Viswanathan Anand joins ChessKid as mentor

Five-time World chess champion and India’s first Grandmaster, Viswanathan Anand will be the mentor for the Indian edition of ChessKid.com, a US-based chess platform.

Viswanathan Anand launching the ChessKid.com, a US-based chess platform in Chennai.   -  K. Pichumani

Five-time World chess champion and India’s first Grandmaster, Viswanathan Anand will be the mentor for the Indian edition of ChessKid.com, a US-based chess platform.

Announcing this at a press conference here on Thursday, Carey Fan, CEO of ChessKid said that there couldn’t have been a better guide for ChessKid than the legend. “Vishy [V. Anand] has inspired a generation of young chess players. Here in India, there are lot of good talents like Praggnanandhaa, Nihal [Sarin] and D. [Gukesh]. [But] not all kids have the ability to get the training/resources they require. And one way to get that is through technology.”

Describing ChessKid as a safe and accessible platform, Mike Klein, Chief Stats Officer, said it is the world’s largest scholastic website for kids. There are one million kids playing. We are the foremost, respected, and fun place [to play] online platform. You can play live chess, do puzzles, interact with other players. All the [our] focus is on kids,” he said.

Anand gave a thumbs-up to ChessKid saying that it develops not only chess skills, but also helps in academics. The 49-year-old emphasised that his son Akhil enjoys it.

“I am excited to be here. I want to take chess to the next level. It is very important to connect with kids and teach them the pleasures of chess. Chess develops all sorts of skills that can help in academics and sorting problems in life. It needs to be presented in fun and entertaining way. After all you are competing with all sorts of other  games. It has to be fun and accessible through technology. I think ChessKid is perfect for this,” he said. “I can tell you from personal experience. Akhil enjoys the videos [in ChessKid] very much.”