Sports events across the world have come to a grinding halt due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the Candidates Chess tournament is on in Russia currently. As an indoor and a no-contact sport, it is probably the only high profile sports event currently underway.
But, contrary to the general belief, not all chess players can continue working on their game.
Ask World rapid champion Koneru Humpy, for instance: “You cannot afford any sort of distractions when training. And, this is a different kind of a lockdown where everyone is forced to stay at home. Since I have to take care of my 30-month-old baby girl, Ahana, it is not easy to spare time for chess,” she says in a chat with Sportstar from Vijayawada.
“Our normal daily schedule meant dropping her at my parents home and carrying on with our regular jobs. Now, we cannot move and the baby has to be taken care by us at home and since she cannot go out even into the neighbourhood because of the precautionary measures, it is a 24x7 job for the both of us (she and her husband Anvesh Dasari),” she says.
“Though this is not the first time I have had to take such a long break (the last one when she was pregnant), this is different. There is a tinge of uncertainty with what’s is happening around the world and more so in our country,” the 32-year-old said.
She insists Chess, too, is badly hit as Europe has been the hub of world chess activity with many Indians featuring in the leagues there, especially in Spain.
With Italy being the worst-hit, Humpy is not sure if the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix Series scheduled there in May will be held.
“Though there is no official communication, given the grim scenario, it seems unlikely that it will be on,” the World No. 2 said.
The other major event lined up is the Olympiad in August in Moscow and the World knock-out championship for women in Belarus in September.
“About these two events we can be optimistic as things might improve by then given the measures being taken by the Governments here and elsewhere.”
Humpy also appealed to every citizen to be responsible and strictly follow the guidelines of maintaining social distancing.
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