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Zerodha's Nikhil Kamath accused of cheating against Viswanathan Anand in chess game, banned from platform

Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath's Chess.com account was suspended, after he was accused of cheating to win a game against chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand.

Mumbai / June 14, 2021 / 05:02 PM IST

Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath defeated world champion and grandmaster Viswanathan Anand in a charity chess game using help from in-game analysts and computers, a fact he disclosed only after Chess.com banned him for cheating and winning.

Anand was playing virtual chess games versus celebrities such as actor Aamir Khan, cricketer Yuzvendra Chahal and Zerodha’s Kamath, among others to raise funds to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

While he beat other players easily, Anand surprisingly lost to Kamath- whose moves had an astonishing accuracy rate of 99%.

Kamath was soon after banned by Chess.com for cheating.

“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,” Anand tweeted on June 14.

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While most chess fans and followers of Kamath and Anand were quick to criticise Kamath, the Zerodha co-founder said in a statement on Twitter- “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.

"Got the opportunity thanks to Akshaypatra and their idea of raising funds for charity conducting a bunch of chess games with Vishy. 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 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…,” he added.

Reacting to the incident, chess legend's wife Aruna Ananad said, "Well, Nikhil contacted Anand today and explained this tweet. Anand replied to say that he can't deny the algorithm and personally wouldn't comment on the issue."

"He requested Mr Kamath not to involve Anand’s name in his Tweets or in his course of action. That he went ahead and did it and allege something is disrespectful," she further added.

Kamath brothers Nithin and Nikhil are co-founders of online stock brokerage Zerodha, which was recently valued at $2 billion.
M. Sriram
first published: Jun 14, 2021 03:36 pm

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