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.
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 event will go on till June 16. At the time of filing this report, 90,216 players have participated in 336 tournaments. More than two lakh games have been played across platforms.
Those are fabulous numbers and I think its a great initiative by FIDE, GM B. Adhiban told The Hindu. 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.