Nikhil Kamath could not Vish him away


Bengaluru billionaire Nikhil Kamath’s ‘win’ against Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand is a victory he would like to forget very soon

It is not often you beat a five-time world champion and end up with an egg on your face. Corporate prodigy Nikhil Kamath had that dubious distinction, his cardinal sin being the audacity that he could cheat and win against Vishwanathan Anand and getaway. But he became the butt of national ridicule and the high of the win came crashing down soon.

The Bengaluru-based Kamath (34), one of the youngest billionaires from India, admitted to adopting unfair means in the fund-raising online match against Anand. “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 100 m race with Usain Bolt… I had people analyzing the game, computers; in hindsight, it was quite silly as I did not realize all the confusion that can get caused due to this. Apologies… (sic),” the co-founder of Zerodha and True Beacon confessed.

But not many were willing to condone him and Twitter exploded with condemnation. One user called him rather fittingly: ‘Alpha Zerodha’, the pun being a rip-off from Alpha Zero, the strongest chess engine in the world. Some other reactions were: ‘The Gaslight Defense’, ‘stupid excuse’, ‘cheater businessman’.

The fundraiser, rather appropriately called Checkmate Covid, was held under the auspices of Bengaluru-based NGO, Akshaya Patra Foundation, and was organized by chess.com. The international online chess platform eventually banned Kamath, after its artificial intelligence algorithm software promptly inferred that Kamath’s game was computer-assisted. The game lasted 34 moves.

His accuracy level in the 30-minute simul game was stunningly and inhumanly 99 per cent, as against Anand’s 92 per cent. He won with black pieces – a rarity against top players of the world — and crazily enough he imagined that he would not get caught even after blundering a pawn early on in the game. Penny-wise pound-foolish.

Many other celebrities, including Aamir Khan

Advertisement
, Kichcha Sudeep, Riteish Deshmukh, Arijit Singh, Ananya Birla and Yuzvendra Chahal, took part in the competition. None of them could test Anand, although a couple of them had surprisingly managed to stretch the chess Indian Grandmaster.

Vishwanathan Anand

“I have heard that he played chess as a child but I can’t remember any Nikhil Kamath who did well at the national level. I am surprised by the way his moves were rattled off. Normally I can guess when one is cheating and yesterday I was sure he was using a chess engine. It was an insult to the chess community that he did it, and that too against a gentleman like Anand,” Grandmaster Praveen Thipsay told Bangalore Mirror.

Anand put out a statement on Monday morning. It read: “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.” His wife Aruna was upset with Kamath after he reneged on his promise to them to not take Anand’s name in his future course of action. She did not respond to messages from this paper.

Kamath’s PR team remained silent stating that it cannot add anything beyond what their client put out in social media while Akshaya Patra Foundation said it would avoid commenting on the controversy. Chess.com did not respond to a mail from Bangalore Mirror but its public statement read: “When it comes to Fair Play, Chess.com acts only in the interest of the global chess community. Our goals are to protect the integrity of all games played on site.” It closed the account of Kamath on Monday morning.



Source link

Advertisement

Sagar Biswas

Leave a Reply