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Professional Chess Continues Amidst The Pandemic

The spread of the COVID-19 disease caused by the CORONAVIRUS continues to affect all sporting activities

Major tournaments and events have been canceled or postponed including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics that was due to take place in Japan this summer. As announced by the International Olympic Committee and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the world event has been postponed till next year, it will now take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021.

The African Nations Championship 2020 soccer tournament scheduled for April in Cameroon has been postponed indefinitely, the African Football Federation said in a statement on March 17.

UEFA on April 1 suspended all Champions League and Europa League matches “until further notice”.

All national team games scheduled for June have also been postponed.

And the list goes on… Read More on canceled or postponed sporting events on ALJAZEERA NEWS; Coronavirus: What sporting events are affected by the pandemic? or BBC NEWS; Coronavirus: How the virus has impacted sporting events around the world

Meanwhile, thanks to the pioneers of online chess and all the good companies making it possible to playing chess online with people from around the world in realtime.

platforms Such as

Chess.com Brand Resources - Chess.com

In the year 2020 alone there have been GrandMasters and Opens online tournaments with cash prizes worth over $500k.

In Nigeria, we saw what can be best described as an amazing innovation from the organizers of the renowned CapaTal Monthly Blitz (speed chess) which usually takes place at the Chevron Recreation Centre, Lagos before the pandemic. They decided to organize an online edition of cash funds of ₦230,000 ($638, as of the time of the event). Exactly 128 Nigerian players participated in the online event.

Then we had the organizers of Malogy Junior Chess Championship one of Nigeria’s most prestigious Juniors Events playing in another novelty in the online showbiz with two different events; a Showdown Match played by some of Nigeria’s finest players and an Online Festival (open to all level of players). The two events had cash funds of ₦425,000 (roughly $1,180, as of the time of the event) with a total of 152 participants.

Amongst other chess events, we have had so far in Nigeria and the world at large.

They have always said chess in an underrated game, so far, over 36,000,000 population of the world plays chess online according to chess.com and lichess.org users; I guess this means that chess is really growing.

statistic as shown on the chess.com website
lichess.org statistic as shown on the website

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