Indian chess icon Viswanathan Anand has decided to join hands with four other Indian Grandmasters to play online exhibition matches with the mission to raise funds for the ongoing relief work in the country against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even after a year since it shook the world, the COVID-19 outbreak is far from over and this year, India has been hit the worst. Alongside the daily number of cases and death skyrocketing, there has been an alarming shortage of oxygen supplies and several other troubles.
With an aim to counter the pandemic’s grasp, Anand and four other GMs of the country will play exhibition chess matches online with other chess players which will be used to raise funds for the relief work going in the country.
Those who can participate in the matches need to have a Chess.com blitz or FIDE standard rating of under 2000 and by donating USD 150 as a registration amount, they can play against Anand, while playing against the other four GMs will require a donation of USD 25.
More than 100 games will be running simultaneously, with each game having a time control of 30 minutes, along with a 30-second increment. Chess.com has estimated that the initiative will be generating donations up to a total of USD 10,000.
Alongside Anand, the four other GMs who will be featured in the matches are Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, Nihal Sarin, and Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu.
“We all know India is struggling hard against COVID-19. At this time, we all have been affected in some way. I don’t think there is a single person young or old who has not been affected by this,” Anand spoke in a video clip posted on Chess.com.
“Let us support COVID relief in India. You can play some of India’s finest grandmasters, and have Chess.com match your donations. Please sign up to participate in Checkmate COVID this Thursday. This is a little contribution from our chess fraternity,” the five time world champion added.
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