Actor Aamir Khan will face Indian chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand on June 13 at 5 pm in a charity event called ‘Checkmate Covid’ being held to aid members of the chess community and individuals and families from vulnerable communities affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Held in association with The Akshaya Patra Foundation, the match will be live-streamed on YouTube channel Chess.com, according to a press release. Other celebrities who will participate in the event include actor Riteish Deshmukh and producer Sajid Nadiadwala. Chess.com is yet to reveal the names of other celebrities also participating in this event.
Actor Hrithik Roshan promoted the event by posting a video on social media where he provided details about the event and urged fans to donate for the cause.
Earlier, the All India Chess Federation had organised ‘Checkmate Covid’ to provide financial, medical and emotional support to chess players who were affected by the second wave of the pandemic. As part of the initiative, Vishwanathan and four other Indian grandmasters had played simultaneous online exhibition matches against other chess players to raise funds for relief work in view of the aftermath of the pandemic.
Khan is an ace chess player who had previously also played with Vishwanathan. In 2019, the five-time world chess champion had said Khan was the best suited among all actors to play him in a biopic.
Currently, a biopic on the grandmaster is underway and is being directed by Aanand L Rai. The cast and other details are yet to be announced.
Vishwanathan, a five-time world chess champion, became the first grandmaster from India in 1988. He was the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991-92, India’s highest sporting honour. In 2007, he was awarded India’s second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, making him the first sportsperson to receive the award.