Mumbai/Chennai: Chess players in the country, including the likes of Grandmaster P Harikrishna, are doing their bit in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by raising more than Rs 3 lakh as their contribution.
Some young chess players from across the country hosted an online tournament and raised Rs 1.05 lakh while noted coach R B Ramesh collected funds through his ‘Chess Gurukul’ with GM P Harikrishna contributing Rs 2 lakh and Karthikeyan Murali donating Rs 25,000.
One GM, seven International Masters, many national chess champions and enthusiasts came together and hosted an online tournament under the aegis of “The Chesster group” on Tuesday, a press release said.
The tournament, hosted on www.Lichess.org, saw enthusiastic response from chess players from cities like Mumbai, Noida, Nagpur, Hyderabad. Donations also came in from the Immortal Chess Forum, the release said.
Over 80 chess players and enthusiasts contributed Rs 1.05 lakh to be donated to the PM Cares Fund.
Sixteen-year-old Vedant Panesar, Adarsh Tripathi and Yash Srivastava, who conceived the idea, said through the initiative they wanted “contribute in a small way to the cause.”
On his part, Ramesh said “Chess Gurukul” was collecting funds from those interested and the chess community at large in order to provide services to people affected by the coronavirus.
“Special thanks to GM Harikrishna @HariChess and GM Karthikeyan Murali @KarthikeyanM64 for contributing RS.2,00,000/- and RS.25,000/- respectively to Coronavirus relief,” Ramesh tweeted.
“Chess Gurukul Charitable trust is collecting funds from interested public & Chess community to serve the society in these difficult circumstances. Many have lost their \livelihood due to the nationwide lockdown. Elderly people are stuck at home without anyone to take care,” he said in another tweet.
Ramesh said “once we are able to get a good amount, we want charitable organisations with free passes from the government to take this forward and help the needy. I request the chess community to come forward and donate liberally to the cause in your own way.”
It may be noted that former world champion Viswanathan Anand and five other leading Indian players will take part in a simultaneous online chess exhibition on April 11 to support the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the death of 124 people in the country with more than 4500 being infected by the deadly virus.