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The 18th National Cities Team Chess Championship inaugurated at Smart Village Kalarabank on Sunday. This tournament is jointly organized by KIIT University and Jagatsinghpur district Chess Association. It is for the first time in the country that, a national level chess event is being held in a rural area. Prafulla Samal, Minister, Women and Child Development, Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, and MSME, Govt. of Odisha; Dr. B. N. Nanda, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information and broadcasting and senior most Economic Advisor, Govt of India; Yamini Sarangi, Collector and Dist. Magistrate, Jagatsinghpur; Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT and KISS; Sekhar Ch. Sahoo, President, AOCA; K K Sharma, Honorary Secretary, AOCA and Antaryami Samanta, President NMCT, Kalarabank joined the inaugural ceremony as guests. Such kind of National level Chess tournament held in a village for the first time is pride for Jagatsinghpur district and Odisha, opined the guests. As many as 30 cities teams including Odisha, Haryana, West Bengal, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telengana have participated in the tournament. More than 150 chess players including chess stars of Odisha Swanshu Mishra, Aparajita Gochhikar, Saina Salonika and Kiran Manisha Mohanty have participated in the tournament. This tournament will be played in 7 rounds and the final round and closing ceremony will be held on 9th August 2017. Through this trournament 4 best teams will be selected for the Asian Cities Chess Championship to be held at KIIT from 26th August to 1st September 2017. There are 16 teams participated the tourney from Odisha only, while four from West Bengal, Four from Bihar, one each from Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Telengana, Assam each participated.