The chess enthusiasts in Kerala raised a fund of Rs four lakh through an international online tournament and donated it to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund. The fund was raised through Checkmate Covid-19 Blitz Open.
Grandmaster SL Narayanan won the tournament. Commonwealth champion Abhijeet Gupt came second. Narayanan won Rs 12,000 as prize money and Gupt got Rs 8,000. Both of them said they were donating the prize money to the CMDRF.
The tournament saw 429 players from various countries such as Russia, Germany, USA, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, England, Egypt, Algeria and Czech Republic. The online tournament also had the participation of 34 Grand Masters and 30 International Masters. IM Terry Renato of Peru won the third place and IM Ravi Teja from India won the fourth place.
After winning the tournament, Narayanan tweeted: “Ah what a lovely event Checkmate Covid 19 was. Glad I could win it. But the best part is we all managed to chip in for a good cause. Thanks @ChessKerala @ChessbaseIndia for the initiative, the entire proceeds will go to @CMOKerala Distress Relief Fund. Lets fight this together.”
British legend and FIDE vice-president Nigel Short was also a participant. He said he was glad to be part in the fight against COVID-19. He said in a tweet message: “It’s a small move, really, but glad to be of help in the fight against Covid-19 in #Kerala, India.”