International Chess Federation
Monday, 27 May 2024 06:05
FIDE Torch Relay arrives in Colombia to celebrate chess and unity

FIDE is proud to announce the arrival of the prestigious FIDE Torch Relay in Medellín, Colombia, as part of the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary. This momentous event coincided with the XVII Absolute Chess Championship of the Americas.

The torch relay, a symbol of unity and the spirit of chess, illuminated Medellín, known for its vibrant culture and nickname "the city of eternal spring." The relay travelled to five iconic parks: the University of Antioquia, Jorge Eliecer Gaitán Park, Plazuela San Ignacio, Estadio Station, and Chess Park. Each park hosted a simultaneous chess exhibition featuring grandmasters and providing opportunities for community engagement and the promotion of chess.

Deputy Chair of the FIDE Management Board, Dana Reizniece-Ozola, assumed the role of torchbearer, passing the flame to Jose Carillo Pujol, Continental President for the Americas, FIDE Vice President Mario Ramirez Barajas, and Weymar Fernando Muñoz Muñoz, President of Colombian Chess Federation.

"Chess flame is travelling around the globe, sharing our passion for the game with people in all parts of the world. On the one hand, chess is the most royal and elite sport, on the other hand, it is also the most democratic one, played by people of different ages, genders and social statuses. In other places worldwide and here today we celebrate the universal character of the game," Dana Reizniece-Ozola remarked.

The relay culminated at the Chess Park, a renowned chess venue in Latin America, with the official lighting of the FIDE Torch. This grand finale was accompanied by a small concert with traditional dances. 

The centenary festivities are followed by a series of chess tournaments, cultural tours, and executive meetings between FIDE, the Chess Confederation for the Americas (CCA), and the Colombian Chess Federation (FECODAZ). Highlights include simultaneous exhibitions by renowned Grandmasters Veselin Topalov, Alexei Shirov and Nikola Mitkov and a special event at La Pola Juvenile Prison.

The global FIDE Torch Relay has traveled the world to be a historic celebration of chess, fostering unity and enthusiasm for the sport. So far, it has been passed through India, Switzerland, Ghana, Canada, and Morocco, leaving a trail of excitement and unity in chess. After Colombia, it will set sail to Romania, where it will join two major events - the World School Team Chess Championship and the Grand Chess Tour. The Romanian leg of the Chess Torch Relay is scheduled for July 04.