Nihal's live show for Kerala flood victims

by Sagar Shah
8/21/2018 – The state of Kerala in India is in disarray right now. The flooding has reached catastrophic levels, 350 people have died and more than 200,000 are displaced after losing their houses. In such a situation, the third GM of Kerala, 14-year-old Nihal Sarin, has decided to do his bit to support the people affected by the floods. The young boy will feature on the ChessBase India live show on the 22nd of August 2018 at 8 p.m. to raise funds for the flood victims. It's a call to the chess community to help our brethren in distress.

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India is witnessing one of the worst natural calamities in decades. In a tweet the Chief Minister of the state said that more than 314,000 people were now living in over 2,000 emergency relief camps set up in the area. At last count, 357 people lost their lives, and the floods destroyed roughly 906,400 hectares of crops. The cost to the state and its people stands at a staggering Rs 19,512 crore (almost three billion dollars). The flood was caused by 2086 mm of rainfall.

Volunteers and rescue workers evacuate kids from the area | Photo: AFP/ Getty Images

A displaced woman cries holding her son in her arms | Photo: Reuters

It is clear that the situation in Kerala is horrible. The people of the state are desperately in need of help. Financial help is the best way in which we can do our bit for the people who are fighting the flood and have lost almost everything that was dear to them.

14-year-old Nihal Sarin's pledge to help

Five days ago, the state of Kerala got its third grandmaster. 14-year-old Nihal Sarin achieved the GM title at the Abu Dhabi Masters 2018. After the tournament he had to cancel his flights because of the floods and there was no way to land at the Cochin airport. Somehow Nihal reached his home today via the Kozhikode airport. The boy has decided to help the victims of the flood by having a live show on the ChessBase India Youtube channel, where he will analyze some of the best games with IM Sagar Shah.

Nihal Sarin, the boy with a golden heart | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Nihal is considered as one of the best prodigies in the world of chess right now. The analysis of his games will surely give you a peek into the mind of a future world class player. As it is a live show, Nihal will also answer any of the questions that you have related to chess. His request to the chess community in India and all over the world: "I hope that you will attend the show on 22nd of August and be able to enjoy my games and analysis. Please contribute generously towards the victims of Kerala floods. Your contribution matters."

When will the Live Show be staged

The live show will be held on 22nd of August 2018 at 20.00 hours (8 p.m. IST). That is 17:30 Moscow time, 16:30h Central European Summer Time, 15:30 London, 10:30 a.m. New York, 07:30 a.m. California, 02:30 a.m. Auckland (on the following day).

You can find the time for your location here.

Here's the link for the live show. Please do spread it to as many people as you can, so that they can be present.

Anand's pledge

Setting an example, as he always has, India's first GM and five-time World Champion Vishy Anand came forward as the first donor. Vishy has pledged Rs.15,000 so that the live show would be conducted in the best possible manner and has also happily agreed to sign the posters, DVDs and merchandise that will be given as special prizes during the live show.

How to contribute

ChessBase India would like to congratulate Nihal Sarin for his willingness to help. His exploits on the board are already well known. Nihal with this gesture has shown that there is no right or wrong age to help people who are in need. If a 14-year-old boy can be so empathetic about the situation of the people affected by floods, so can you. Here are the four options that you have for donating:

1. Bank transfer

All people from India can contribute directly to the following Bank account:

ChessBase India Foundation
IFSC CODE :- HDFC0000118
Branch Address :- 001 / 002,Samyak Darshan,Junction Of Tilak Road& Vallabh Baug Lane,Mumbai,
Branch Name :- GHATKOPAR EAST-TILAK ROAD
A/C No. 50200031999591
HDFC Bank

2. Credit or Debit Card

If you are a credit or a debit card holder please use the Kerala Flood Donations page to contribute. Please share the link with friends and colleagues. (only applicable for Indian card holders).

4. Youtube Super Chat

When the live show is in progress on 22nd of August 2018, Youtube has launched a new feature known as Super Chat where you can click on the dollar sign in the Live Chat and contribute the money towards the cause. (This can be used by international audience to contribute).

When will this money be sent to Kerala?

All the money collected during this fundraiser will be donated by the 23rd of August to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund. Please note that you can contribute to the above avenues (apart from Super Chat) even before the live show on 22nd of August.

Boy prodigy Nihal Sarin

Nihal Sarin, born on 13 July 2004 Thrissur, Kerala (a southern state in India), learned chess at the age of five, advanced rapidly and earlier this year entered the record books by becoming an International Master at the tender age of 12 years and 08 months. His feat is reminiscent of the current world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who had also become an IM at the age of 12 years and 08 months in 2003. Nihal is the second youngest International Master ever in India, and third youngest in the world.

In April last year Nihal completed his first GM norm in Norway, crushing a 2600+ GM in the process. Just before the Norway tournament he and his father, Sarin, visited Hamburg and spent some days at the ChessBase office, optimizing his computer and software, learning how to use the system more effectively. He also recorded a Playchess show with our endgame expert GM Dr Karsten Müller, which you can watch here in our video archives. It is an hour and a half of intense instructive analysis.

In the ChessBase office it was not all work and no play. Nihal is highly entertaining, blessed with a keen sense of humour, and always open to pranks. Frederic Friedel described some of his escapades in part two of this portrait:




Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant and would like to become the first CA+GM of India. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder of the ChessBase India website.
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lajosarpad lajosarpad 8/22/2018 09:58
Very sad to see this catastrophe. Will the U.N. help?
Rama Rama 8/21/2018 12:09
So tragic to see the people of Kerala going through something like this. A few years ago the entire city of Mumbai was flooded like this. I hope something can be done about this global warming problem. Kudos to Nihal and Vishy.
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