COVID-19: Praggu coach GM RB Ramesh provides the essentials

CHENNAI: Grandmaster RB Ramesh and his wife Aarthie Ramaswamy , who is also a Grand Master, has helped shape the careers of young chess players such as R Praggnanandhaa, Aravindh Chithambaram and Karthikeyan Murali through Gurukul chess.

Now the two are offering help for a different cause by providing essentials for those in need through their charitable trust as the city struggles to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ramesh, the tenth great teacher of India, believes that it is everyone's duty to do their part at this hour. “This is the time for each of us to help those in distress. Through our trust, we have distributed essentials like rice, dal, noodles, cookies, sugar, and spices to some 50 families. In addition to this, we have also donated Rs 1.75 lakh to small organizations that are providing a similar service to society, Ramesh told TOI.

Ramesh and Aarthie had started the trust about 5 years ago to support promising players who were not financially sound. Essential items are being distributed by your domestic help and your driver. Ramesh also gained the support of other chess players such as GM Harikrishna and Praggu for the cause. Harikrishna offered Rs 2 lakh, while other GMs like Praggu, Karthikeyan have made their contributions, Ramesh said.

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Harikrishna was satisfied with the work that Ramesh and his team have been doing. Once I learned that I was helping those in need, I was happy to be on board, Harikrishna said.

The continued blocking has not deterred Ramesh from participating in online sessions with his students. It has not affected our daily routine while training and analyzing games with my students through online classes. This is the time when our chess players can work on their weak areas. Also, players remain in competitive mode by participating in online competitions, ”said Ramesh.