New Delhi : Indian chess grandmaster and former world chess champion, Viswanathan Anand will play a ‘simultaneous exhibition’ match against the country’s renowned celebrities and businesspersons to raise funds for The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s COVID-19 relief feeding efforts. The charity event is a part of Checkmate COVID – Celebrity Edition by Chess.com India and Prachura Padakannaya, CEO – Xcetra Talent Management, in association with Akshaya Patra. It will be held on 13 June, 2021, at 5.00 pm, and live-streamed on Chess.com India’s official YouTube channel.
Checkmate COVID series will have 5-time world champion, Viswanathan Anand, play ten Indian celebrities and business leaders—five at one go—in one-hour simul games. These include Bollywood celebrities Aamir Khan, Kiccha Sudeep and Riteish Deshmukh, singer Arijit Singh, singer-songwriter Ananya Birla, cricketer Yuzvendra Chahal, Manu Kumar Jain – MD of Xiaomi India, Nikhil Kamath – Co-founder of Zerodha, producer Sajid Nadiadwala and Prachura Padakannaya. All the proceeds of this charity event will go towards serving individuals and families from vulnerable communities who are at a high risk of hunger during this devastating second wave of the pandemic.
Prachura Padakannaya said, “Despite being at the forefront in the International chess circuit, India has not received the recognition and prominence it deserves. Events like Checkmate COVID can draw the attention of public and celebrities to the chess fraternity and thereby, support social causes.”
Shridhar Venkat, CEO – Akshaya Patra, said, “Both, sports and business fraternities have always stepped up to help the people of this country whenever needed. It is heartening to see the stalwarts from both fields once again come together for a cause. I am immensely grateful to Viswanathan Anand and these distinguished celebrities and businesspersons for understanding the criticality of the situation and extending their support to Akshaya Patra’s COVID-19 relief feeding efforts through this charity event. I am also thankful to Chess.com India and Prachura Padakannaya for bringing all these personalities together for a common cause. We, as a country, are going through an unprecedented crisis, and therefore, it is important that all of us work together to ensure that nobody goes hungry even in these difficult times.”
Akshaya Patra has been undertaking relief feeding in 19 states and one union territory through its network of kitchens. Since March 2020, the Foundation has served over 128 million meals to people from vulnerable communities who are facing difficulty arranging food for themselves due to the COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures to curb the outbreak.