Viswanathan Anand among chess players to raise $50,000 for COVID-19 relief through exhibition matches

The event was held on Chess.com with India’s top players and proceeds would go to the Indian Red Cross and the All India Chess Federation (AICF) Checkmate COVID initiative, Chess.com officials said .

Vishwanathan Anand | Picture from Twitter

Chenai: A series of simultaneous online exhibition matches featuring, among others, five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand to support COVID aid in India has raised USD 50,000 (about INR 37 lakh).

The event took place on Chess.com with India’s top players and the proceeds would go to the Indian Red Cross and the All India Chess Federation (AICF) Checkmate COVID initiative, those responsible for Chess.com noted.

On Thursday, Grandmaster Anand, along with GMs Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli, Nihal Sarin and Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu played simultaneous games on Chess.com against a total of 105 players.

Any player with a Chess.com blitz or a FIDE standard rating of less than 2000 could play with former world champion Anand by donating 150 USD and with the other four GMs by paying 25 USD as entry fee.

The time control for games was 30 minutes with a 30 second increment, with grandmasters having an extra 15 minutes on their clock. GMs won with high scores but only Praggnanandhaa managed to win all of their matches.

“We’re facing a sort of national struggle. It varies from state to state, but it’s extremely critical right now. I hope this will be a resource for the chess community.

Some of us have had COVID-19 and now hopefully at least have someone to call and contact,” Anand said as quoted by Chess.com.

India is currently reeling from a devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with over three new cases and over 3,000 deaths reported daily.

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