Russia Suspends Outlier Chess Tournament Over Virus
Muhammad Rameez 3 days ago Thu 26th March 2020 | 04:19 PM
A high-profile chess tournament hosted by Russia was suspended on Thursday over the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said
The 2020 Candidates tournament "cannot continue... without guarantees for the players' and officials' safe and timely return home," the International Chess Federation's president Arkady Dvorkovich said in a statement.
"It will be continued later, with the exact dates to be announced as soon as the global situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic will allow," Dvorkovich added.
Eight players from across the world had gathered in the Urals city of Ekaterinburg to play for 500,000 Euros ($545,000) and the chance to face off against the world champion, 29-year-old Magnus Carlsen from Norway.
The International Chess Federation had already banned live spectators to limit the risks linked to the pandemic and ordered journalists to stay six metres (20 feet) from players.
Russia has registered 840 cases of coronavirus and on Wednesday announced two deaths related to COVID-19, its first fatalities.