World simultaneous chess record broken in India

by ChessBase
12/25/2010 – The venue was magnificently decked up like a chess board across 91 thousand square feet, 1024 masters played simuls against a total of 20,480 players, and deafening applause broke out when the Guinness adjudicator finally announced that a new Guinness World Record had been set. The patron of the event was World Champion Vishy Anand, who was blown away by the scope of the event.

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World Record for Simultaneous Chess broken

Gujarat organized the Guinness Record with World Chess Champion & NIIT MindChampion Viswanathan Anand

20,480 was the magical number at the GMDC Ground in Ahmedabad which eclipsed Mexico’s earlier record of 13,446 set in 2006 for the maximum number of chess players playing chess simultaneously. 24th December was also ‘date destiny’, for it was on this day in 2000 that India got its first World Chess Champion in Viswanathan Anand and again on this day, it was Anand who spearheaded India to the latest record breaking attempt. It was all hush for a moment when Guinness World Record adjudicator Tarika Vara first rose to speak after the simultaneous games but then a defeaning applause broke across when she did announce that the new Guinness World Record had been set.

The world record effort under way, with over 20,000 participants

The GMDC ground was magnificiently decked up like a chess board across 91 thousand square feet, and it was a smiling Anand who rang the bell for the games to begin. 1024 masters played against 20,480 players and also comprised of 140 blind players for the first time. Apart from chess players, 480 VIPs, including ministers, film stars, television actors, also participated in the simultaneous. There were 12,000 school children out of which 11,000 were from the NIIT MindChampion’s Academy, 3000 college students and around 5000 players from various chess clubs.

This photo by Deshgujarat – click here for a superb high resolution image

The players playing in White squares sported White T-shirts and caps while the black squared players donned black coloured outfits. The Gujarat Government with its Chief Minister Narendra Modi, leading from the fore front, Anand and NIIT were the organizers of this event. A huge shamiana (tent) was erected for players to have their breakfast and lunch.

The Chairman of NIIT, Rajendra S Pawar, with Vishy Anand

“The numbers are just mesmerizing and my eyes cannot take in 10,000 players, leave alone 20,000”, beamed Anand just as the event started.

Report by Manisha Mohite

About NIIT MindChampions' Academy

The NIIT MindChampions’ Academy (MCA), a not-for-profit initiative has been set up as a joint initiative by Grand Master Viswanathan Anand and NIIT Limited, leading Global Talent Development Organisation and Asia’s largest IT Trainer, with the objective of promoting Chess in schools to enable development of young minds. Studies have shown that Chess improves concentration and diligence, thus helping students performs better academically. 

Established in 2002, the Academy has fostered over 11,200 Chess clubs with over 900,000 students as its members, in schools across India. MCA will cross the cumulative mark of one million students as its members, by the end of December 2010.

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