Viswanathan Anand and four other Grandmasters to play exhibition matches to raise COVID-19 relief fund

Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand and four other Indian Grandmasters will play simultaneous online exhibition matches to raise funds for the COVID-19 relief.
Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 11 May 2021 6:15 pm

The second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic is continuing to wreak havoc in India. While hundreds of thousands of people are getting infected every 24 hours, thousands are dying by every passing day. There is a lot of burden on the health infrastructure of the country and the nation needs to fight the pandemic together. People from all spheres around the globe are contributing to India’s fight against the pandemic and even Indian sporting stars haven’t hesitated to do their bit.

After contributions from the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma, the news is coming in from the field of chess. It is now being reported that five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand and four other Indian Grandmasters will play simultaneous online exhibition matches against other chess players on May 13 to raise funds for the COVID-19 relief work happening in India.

Total fund generated is estimated to be around $10,000

Notably, any player who has a Chess.com blitz or FIDE standard rating of under 2,000 can compete with the former world champion Anand by donating $150 and with the other four Grandmasters by paying $25 as a registration amount.

Meanwhile, donations will also be accepted during the broadcast of the exhibition matches on Chess.com at 7:30 pm (IST). The website has stated that a total fund generated through donations is estimated to be around $10,000.

Who are the other four grandmasters?

The other four grandmasters are Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, Nihal Sarin and Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu. All the proceeds from the simultaneous exhibitions of all their matches will go to then RedCross India and the Checkmate COVID initiative of the All India Chess Federation (AICF).

Not a single person who hasn’t been affected by this crisis: Anand

“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 message posted on Chess.com.

“Let us support COVID relief in India. You can play with 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 stated.

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