Tripura Man’s Online Chess Tournaments Become a Big Hit in Covid-19 Era

To ward off boredom in the Covid-19-induced era, Tripura-based engineer Nirmal Das held 71 international online chess competitions, which began three days after the scale lockdown began. of the country on March 25.

The 39-year-old civil engineer said 975 players from 10 countries, including unrest-torn Syria, have taken part in his free online chess competition. “Every day the number of players is increasing. To keep the enthusiasm before the participation there are free practice sessions,” Das told IANS.

FIDE master Prasenjit Dutta, All India School chess champion Arshiya Das, international referee Pradip Kumar Roy and many top players have played matches on Das’ online platform. International master Neeraj Kumar would play on Monday night, he said.

“I plan to give cash prizes to the top 10 ranked players in the 75th (Platinum Jubilee) competition, which will be held on May 15. My goal is to attract players from 100 countries,” said Das, who works in the Department of Public Works of Tripura (PWD).

The first “Lockdown Online International Chess Tournament” competition, on March 28, brought together 15 local enthusiasts, including the seven-year-old son of Das, who had competed in the National Under-7 Championship in 2019 in Calcutta.

“Over the past 45 days, chess players and fans from many states, such as Delhi, Assam and Karnataka, and many countries including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Philippines, South Korea , Germany, Brazil, United Arab Emirates and Syria, entered the competition, ”he said.

The online chess competition is held in four formats, starting at 8 p.m. daily. The bullet, blitz, and quick formats last two hours, and two and a half hours for classic chess. The workout takes place early in the morning and at noon.

Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested changing lifestyles. “I think this online chess competition will act like a ‘Corona drug. Every day there is a slogan in the game to stay healthy and exercise, ”Das said.

He said chess has been his passion since his student life, but not digitally. “To help those staying at home not get bored during the lockdown, I logged into lichess.org, a chess portal. It prompted me to start the tournament,” Das said.

The uniqueness of this online chess site, he said, was that anyone could watch two players play from any part of the world.

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