Chennai: An online charity chess event featuring former world champion Viswanathan Anand and several celebrities has run into controversy after a young entrepreneur Nikhil Kamath faced flak for resorting to unfair means in order to beat the Indian legend.
Nikhil Kamath, co-founder of Zerodha, a stock brokerage company and True Beacon, an asset management company, apologised on Twitter and admitted that he took help from chess analysts and computers during the event on Sunday.
Responding to Kamath's tweet, Anand said on Twitter: "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."
Kamath apologised for his misdemeanour and said he had help from people analysing the game and computers.
".... It is ridiculous that so many are thinking that I really beat Vishy in a chess game, that is almost like me waking up and winning a 100mt race with Usain Bolt. 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," Kamath tweeted.
Kamath's misdemeanour overshadowed the noble cause and Twitter saw several users slam the entrepreneur.
Meanwhile, All India Chess Federation Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan said it was unfortunate that such an incident happened during a charity event.
"It is really unfortunate. He (Nikhil Kamath) is a big celebrity. He should not have done that. This is really bad. For the noble cause, we are helping people and such things shouldn't happen," he told PTI.
"He is not a regular player nor our member and we don't have jurisdiction," Chauhan said when asked if any action was possible against Kamath.
The event - Checkmate Covid, was organised by Chess.com India (chess.com is a global online chess community) with NGO Akshaya Patra Foundation. It saw various celebrities including Indian cricketer Yuzvendra Chahal and actor Aamir Khan among others taking on Anand in simultaneous games on Sunday evening to raise money for families affected during the coronavirus pandemic.
Chess.com said more than Rs 10 lakh was raised from the event and thanked the participants for making it a success.