Checkmating coronavirus, FIDE style

Checkmate Coronavirus, a massive online project launched by FIDE, will go on for a month until June 16 and has over 1,500 tournaments.

Checkmate Coronavirus has seen over 90,000 players participate in 336 tournaments and more than 2 lakh games have been played across platforms.   -  Getty Images

The novel coronavirus may have succeeded in forcing FIDE to stop its showpiece event of the year midway, but the world chess governing body has made an interesting move that could help it take the game to more people. 

After conducting a top-notch blitz tournament, in memory of the first World champion Wilhelm Steinitz, featuring top stars like Magnus Carlsen, FIDE, which had to stop the Candidates tournament in Russia midway in late March following the outbreak of the pandemic, has launched a series of online tournaments.

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Checkmate Coronavirus is a month-long event that will have more than 1,500 tournaments that are open to everyone. There will be 720 hours of chess, non-stop.

The tournaments are being conducted on popular chess portals like chess.comchess24.com and lichess.org. You could log into checkmatecoronavirus.com for more information.

The event will go on until June 16. At the time of filing this report, 90,216 players have participated in 336 tournaments. More than 2 lakh games have been played across platforms.

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“Those are fabulous numbers and I think it's a great initiative by FIDE,” Grandmaster B. Adhiban told Sportstar. “It is good to see that FIDE is doing something like this; it would help chess reach out to more and more people across the world. With most people are forced to stay at home during this lockdown, playing online chess is one of the best ways to pass time.”

There are prizes to be won, too – more than 1,500 of them. Among the most attractive of those prizes are the 64 invitations for the Chess Olympiad in Moscow next year.

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