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Checkmate Coronavirus programme is a big hit

2,762 tournaments played over the last one month on various portals

World chess governing body FIDE’s novel initiative to take on the novel coronavirus has proved a roaring success.

The month-long Checkmate Coronavirus programme had aimed to have 1,500 online chess tournaments, but it exceeded the target by a long margin.

As many as 2,762 tournaments were played over the last one month on portals like chess.com, chess24.com and lichess.org.

There were 520,000 entries and 120,000 unique players from 140 countries. They played for 720 hours non-stop.

Those numbers are no doubt impressive. FIDE thinks it must be a World record.

It clearly has succeeded in taking the mind-sport to more people.

Top players take part

What made the programme special was that players of different levels took part. It was not just the beginners or those view chess as a hobby that competed as 20% of the world’s Grandmasters and 10% of all the titled players played.

Among the male top stars were Ding Liren, Anish Giri, Wang Hao, Peter Svidler and David Navara. Four women who have been the World champions — Hou Yifan, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Antoaneta Stefanova and Tan Zhongyi — also competed.

The winners were aged between nine and 64 and they were from 37 different countries, including India. They would also get to play mini matches with Grandmasters and receive training.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 12:34:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/checkmate-coronavirus-programme-is-a-big-hit/article31900976.ece

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