India's youngest billionaire caught in chess cheating scandal

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·Sports Reporter
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Indian chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand has played down an incident of cheating from a recent billionaire opponent.
Indian chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand was beaten in a match by billionaire Nikhil Kamath, who later admitted to using a computer program an analysts to win. (Photo by Pratham Gokhale/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

When upstart Indian billionaire Nikhil Kamath took on Indian chess champion Viswanathan Anand, he had no idea the huge stir he was about to cause.

The pair faced off in a 30 minute rapid match, with Anand also facing and defeating a variety of celebrity opponents in the charity event.

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But viewers and chess fans were stunned when the former world champion grandmaster was upset by the 34-year-old billionaire, who earned his fortune in online brokerage.

The ruse didn't last long though - with scepticism from the chess community at large growing, Kamath came clean just a day after winning the match.

Kamath admitted to using 'computers' and 'people analysing the game' to engineer the upset victory.

In a Twitter post explaining himself, Kamath said he thought the stunt would be seen as more of a joke, and likened his victory over Anand to someone defeating Usain Bolt in a sprint.

"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 100mt race with Usain Bolt," Kamath tweeted.

"In hindsight, it was quite silly as I didn't realise all the confusion that can get caused due to this. Apologies."

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Chess champion responds after billionaire admits to cheating

Anand, acclaimed as the greatest player India has produced, played — and beat — a number of celebrity guests including cricketer Yuzvendra Chahal and Bollywood actor Aamir Khan during the event.

The 51-year-old grandmaster appeared to play down the whole affair.

"Yesterday was a celebrity simul for people to raise money It was a fun experience upholding the ethics of the game," he wrote on Twitter.

"I just played the position (on the) board and expected the same from everyone."

Viswanathan Anand played down the actions of Nikhil Kamath, who used 'compuyters' to defeat him in a recent charity match. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Viswanathan Anand played down the actions of Nikhil Kamath, who used 'compuyters' to defeat him in a recent charity match. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

India's chess federation saw the incident as violating the spirit of the game.

"We don't expect anybody to get help from computers, at the national and state level we are following the protocols," the federation's secretary Bharat Chauhan told local media.

"(Kamath) was doing it for charity, he shouldn't have done. This is really bad," he added.

Anand won his first world title aged 30, and enjoyed great rivalries with the likes of Russian champions Gary Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Soviet-born Israeli Boris Gelfand.

With AFP

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