‘There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.’
-David Allen
It is needless to mention that the year 2020 has been but an unexpected and unwelcomed challenge for the entire humankind. The outbreak of the coronavirus, thereby resulting in a global pandemic has not only compelled people to stay shut indoors but put a pause on social and community life. This has resulted in people getting nothing significant to do and suffering anxiety. Wherein everything went online as the only seemingly possible solution to the problem spread worldwide, even the game of chess and the leagues and tournaments associated with it are being conducted in a virtual manner, but with the same zest and zeal.
The US Chess Championship held in the month of September 2020 has been a huge success. Although there were a few glitches on the technical part, just the idea of participating and then facing cut-throat competition from the opponents, fired the players with new and fresh spirits. At the same time, the viewers and the chess fans had a great deal following each and every game that was streaming online on various platforms.
It is but obvious that the effect of the pandemic has been quite disastrous for the kids. Inability to go and attend school and deprived of playing with the other kids of their age in parks, playgrounds, etc. have had a negative effect on their personality growth. It is one hundred percent true that a child learns more when they interact with their peers and share a healthy competitive spirit with them. Online chess has been but one thing that has caught the attention of kids and they have turned to play chess online by sitting safely in their homes only. There are a number of digital applications and software that allow the users to play chess online either against another verified user or the computer itself. Noteworthy to mention, it not only sharpens their brains but also helps them develop analytical and problem-solving skills.
With apparently the same idea in mind, International Chess Federation (FIDE) has collaborated with Chesskid to launch the first-ever online chess event for kids, International Chesskid FIDE Challenge. It is expected to be the largest Under-12 event ever as it will accommodate players from each and every part of the globe. It has been announced that the virtual event will be held on 23rd January 2021. So, we can expect that the New Year will bring a chance of enjoyment and learning for the hardcore chess champs. In order to resolve the issue of varying time zones and so that every aspirer gets a fair chance to play, the event has been divided into two distinct tournaments which will take place on the same day. During registration itself, children can opt for Eastern edition (scheduled to commence from 9 AM UK /10 am CET/2:30 pm India/8:00 pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (Sydney)) or Western edition (to begin from 9 AM Pacific US /12 pm Eastern/5 pm UK/6 pm CET). The kids will be eligible to play in either one or both the editions, as per their own convenience.
The two editions of the tournament will be further subdivided as follows: One will be for the children in the age group 9-12 years and the other will include kids of age 8 years or less. The age of the players will be calculated as of 1st January 2021. Also, the two editions will consist of 7 rounds each and the time control will be 10+2 (10 minutes starting time plus 2 seconds which will be added per move). Each tournament is expected to last for roughly three hours. The Chesskid server is chosen as the live platform on which the events will be held. The tournament promises fantastic prizes as well as insightful group lessons with the former World Champions like Vishy Anand, Alexandra Kosteniuk, and the current world Rapid Champion, Humpy Koneru. It has although been mentioned that Chesskid holds the right change instructors based on the languages of the winners, time zones, and various other significant factors.
The Chesskid FIDE Challenge is based on the essence of promoting participation and enabling the players to have fun so that some pressure can be taken off the kids. The main motive is that in the spirit of whole-hearted participation, each child will have a fair chance to grab some exciting prizes. The top prizes, however, will be awarded in quite a unique way.
Registration details:
For participating in the Intercontinental Chesskid FIDE Challenge, the registration fee for the early birds is $25 USD. This will be valid if received on or before January 10th, 2021 11:59 p.m. Pacific U.S. time. Later, the registrations are done during the period 11th-16th January 2021 will cost $35 USD. Lastly, the people who register between 17th-20th January 2021 will be liable to pay $50 USD as the registration charges. The registration window will close on 20th January 2021 after 11:59 p.m. Pacific U.S. time.
Upon successful registration, the user will be provided with a unique username from Chesskid which will be used during the course of the event. Additionally, this username will also hold a two monthly premium (gold) Chesskid membership as an attachment. If the child wants to play twice, I .e. in both the editions of the tournament, they need to register twice, once for each edition, and hence they will receive two usernames which will be valid for each event.
Warm-Up Event:
For the ease of the participants and to make them get familiar with the platform, a warm-up event will be held for the Eastern edition on Saturday, 16th January 2021 at 9 am UK/10 am CET/2:30 pm India/8:00 pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (Sydney) and for the Western edition on the same day at 9 am Pacific/12 pm Eastern/5 pm UK/6 pm CET. The tournaments in this warm-up event will be of 5+1 and will last for only one hour. Through this event, the participants can test their computer, internet and get acquainted with the site and the game. Hence, this will not offer any prizes.

The participants and their parents have to adhere to the fair play guidelines as issued by the organizing committee in order to make it an event of the highest level of integrity and ethics. In accordance with this, cheating of all sorts is prohibited and for this sufficient measures of monitoring will be employed.

Author's Bio: 

Noman Jahangir
Managing Partner
Saswath Academy - We provide Chess classes for kids in Bangalore as well as online chess coaching.