Project Checkmate was an initiative taken up by Devanshi Rathi, a 16 year old girl, from New Delhi. Having played chess for a long time, she decided to give back to the game. The project aims to teach underprivileged children to play chess. It has progressed by leaps and bounds since its establishment in April 2016. There have been numerous sessions with underprivileged children, tournaments organised for them , quizzes, lessons on chess history, and much more. Online training has also been set-up for them. The biggest achievement by far was taking them to play the Delhi State Rapid Tournament. The children got a sense of what it feels to compete professionally on the circuit.
A chess library with donations made by enthusiastic chess players has also been set-up. In October 2016, Devanshi organised a fund-raising event in an annual Diwali Mela. She sold diyas and jelly and raised money for the project. This money was used to sponsor the travel of 20 blind students from the National Association of the Blind, New Delhi for the 1st National Schools Chess Championship for the Blind in Maharashtra. Devanshi also conducted online training classes with the students from NAB and released her book ‘Chess Notes’ in braille for the children to read and learn from.
Project Checkmate has come a long way since its establishment. It now looks forward to grow even bigger and reach out to many more inspiring youngsters.