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Play Top GM Anish Giri To Support Nepal

Play Top GM Anish Giri To Support Nepal

More than 7,000 people lost their lives in the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

You can help the recovery effort, and play chess at the same time: On May 10, Chess.com will host an online fundraiser simul by top GM Anish Giri. One hundred percent of money raised will be donated to the UNICEF relief fund.

Ten simul slots are available by highest bid. All bids (minimum $100) should be sent via direct message on Chess.com to Peter Doggers. Include your real name, country of origin, bid amount willing to donate for seat, and whether you wish to remain anonymous or not.

If you want to donate to the recovery effort without bidding for a simul slot, please visit the UNICEF relief fund.

Nine days after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, we still read stories about people being rescued alive from under the rubble. The death toll from what was the most powerful disaster in the country since 1934 now exceeds 7,000. Aftershocks are still occurring.

International Arbiter Gyanendra Ghaiju shared this photo of his house (or what it's left of it).

Right now, Nepal needs help. A lot of help. As one of the world's poorest nations, Nepal needs funding for the injured and reconstruction. You can help.

Chess.com is hosting an online fundraiser simul by GM Anish Giri on Sunday, May 10 at 20:00 Central European Time (2 pm New York, 11 am Pacific). Time control: 45 minutes plus 10 seconds increment.

Ten seats are available, open for bidding, with minimum bid per seat starting at $100 each. 

Bidding starts now, and ends Thursday, May 7 at 12 am (midnight) Pacific time. Bids should be sent via direct message on Chess.com to Peter Doggers.

Chess.com is leading the way by donating $1,000 to the efforts and as a thank you for Anish's time. That means that with ten seats and at least $100 being raised per seat, a minimum of $2,000 will be donated to the relief efforts from the simul event.

We have chosen UNICEF to receive the donation.

The 10 highest bidders will be invoiced directly by Chess.com. Bidders will have until Friday, 12 am (midnight) Pacific time to complete payment, or their slot will be passed to the next highest bidder. Upon confirmation of payment each member will earn a seat in Sunday's fundraiser simul.

To watch the simul, tune in Sunday at www.chess.com/tv, where we will provide commentary. Yours truly will be hosting along with guest grandmaster commentary as Anish Giri (who, by the way, has donated 2,000 Euros directly to one of the relief teams in Nepal) takes on the 10 highest bidders!

Chess fans in Pokhara, Nepal — in better times (2009). | Photo Mike Klein.

The choice of Anish Giri is not a coincidence: his father Sanjay is from Nepal (his mother from Russia). He told Chess.com: 

“This disaster is huge and will need short and long-term help. For me it is not the case that the disaster happened somewhere, but in my own country and our own people have been terribly affected. 

We are now sending personally some financial help to those volunteers, whom I know and who are involved directly to the victims’ relief. Many of my friends and relatives are directly involved in helping people in all affected areas.” 

This photo by Gyanendra Ghaiju says it all.

Nepal is not only the home of the Mount Everest (Sagarmāthā in Nepali!), but also a country where chess is quite popular. For instance, there are three Nepal groups on Chess.com: NepalThe Power Of Nepalese Chess and नेपाली बुध्दिचाल समुह.

Only weeks before the earthquake the FIDE Asian Zonal section 3.2 was held in Nagarkot, near its capital Kathmandu.

Nagarkot is famous for its scenic Himalaya views | Photo Wikipedia

The country does not have GMs or IMs but nonetheless took part in the last six Olympiads. In Tromsø last year they won five matches. The most experienced national team player is CM Keshav Shrestha, who only missed out on the 2008 Olympiad and scored +18=14-16 lifetime in Olympiads.

Team Nepal at the Tromsø Olympiad. | Photo Gyanendra Ghaiju.

Currently the top rated player in the country is CM Rupesh Jaiswal, who is just 16 years old. Here's a win from the 2012 Istanbul Olympiad:


Jaiswal might well become the nation's first international master. In the aforementioned zonal last month he tied for third place with 6.0/9 together with GM Enamul Hossain and IM Ahmed Minhazuddin. Winning 64.4 points, he became the only 2200-player in the country.

Kathmandu, Nepal in 2009. | Photo Mike Klein.

Right now, few Nepalese will be thinking about chess. The earthquake has had a huge impact on the country. Earlier this week FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov expressed his condolences. “With all Buddhists of the world I pray for recover of the injured.”


Join the Anish Giri fundraiser simul on Sunday, May 10 at 20:00 Central European Time (2 pm New York, 11 am Pacific) by bidding on one of the ten seats! Minimum $100 each. 

Bidding starts now, and ends Thursday, May 7 at 12 am (midnight) Pacific time.

Chess.com will add $1,000, so that at least $2,000 can be donated. We have chosen UNICEF to receive the donation.

The ten highest bidders will be invoiced by Chess.com and upon payment they earn a seat in Sunday's fundraiser simul.

For bidding, please send a private message to Peter Doggers.

To watch the simul, tune in Sunday at www.chess.com/tv where we will provide commentary.

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