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The Only Immune One

Mohammed Saqib Kalsekar, Young Contributor
Thursday, June 25, 2020
The Only Immune One

‘Technology is best when it brings people together.

One of the essential nutrients of life is sport. Under pressure from such unusaual circumstances, sports have undergone drastic vicissitudes. Basketball courts are now rarely in use. Cricket fans, especially those who truly fancy fast bowling, have suffered a major setback due to no-saliva rule. Football stadiums are now visited by none, except winds. Corona virus has kind of shut down all these sports. But one sport which has survived this unfortunate and sudden impact is chess. Chess was also one of the sufferers and its fans, crying, due to the closure of the candidates tournaments. Some people even started making jokes and one of the major websites for chess, chess.com, actually posted a news article that the tournament would be resumed in Antarctica. This was on April 1. Yes you get it right, it was a hideous joke for sentimental people when they realized it. However, online chess, which was already quite famous, paved the way for enlivening the world of chess. How often do we have to face such a disaster? Well, it is very, very rare. So obviously the start was a bit slow, but many countries, especially Russia, USA, India, China, France and some European countries have taken this to the fullest. The nations cup, in which China dominated by a margin, was the inaugural event. And then there were the ‘IM not a GM’, ‘Candidates countries youth’, ‘European chess Championship’, ‘Steinitz Memorial’, our good old ‘Titled Tuesdays’ and the two most watched events-‘MC invitational’ and ‘Lindores Abbey’, the latter featuring young Daniil Dubov’s condensed talent. FIDE has also taken measures for the lower rated commoners to play chess online and bag prizes. The ‘Checkmate Coronavirus’ series of tournaments have free entry and feature some nice prizes and are continuously organized from mid may to mid Jne. Added to these are the private tournaments- innumerous.

But chess was not limited to commercial tournaments only. Some brilliant chess displays were put up as a source for raising some funds for those in need due to coronavirus and other calamities such as the Australian fire of 2019, even for awareness of adopted children. Such displays like ‘Adopt a Danny’ and events organized by famous chess prodigies such as Vishwanathan Anand and fellow grandmasters in India and the Russian event have raised thousands that were donated to noble causes. People have also generously donated.

Such a major uplift in chess is something that people like me have admired a lot. I also entertained myself by participating in various events in which I got to play against and learn from masters of the sport. It is surely good to see that in such times of calamity, there is at least one sport that people can look forward to. Chess is truly an amazing sport and its pervasiveness has been tested. I hope millions of people from around the world are enjoying the sport.

Mohammed Saqib Kalsekar
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