An international online blitz chess tournament organised by Chess Kerala has raised Rs 4 lakh for the Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund. The Checkmate Covid-19 Blitz Open, organised to raise funds for Kerala's fight against COVID-19, was won by Grandmaster SL Narayanan.
"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...," Narayanan tweeted after winning.
He won Rs 12,000 as prize money while Commonwealth champion Abhijeet Gupt finished second and received Rs 8,000 for his efforts. Both the players announced they were donating the prize money to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund.
British chess legend and FIDE (world chess federation) vice-president Nigel Short, who participated, said he was glad to be of help in the fight against COVID-19. "It's a small move, really, but glad to be of help in the fight against Covid-19 in #Kerala, India," he tweeted.
The tournament saw 429 players from countries including Russia, USA, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, England, Czech Republic, Germany, Egypt and Algeria, apart from India, taking part.
A total of 34 GMs and 30 IMs participated in the event. IM Terry Renato of Peru and Indian IM Ravi Teja won the third and fourth place respectively with 8.5 points each. Indian GMs Arjun Erigaisi, Vaibhav Suri, Puranik Abhimanyu, Nihal Sarin, Raunak Sadhwani and RR Laxman were placed 5th to 10th with eight points each.