Checkmate COVID Simul Raises Over $50,000 For India

Checkmate COVID Simul Raises Over $50,000 For India

| 67 | Chess Event Coverage

The simultaneous exhibitions on with top Indian players to support COVID relief in India raised over $50,000. All proceeds go to RedCross India and the Checkmate COVID initiative of the All India Chess Federation (AICF).

On Thursday, GM Viswanathan Anand, as well as GMs Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli, Nihal Sarin, and Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu played simuls on against a total of 105 players.

To participate, the 100 opponents had to have a blitz or FIDE standard rating of under 2000 and they were required to make a donation of at least $25 during the registration process or $150 in order to play the former world champion Anand. (There was a preliminary 24-hour Arena event last Saturday where the highest-finishing Indian player won a free simul seat to face Anand.)

With IM Danny Rensch and Samay Raina as hosts during the live stream (after they had played a mini adoption match), the show was a big success with more donations coming in along the way. had promised to match all donations up to a total of $10,000 but during the broadcast both IM Levy Rozman and's CEO @erik donated a sum of $10,000 as well.

"It's awful what's going on there," said Rozman. "I want people to beat this disease and never have to worry about it again. But the most important thing for me personally is the fact that I feel like people who are chess creators, who have had success the past year and have not suffered from Covid or had any relatives ill, we have to in some way give back."

The time control for the games was 30 minutes with a 30-second increment with the grandmasters having 15 extra minutes on their clock. Expectedly, the GMs won with high scores but only GM Praggnanandhaa managed to win all of his games.

All games

"Were facing a kind of national struggle," said Anand. "It varies from state to state but it's extremely critical right now. I hope this will be a resource for the chess community. Some of us have had Covid and now hopefully they at least have someone to call and reach out."

"The circumstances are so that we need to do something to contribute to the chess community," said Koneru. "I hope we'll be able to do beyond that as well in the coming future. I would like to think as well for taking the initiative and raising the funds. It's definitely a great cause and in the coming days it's going to save many lives in the country."

India is one of the countries that were hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, having recorded over 250,000 Covid deaths. The actual death toll might be higher as testing capacity remains limited. For those of you who would still like to contribute to this great cause, you can donate here or click the button below.


Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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