US Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin on Thursday said that deep ties between India and the US are built on the people-to-people connections forged by sports diplomats.
She made the remarks to a group of US Chess Grandmasters (GM), International Masters (IM), and Women Grand Masters (WGM) here.
The US Consul General earlier welcomed the US team to Mamallapuram on Thursday and wished the team success at the 44th Chess Olympiad organized by the Indian Chess Federation and the Tamil Nadu government from July 28 to August 9.
Ravin also discussed with the chess players how the Chess Olympiad in Chennai helps popularise the sport and unites its lovers across the world in a truly global competition.
“I am extremely proud of you for representing the United States at the Chess Olympiad in Chennai,” she told her country’s players.
The US Consulate General, in a statement on Thursday, also said that it is “thrilled to see the Chess Olympiad take place in Chennai, especially during the 75th anniversary of Indo-US relations”.
US team captain in the open section, John Donaldson, in his address, said: “The US teams are honoured to compete in the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai. India is considered by many as the birthplace of chess and so it is fitting that this prestigious event is will be held here for the first time. We are particularly grateful to the Indian Chess Federation, which with the support of national and local governments has volunteered to organise this even late in the day.”
The US men’s team, captained by Donaldson, is seeded first among the 187 teams in the open section while the Woman’s team captained by GM Melikset Khachiyan is seeded 8 among the 162 teams.