The city of Ahmedabad today witnessed a new world record in the game of chess in presence of Chess champion Vishwanathan Anand and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Tarika Vara, representative of Guinness book of records presented Guinness record certificate to Gujarat government’s Bhagyesh Jha and others for achievement of new world record of highest number of players(20,000) playing a game of chess simultaneously at one place. The Guinness certificate states: “The most games of chess played simultaneously in one location was achieved by the Government of Gujarat at the Gujarat University Grounds, Ahmedabad in India on 24 December 2010″

El Zocalo, Mexico City’s central square, had set the earlier record when 13,446 players had assembled to play chess on October 21, 2006. Former world champion Anatoly Karpov was the guest of honour in Mexico while Ahmedabad had current world champion Viswanathan Anand.

Speaking at the event, World No.1 Chess grand master Vishwanathan Anand said, “I Can’t tell you how incredibly proud at this point of time. This is amazing event.”

Guinness book representative Tarika Vara said,”I am truly amazed with the talent and turnout here. It’s Great pleasure to announce that 22480 played Chess at this place simultaneously, and have created a new world record.”

Speaking at the event, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said that until now there were 299 records broken in India, but now with this new achievement, India has completed 300 records.

“Guinness book of records representatives told us that in previous record breaking event in Mexico, there was no blind player involved. But here at this place there are 140 blind players,” Modi said, adding that “While I congratulate all, but those who guided these blind players deserve special congratulation.”

Modi said,”I am thankful to Vishwanathan Anand, because he came to Gujarat more than once, he guided the players, and created a faith that this was possible.”

“This is Golden Jubilee occasion of Gujarat. But we have not made it limited to a token stage event.We saw a dream, that the golden jubilee should become a festival of uncovering the power of the people,” he added.

“In just one Golden jubilee year, the city of Ahmedabad broke Pakistan’s record in tree plantation. In Vadnagar our one singer broke world record of non-stop singing.Also a new world record of 5600 vegetarian dishes at one time was broken in Ahmedabad. Also five million people participated at one time in Vanche Gujarat this year and created a new record. In our Khel Mahakumbh, 14 lakh people played sports,” Modi said.

As many as 20,000 students and 1,200 masters gathered at Ahmedabad’s Gujarat University ground today at around 5.00 pm and played a game of chess simultaneously to break Mexico’s Guinness world record of the largest number of people playing the game together at the same time. A lady adjudicator from Guinness Book from London was present in the function. Each master took on 20 players. Another 200 masters were on stand by.

The record-breaking event was held by Gujarat State Chess Association, NIIT and the Gujarat government’s arm Gujarat Sports Authority after preparations of 10 months. The Gujarat University ground was divided into 64 squares with 320 participants in one square. From top of the GMDC building it looks like a big chess board.

Sports Authority of Gujarat’s Vikas Sahay, Sports Minister Fakirbhai Vaghela, Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Guinness book’s Tarika Vara, and world Chess champion Vishwanathan Anand