"Let’s Fight Corona Together" online blitz raises Rs. 240,000

by Frederic Friedel
4/12/2020 – A total of 17 GMs and over 180 players took part in the "Let's fight Corona together" Fundraiser online blitz organized by ChessBase India on 9th of April 2020. India no.2 Vidit Gujrathi was the top seed. GM Nihal Sarin, GM Aravindh Chithambaram and GM Vidit Gujrathi ended at the top with 8.0/9, with the speed king Nihal taking the top spot on tiebreaks. The main aim of the event was to raise money for the PM CARES fund and we were successful in collecting Rs.239,742. GM Vidit Gujrathi not only played but also did live streaming of his games, and his efforts resulted in a collection of Rs. 37,028 in under two hours.

The Fashionable Caro-Kann Vol.1 and 2 The Fashionable Caro-Kann Vol.1 and 2

The Caro Kann is a very tricky opening. Black’s play is based on controlling and fighting for key light squares. It is a line which was very fashionable in late 90s and early 2000s due to the successes of greats like Karpov, Anand, Dreev etc. Recently due to strong engines lot of key developments have been made and some new lines have been introduced, while others have been refuted altogether. I have analyzed the new trends carefully and found some new ideas for Black.

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The online-friendly nature of chess played its part perfectly as Chessbase India organised a one-day event that helped raise Rs. 239,742 towards PM-CARES fund. Titled, “Let’s Fight Corona Together”, this online blitz chess event attracted 180 players including 17 GMs, with India No. 2 Vidit Gujrathi being the top seed.

For the record, Kerala’s rising star Nihal Sarin won the title, ahead of Aravindh Chithambaram and Vidit. The trio tallied eight points each from nine rounds but Nihal was adjudged champion on superior tie-break score. There was no entry fee, but each participant was expected to donate a minimum of Rs. 100 and a maximum of whatever he/she was comfortable with.

Live streaming

Interestingly, Vidit also did live streaming of his games that raised Rs. 37,028 in two hours. Out of this, a donation of Rs. 25,000 came from a generous Coimbatore-based chess lover, C. Vinith. Among players, notable was the contribution of 16-year-old GM Arjun Erigasi who gave Rs. 25,000 a day before the event. Nihal, the eventual champion, who was a last-minute entry, pitched in with Rs 7,500. GMs Magesh Chandran, Arun Prasad, M.S. Thej Kumar, N. Srinath and Ankit Rajpara contributed Rs 5,000 each. GM R.R. Laxman not only chipped in with Rs 4,500, but also encouraged many to play the event. GM Diptayan Ghosh donated Rs 3,000.

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Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.

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