Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand and four other Indian Grandmasters will play simultaneous online exhibition matches against other chess players on Thursday to raise funds for COVID-19 relief work in the country.
Any player who has a Chess.com blitz or FIDE standard rating of under 2000 can play with former world champion Anand by donating $150 and with the other four GMs by paying $25 as registration amount.
Donations will also be accepted during the exhibition matches to be broadcast on Chess.com at 19:30 IST.
The website said it will match all donations up to a total of $10,000.
All the proceeds from the simultaneous exhibitions involving Anand, Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, Nihal Sarin, and Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu will go to RedCross 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 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,” he said.
“I look forward to being there and hope we raise money and spirits!” he added.
International Master Danny Rensch and Samay Raina will host the live stream on Chess.com/tv.
“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.”
India is currently reeling under a devastating second wave of COVID-19 pandemic with more than three lakh new cases and above 3,000 deaths reported daily.