The Lockdown online International Chess Tournament, which was launched by a chess enthusiast from Tripura, has gained popularity worldwide with 29 foreign countries participating in the contest. The tournament which completed its 87th contest with participation of 2000 players from 29 countries will end on June 9 after completing the 100-mark, the organiser, Nirmal Das said.
The participating players hail from countries including Germany, Scotland, Bangladesh, Nepal, Srilanka, Cuba, Chile, Ukraine, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, besides most of the Indian states. Das, who launched the tournament, said a few months back he had participated in an online chess tournament controlled from Chennai with an entry fees of Rs. 200 and since then he planned to organise such an online tournament without any entry fee.
“When the lockdown was announced on March 24, I thought this tournament can play a role to keep people stay at home and safe. So, it was launched on March 28 and soon it received good response globally. The tournament is played through App called ‘Li Chess’,” he told PTI. The competition has all forms like Bullet, Blitz, Rapid and Classical time control games and maximum time given is two hours.
Secretary of the Sports Council of Tripura, Amit Rakshit congratulated Das for organising the online competition. “This tournament is a unique way of keeping people inside home during lockdown. It helped people stay safe and free from infection of coronavirus,” he told reporters. Among others, Fide Master Prasenjit Datta, Sidi Boydia of Qatar, International Masters like Diptayan Ghosh and Srijit Pal, Tripura’s chess prodigy Arshiya Das, who clinched gold at Asian Championship, had participated in the tournament. Das said the 100th tournament would be held on June 9 and top 15 players would be given cash awards.