Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand and four other Indian grandmasters all set to play online exhibition matches against other chess players on Thursday, to raise funds for COVID relief work in the country. The other players are Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, Nihal Sarin and Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu.
A player having a Chess.com blitz or FIDE standard rating of under 2000 can play with Anand by donating USD 150 and with the other four GMs by paying USD 25 as registration fee. Donation from other sources will be also accepted during the course of the matches.
The matches will be broadcast on Chess.com at 19:30 IST. The website said it will match all donations up to a total of USD 10,000.
All the proceeds from the exhibitions will go to Red Cross India and the Checkmate COVID initiative of the All India Chess Federation (AICF).
“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 said in a video message.
“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. I look forward to being there and hope we raise money and spirits!” he said.
The programme will be hosted by International Master Danny Rensch and Samay Raina.
“With over one hundred games running concurrently across all simuls, a time control of 30 minutes with a 30-second increment will be used for all games,” a statement from Chess.com said.
“With a limited number of boards, make sure to register early for this unique and charitable opportunity to play India’s best players,” the statement added.
(With inputs from agencies)