Charity Chess Row: Zerodha Co-founder Nikhil Kamath banned after cheating in chess match against Viswanathan Anand

Kamath-Anand chess row: Abhinav Bindra says Kamath's 'cheating' a life lesson on rules, integrity and honesty
Kamath-Anand chess row: Abhinav Bindra says Kamath's 'cheating' a life lesson on rules, integrity and honesty

Charity Chess Row: Nikhil Kamath beats Viswanathan Anand by cheating – India’s chess community was stunned when five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand lost to Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath in a COVID-19 relief charity chess match (Checkmate COVID) on Sunday. But later Kamath admitted that he manipulated the game taking help from others and computer to beat the chess legend. As a result, he has been banned by Chess.com, the platform which hosted the charity match.

Albeit a charity match, Viswanathan Anand was not too impressed. Taking to Twitter, he said he expected his fellow players to abide by the rules.

“Yesterday was a celebrity simul for people to raise money It was a fun experience upholding the ethics of the game. I just played the position on the board and expected the same from everyone,” Viswanathan Anand said.

Also Read: IPL 2021: Grandmaster vs spin master; Yuzvendra Chahal to take on Viswanathan Anand in chess to raise funds for COVID-19 relief

The move from Nikhil Kamath did not sit well with the All India Chess Federation (AICF) as well. Following Chess.com’s ban on Kamath, AICF secretary criticised Nikhil Kamath’s move of manipulating the game. termed it as a “bad move” and said it shouldn’t have happened.

“It is very unfortunate it was a charity match. We don’t expect anybody to get help from computers, at the national and state level we are following the protocols. We are putting cameras where players are playing and there is a fair play committee which includes three grandmasters and two players,” Bharat told ANI.

Also Read: Viswanathan Anand’s online exhibition matches raise nearly 37 lakh for COVID-19 relief

“All things are completely followed but in this kind of charity match, we didn’t expect anybody to do this. It is very unfortunate such things have happened. He is not a player and he has apologised in public. He is not a regular player or our member we don’t have jurisdiction, he was doing it for charity he shouldn’t have done. This is really bad. For the noble cause, we are helping people and such things shouldn’t happen,” he added.

Daniel Rensch, the Chief Chess Officer for Chess.com, has said the governing body remains “committed” to ensure all games played on site are fairly contested.

“When it comes to Fair Play, Chess.com acts only in the best interest of the global chess community. Our goals are to protect the integrity of all games (every game!) played on our site,” said Daniel in a statement.

Later, after facing backlash from the chess community, Nikhil Kamath admitted that he cheated in the match and apologised to Viswanathan Anand for his “silly behaviour”.

“I had help from the people analyzing the game, computers, and the graciousness of Anand sir himself to treat the game as a learning experience. This was for fun and charity. In hindsight, it was quite silly as I didn’t realise all the confusion that can get caused due to this. Apologies,” Nikhil Kamath said.

Also Read: ‘Checkmate COVID’: Viswanathan Anand, Koneru Humpy to help support coronavirus relief in India

The event was part of an initiative named ‘Checkmate COVID Celebrity Edition’ by Akshaya Patra Foundations in collaboration with Chess.com India and Prachura Padakannaya, CEO – Xcetra Talent Management. Viswanathan Anand was to play against celebrities simultaneously.

It raised nearly Rs 37 lakh that will go to COVID-19 victims. Apart from Nikhil Kamath and Anand, cricketer Yuzvendra Chahal, Bollywood star Aamir Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Kannada film star Kiccha Sudeep besides singer Arijit Singh, song-writer Ananya Birla, Manu Kumar Jain, MD of Xiaomi India, film producer Sajid Nadiadwala and Prachura Padakannaya took part.

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