Russia Suspends Outlier Chess Tournament Over Virus

Russia suspends outlier chess tournament over virus

A high-profile chess tournament hosted by Russia was suspended on Thursday over the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said

Moscow, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 26th Mar, 2020 ) :A high-profile chess tournament hosted by Russia was suspended on Thursday over the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said.

The decision follows the Russian government's announcement earlier in the day that it was grounding all international flights from Friday as part of efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19.

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.

The chess tournament opened last week after Russia's national ice hockey, football and basketball leagues announced they were suspending fixtures over the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

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