Ban on Nikhil Kamath who 'cheated' against Viswanathan Anand lifted, here's what had happened
Chess.com, a website dedicated to chess, has lifted the ban imposed on India's youngest billionaire Nikhil Kamath, who allegedly cheated against five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand in an online chess charity event.
Here's what had happened:
On Sunday, Viswanathan Anand played 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. These included actors Aamir Khan, Kichcha Sudeep, Riteish Deshmukh, singer Arijit Singh, singer-songwriter Ananya Birla, cricketer Yuzvendra Chahal, Xiaomi India's MD Manu Kumar Jain, Zerodha's co-founder Nikhil Kamath, producer Sajid Nadiadwala and Prachura Padakannaya.
In the said match, Nikhil Kamath defeated Anand, leaving the Indian chess field in shock.
However, Kamath later admitted that he had used external help to defeat the world champion. Following the admission, Kamath's account was banned on the platform. He had also apologized for not following the rules of the games.
"It is ridiculous that so many are thinking that I really beat Vishy sir in a chess game, that is almost like me waking up and winning a 100mt race with Usain Bolt. Yesterday was one of those days that I had dreamt of when I was a really young kid learning chess, to interact with Vishwanath Anand... I had help from the people analysing 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 (sic)," wrote Kamath.
To which Anand replied, "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 (sic)."
All is well
A day later, on Monday night, Chess.com's chief Daniel Rensch said that the platform has decided to lift the ban as the celebrities clarified that they did not understand the rules.
"Regarding the games played in the Vishy Anand simul for charity, as well as with full cooperation of Vishy Anand, Chess.com has elected to reopen all of the accounts in question during the event. Given the forthcoming cooperation of the players and the clarification that not all the rules were properly understood, neither Chess.com nor Anand himself see any reason to uphold the matter further. General Note: Per Chess.com rules found here at support.chess.com - unrated games, as such were played in the event-are not always played within the same parameters. Anand, as the simul giver, has expressed no interest in further pursuing the matter. While he clearly expressed that he does not endorse use of non-approved assistance in chess, he agrees fully that the games were played in good faith for the fun and good intentions of the charitable efforts, and wishes the matter be put to rest (sic)," reads the official tweet signed by Chess.com's chief Daniel Rensch.
Retweeting the tweet, the chess champion Viswanathan Anand wrote, "It’s time to move on and get closure on this."
Netizens aren't happy
However, the netizens aren't very happy with the decision. "Thanks for making it clear that rules are different for billionaires and celebrities. Adios chess.com (sic)," wrote one user. "Absolute disgress. Cheating in a charity event against the world champion is far more heinous crime than some kid cheating in a competitive tournament. These are grown up privileged rich adults with huge ego who are present day influencer. This is just sending the wrong message (sic)," said another.