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Sportspersons Look to Spend Time with Family as COVID-19 Disturbs Calendar

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (L) and Sharath Kamal (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (L) and Sharath Kamal (Photo Credit: Reuters)

The likes of Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Viswanathan Anand are using this time away from regular competition to be with their families.

Chennai: The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on sports calendars across the globe, resulting in cancellation and postponement of events, but it has also provided sportspersons a rather unexpected break.

Indian sportspersons including some chess players plan to use the time to train and also be with their families.

For some of the chess players in the country, the break provides an opportunity to rest and train. The legendary Viswanathan Anand's return to India has been put on hold over the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is expected to "wait and watch" with regard to his travel plans.

Anand would also be busy with his commentary stint for a website for the FIDE Candidates tournament beginning in Russia on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, India's No.4 chess player B Adhiban, who is back here after playing three back-to-back tournaments, is happy that he would be getting a break.

"I am a bit tired after playing back-to-back tournaments. First I want to take rest and be at home with my family. Then I will train. I needed a break but I didn't expect to be for two-three months!

"Apart from training, I will be playing online tournaments," he added.

Adhiban had played the Gibraltar Open and the Aeroflot Open in Moscow and in between featured in the national team championship.

The Indian women's No.2 D Harika, who recently participated in the FIDE Women's GP Series event in Lausanne, Switzerland is back in the country and wants to use the break to train.

"Yeah, it will be a break and I will use this time for to work on chess and train myself. The (chess) Olympiad will be the next major event," she said from Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, the 13-year old D Gukesh, the world's second youngest Grandmaster ever, said with all tournaments till April-end being cancelled, the focus will be on training.

"All planned tournaments till April-end have been cancelled. So just concentrating on training at the moment and see how things progress. Once things settle down, have to re-plan everything," the Chennai player told PTI.

The country's top paddlers -- A Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan -- both residents of Chennai, will look to use the time to train in the city.

While Sharath said he would wait till things calm down, Sathiyan, who is returning to the city later Monday, said he planed to practice and also enjoy time with the family.

"Yes.. training at home and I think it is a good window to spend time with family, eat mom's food, train at home centre and improve on skills and fitness," the 27-year old Sathiyan said.

The deadly coronavirus outbreak, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has so far led to over 6.000 deaths globally and over 110 cases in India.