Northeast Chess Tournament to be conducted online

Gangtok, May 27: While the national lockdown has created woes for many, the sports sector has been significantly impacted, with even the famed Premier League being cancelled. Keeping this in mind, the North East Chess Tournament will be conducted online on May 29. SC spoke to the Sikkim Chess Association’s General Secretary, Mahendra Dhakal, to […] The post Northeast Chess Tournament to be conducted online appeared first on The Sikkim Chronicle - Sikkim News.

Northeast Chess Tournament to be conducted online

Gangtok, May 27: While the national lockdown has created woes for many, the sports sector has been significantly impacted, with even the famed Premier League being cancelled. Keeping this in mind, the North East Chess Tournament will be conducted online on May 29.

SC spoke to the Sikkim Chess Association’s General Secretary, Mahendra Dhakal, to better understand this new initiative. The tournament has been supported by the Sports and Youth Affair Department as well and is a joint venture with the Sikkim Chess Association. Circulars announcing this new form of playing chess has been sent to all the Northeastern States. 

This is a new concept born from the impact of the lockdown and will be different from the normal chess tournaments in many ways. For example, the tournament will be completed in a day and will be played through an app. A match will last for 1 hour 45 minutes and the inauguration will be done on the same day at 4:30 P.M. Dhakal says the response from the other Northeastern states has been positive, adding “Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown, people have to stay at home with nothing to do and this tournament in a way will exercise the minds of the players. We realized that chess can be played through inline portals as well and hence the idea was born. International level players will also be taking part in this tournament along with amateur players.” 

“Minds tend to get dull when having to stay at home so we hope at this time we’ll be able to interact with children and students with chess which will also help with the lockdown environment.”

While the initiative is a wonderful way to interact with new players, Sikkim’s main problem could be the bad network connectivity problems which affects all corners of the state. Dhakal says that they have conducted material matches for this purpose. “We have found that we are 99% successful and the 1% left is not a good enough reason to not conduct the tournament. Other states have also conducted such online tournaments.”

The response, Dhakal says, from players and students in Sikkim has been overwhelming, with participants being excited to play after having to stay at home all day. The cash prize of Rs. 50,000 has been supported by the Sports and Youth Affairs Department and Dhakal, on behalf of the Sikkim Chess Association, has expressed hearty gratitude for this and hopes that the department supports them further.

He has appealed to the children who don’t necessarily play chess to garner interest in the sport by playing online at home and learning the game, thus implementing it in day to day life as well and added that the Association will support them and conduct classes on how to play.

As a parting note, he says, “We do not know how long this pandemic and the lockdown might continue, hence we might have to learn to live with it. Other sports will also have to play in other forms innovative, but for now, chess is a good and creative idea which can be played online”.

Interested players can register to participate in the tournament by contacting the Sikkim Chess Association.

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