International Chess Federation
Thursday, 04 Jul 2024 11:34
FIDE Torch Arrives at the Triumphal Arch in Bucharest

The global celebration of FIDE's centenary continues as the FIDE 100 Torch Relay arrives at the heart of the Romanian capital, Bucharest

Hosted by the Romanian Chess Federation, the ceremony saw dignitaries, chess players, and fans gather in celebration.

Romania, a formidable power in the chess world, will also mark the centenary of its own Chess Federation in 2025.

The ceremonial lighting of the torch included children from local chess clubs, coaches, and players, symbolizing the unifying spirit of the FIDE100 chess flame.

Attending the event on behalf of FIDE were Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Deputy Chair of the FIDE Management Board; Victor Bologan, FIDE Executive Director; Lukasz Turlej, Secretary General of the International Chess Federation; Michael Khodarkovsky, Vice President of FIDE's Presidential Board; and Zurab Azmaiparashvili, President of the European Chess Union.

The list of special guests also included Elisabeta Lipă, President of the Romanian National Agency for Sport; Andrei Novac, Secretary of State within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Cătălin Stegariu, General Director of the General Directorate of Gendarmes of Bucharest; Toma Laurențiu, Head of the Department of Military and Sports Activities;  Cătălin Spirache, Chief Commissioner of Police and Deputy of the 1st District Police in Bucharest;  Eugen Gligan of Special Telecommunications Service; Octavian Schen, General Director of the State Mint; Vlad Ardeleanu, President of the Romanian Chess Federation and George Tuță,Elected Mayor of the 1st District in Bucharest.

Vlad Ardeleanu, President of the Romanian Chess Federation, expressed his gratitude to FIDE for including Bucharest in the centenary celebrations. He described the event as a "very touching and symbolic moment not only for chess but for sports in Romania."

"It is wonderful that we as a country can gather so many important people and have many symbolic [chess] events happening here, in Romania," Ardeleanu remarked. He also praised the efforts of the Romanian Chess Federation in promoting chess, stating, "We at the Romanian Chess Federation are trying to make chess a national movement."

The FIDE Torch, a symbol of unity and celebration, has already travelled to Canada, Switzerland, India, Morocco, Ghana, and Colombia. Following Romania, the torch will proceed to Kazakhstan.

Photos: Niki Riga