GM Alexander Grischuk won the “Play For Russia” tournament on Thursday after beating GM Evgeny Tomashevsky in the final. Held May 12-14, the online blitz tournament raised an impressive amount of over $333,000 for hospitals and health workers fighting the coronavirus epidemic in Russia. Alexander Grischuk won the three-day online “Play for Russia” charity tournament after beating Vladimir Kramnik and Evgeny Tomashevsky in the knockout phase.
The tournament was an initiative of some of the strongest Russian players, with GM Vladimir Kramnik being the driving force. It was supported by the Russian Chess Federation, Russia’s Ministry of Sports, the Timchenko Foundation, the Ramax group of companies, and Gazprombank (Switzerland).
Following several COVID-19 related charity chess events, Play For Russia has been the most successful so far. Helped by a live broadcast on the Russian federal channel MatchTV, over $333,000 was raised.
The purpose of the “Play for Russia” tournament, was to raise funds to support the country’s regional hospitals and health workers fighting the Covid-19 epidemic. The Russian Chess Federation announced that they will continue to accept donations until the end of the week while so far 24,670,000 roubles have been collected, or around $335,000 USD.
The prize fund will be shared among regional hospitals and health workers fighting the COVID-19 epidemic. Before the tournament, the participants determined the recipients and amounts received from the donations, depending on the needs of a particular institution. The entire prize fund will be distributed equally among the regions, regardless of the final standings.
Besides Kramnik (who chose the Krasnodar Krai region), Grischuk (Moscow), and Tomashevsky (Saratov region), the participants were GM Ian Nepomniachtchi (Bryansk region), GM Sergey Karjakin (Crimea), GM Peter Svidler (St. Petersburg), Ernesto Inarkiev (Caucasus), and Alexander Riazantsev (Ural and Siberia).
Each of the eight participants, representing a different region, destined his share of the money raised to a different organization. The winner of the event, Alexander Grischuk, donated his share to a charity institution dealing with the problem of homelessness in Russia.