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Checkmate Covid initiative by AICF raises over Rs.60 lakh

by Sagar Shah - 08/05/2021

The All India Chess Federation has come up with an action plan to help the chess community fight Covid-19. For this purpose a fundraiser was organized on 4th of May on the ChessBase India YouTube channel. A massive fund of Rs.60 lakh was raised thanks to the efforts of all the chess lovers. AICF has already started mobilizing these funds. Over 30 members of the chess community have made use of the Covid helpline numbers and three people have received financial aid. We bring you all the updates of this noble initiative.  

The Covid pandemic has been hard on each one of us. The AICF is trying its best to fight against this deadly enemy. On 3rd of May we announced that AICF has launched the Checkmate Covid initiative. The initiative was aimed at providing financial assistance, medical guidance and vaccination support to all the members of the Indian Chess Community to combat Covid-19. To this end the a livestream was organized on ChessBase India on the 4th of May 2021.

The livestream was attended by a lot of eminent personalities and was a big success

The livestream was attended by the FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich as well as five-time World Champion Vishy Anand. We also had top players from Indian chess - Vidit Gujrathi, B. Adhiban, Koneru Humpy, D. Harika, Sasikiran, Tania Sachdev and also eminent personalities from the Corporate world like Ashok Jain - Chairman of Jain irrigation, Kailasanathan - Managing Director of Microsense Networks, Ajay Patel - President of Asian Zone 3.7 and Chairman of Gujarat State Co-operative Bank. From the AICF we had the president Dr. Sanjay Kapoor and the AICF Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan. Chess Promoter and stand-up comedian Samay Raina as well as doctor Shirish Gandhi were present. IM Sagar Shah and IM Tania Sachdev were the hosts of the proceedings.

 

A massive 63 lakh rupees were raised from the initiative. Here is a breakdown of the funds:

1. A donor (who doesn't wish his identity to be revealed) contributed Rs.15 lakh

2. AICF themselves donated Rs. 11 lakh to the cause

3. During the live stream Rs. 462,000 was contributed through the AICF website. The names of all the donors can be found on the AICF website

4. Ashok Jain, Chairman of Jain Irrigation contributed Rs. 11 lakh

5. Ajay Patel, President of Asian Zone 3.7, contributed Rs.10 lakh

6. Maharashtra Chess Association have contributed Rs.5 lakh

7. A benevolent gesture by Samay Raina and Vaibhav Sethia who donated all their winnings of COB All Stars of Rs. 3 lakh and 1 lakh respectively to this noble cause

7. ChessBase India donated all the superchats and money received from the event amounting to Rs. 318,000. The detailed breakdown is given at the end of this article. (The 30% deduction by YouTube is compensated by ChessBase India)

How has the action plan been rolled out?

With all the funds collected, how has AICF made progress on rolling out the action plan? The highlights of Checkmate Covid initiative mentioned the points where the funds were going to be used for. They were:

1. Financial assistance to registered players, arbiters, organizers, coaches, retired players, etc.,

2. Medical guidance by a team of doctors especially for home quarantine patients

3. State-level nodal officer for assistance

4. 24 hrs medical helpline number and email address for an emergency.

5. Assistance for vaccination for players traveling abroad for tournaments

6. List of plasma donors district-wise

7. 5-member committee to Sanction medical funds: Two AICF office bearers, Two prominent players, and one doctor

8. List of assistance provided to be published on AICF website and List of donors on AICF website.

Helpline number:

AICF staff is ready to help you 24 x 7. Here are the contact details:

Mrityunjay Singh: 9718028329

S Balaji: 9884272638

Sudip Mukherjee: 9999414358

Email: checkmatecovid@aicf.in

Doctors Helpline

The following doctors extend their supporting hand to have online consultation and advices. Over 30 members of the chess community have made use of this resource.

Emotional support:

The following psychiatrist and psychologists extend their advices to overcome the psychological trauma you are facing due to COVID.

Vaccination support:

AICF will approach the Government Institutions for priority vaccination of the players who are participating in International tournaments/championships. An amount of Rs. 500/- will be reimbursed to the needy personnel of chess community who gets paid vaccination from private hospitals.

Financial support:

Financial Support Eligibility: – Any person in the chess community with a FIDE ID number and registered with AICF for any of these years (2018-19, 2019-20 & 2020-21) are eligible to receive Financial Aid.

How to apply :- The necessary application for the financial aid required to be routed through concerned Nodal Officer of the State with details (mentioned below) and supporting medical documents/bills. In case emergency the same can be forwarded to our dedicated email (checkmatecovid@aicf.in) with a copy to Nodal Officer.

The details that are needed to be sent are: Name, FIDE ID, AICF ID, DOB, State, Profession {Government/Private/Business/Other (specify)} and Annual Income.

This is the application form. It can also be downloaded from the resources available at the end of the article.

Nodal officers:

All financial aid requests have to be routed through the nodal officers. Here is the list of the Nodal officers:

Sanction committee:

The Covid sanction committee consists of Dr. Sanjay Kapoor - President of AICF, Bharat Singh Chauhan - Secretary of AICF, Naresh Sharma - Treasurer of AICF, Dr. Shirish Gandhi - Expert Doctor, D. Harika - Grandmaster, Abhijit Kunte - Grandmaster. These members will review every application that is to be made for the financial aid and sanction accordingly.

Three cases were finalized yesterday and the following amounts were sanctioned:

Umesh Pangude: Rs. 1 lakh

Hanumantha (death): Rs. 1.5 lakh

Swapnil Bansod: Rs. 5,000

Details of Superchats from ChessBase India

During the livestream that was held on the 4th of May, a lot of people superchatted on the ChessBase India channel. From our end, we promised that the amount that YouTube deducts as their charges (30%) will be paid by ChessBase India. We had 407 donors contributing a massive Rs. 3,05,020 and also a Paypal donor (Rahil Sheth) who contributed 200 US$.

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Total from Super Chats: 305020.16 + Paypal: 13460.2

 

Grand Total: 318480.33

Chess vs Covid!

During the Checkmate Covid Livestream we had some amazing matches lined up in order to raise funds and provide entertainment to the viewers.

The first game of the day was Samay Raina + Tania Sachdev vs Sagar Shah + Amruta Mokal - a hand and brain match. When the game was about to begin, Tania proposed it to be a boys vs girls match with Sagar and Samay teaming up against Amruta and Tania.

Sagar and Samay were brutally crushed!

1972 state champion of Tamil Nadu and current managing director of Microsense Networks took on Samay Raina in a five minute game!

It was a 5+0 blitz and Kailashji's King's Indian was too strong for Samay to handle!

Vidit and Harika took on Adhiban and Tania Sachdev in a hand and brain encounter. The girls were the brain and the boys were the hand!

What is Hand and Brain? Harika would call out a piece and Vidit had to move it. Where to move is to be decided by Vidit. The same with the team of Tania and Adhiban. Tania would call out a piece and Adhiban would decide its destination. The game was well fought, but in the end black (Vidit + Harika) won.

The winners of the above battle were to meet Vishy Anand and Koneru Humpy in the hand and brain finale.

A real cracker of a match-up with the pressure level rising through the roof!

All of these players are great champions, but for this noble cause they waited patiently and played with all their energy! A big thanks to everyone who donated to this worthy cause.

Thank you very much from Team ChessBase India

If you think this is a worthy cause, please consider donating

All the details related to the program and application form can be downloaded from here


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