Online Chess
Representational image. Courtesy:

Online Chess Thrives Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

May 11, 2020

If you are a chess freak, will you not love to take part in an online chess tournament- especially during these mundane days due to the nationwide lockdown?

If you silently answered yes in your head then you are at the right place, reading the correct article as today we try to share this information about one such online chess tournament!

And this tournament has not originated in the US or in the UK or in Russia or in Japan!

This tournament has originated right here, in Northeast and it has been created by one Nirmal Das- a 39-year-old civil engineer from Tripura.

Online chess

Tripura's Nirmal Das who created an online chess tournament. Courtesy: The Hindu

Das, who works at the Public Works Department (PWD) in Tripura, is a chess aficionado and in his life, he has participated in numerous chess competitions in his home state.

Taking his love for chess to the next level and partly catalysed by the boredom induced by the COVID-19 lockdown, Das on March 28, 2020, launched an online chess tournament.

This is a fee-free online chess tournament, which played across four formats and in the last 45 days till May 11, Das has successfully organised 69 international contests where 975 participants from across the globe have displayed their chess skills.

Not just from India, but players from Bangladesh, Brazil, Japan, Nepal, Germany, South Korea, and the Philippines have participated in this online chess tournament.

The chess tournament had a humble beginning with 15 local participants, which also included his son and some of his friends.

However, the news about the tournament spread like wildfire and within a week some 70 players from Tripura signed up in the tournament.

This was just the beginning as numbers began to increase and in the next week, around 80 chess enthusiasts from Assam and other states of the northeast signed up for the tournament.

The tournament then began to have a pan India presence as chess players from Delhi, Karnataka, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu were the next to sign up for the tournament.

Soon, the numbers increased to 450 and as the days went by, players from several foreign nations also began to join this online tournament.

Initially, several games and competitions were held twice a day, however, now it is conducted once at 8 pm daily.

This is primarily due to the lockdown relaxations imposed by several countries. .

The tournament is divided into four formats- bullet, blitz, rapid chess and classical.

For the first three tournaments, the duration is of 2 hours and for a classical chess tournament, the duration is of 2:30 hours.

The top seven players of the day are featured in the "honours" list every day.

However, if you are an Indian then you can't just join the tournament.

First, you will have to download the Aarogya Setu app first and then only you will be able to take part in this online chess tournament.

For foreign nationals, however, there is no such condition.

If you are interested to test your chess skills then why don't you sign up at and be a part of this wonderful online tournament...

Just for your information, several foreign and Indian players have a Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) rating of over 2,000- stating that there are many quality players playing this tournament.

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