.
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