Sunday, December 26, 2010

20,483 play chess under one roof, enter Guinness

Mexico City's record shattered with 20,483 playing chess simultaneously under one roof

Gujarat, through Ahmedabad, has staked its claim to find a place in the Guinness Book of World Records by assembling 20,483 players to play chess simultaneously on one platform.

The “Swarnim Chess Mahotsav” was organised here on Friday by the Department of Sports, Youth, & Cultural activities and the Gujarat Chess Association as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the State. Besides Chief Minister Narendra Modi, world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand was present on the occasion, and as a token, he played simultaneously with 64 participants at the Mahotsava. An official representative of the Guinness Book was present to ensure that the ceremony conformed to the rules and regulations for records.

A spokesman of the State government claimed that Ahmedabad had broken the record set in current Guinness record-holder Mexico City when, on October 21, 2006, 13,446 players played chess simultaneously. The former world champion, Anatoly Karpov, was present in the record chess ceremony at Mexico City.

Preparations for the performance have been in progress since June, when chess competitions were organised in some 8,000 schools and over 900 colleges in the State. Over 94,200 students had registered for participating in the performance, of whom 20,480 were selected, and three more added on the spot. About 1,000 select masters played simultaneously with over 20,000 players. Guinness Book adjudicator Tarika Vara announced the new record in the name of Gujarat for the highest number of participants in a game of chess under one roof.

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