Chess grandmaster and former world chess champion Viswanathan Anand will finally arrive in India on Saturday afternoon after being stuck in Germany for more than three months due to the travel restrictions imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"He will be returning today and landing in Bengaluru in the afternoon. He will be following the quarantine policy issued by the Karnataka government," Aruna Anand, the chess maestro's wife, told TNM.
Anand, who boarded an Air India flight (AI-120) from Frankfurt on Friday night will reach Bengaluru via Delhi. He is expected to reach Bengaluru at 1.15 pm.
The five-time world champion will undergo 14 days quarantine at a Covid Care Centre (CCC) as per rules laid down by the Karnataka government. He will be tested upon arrival and at the end of the two-week quarantine period, and if he tests negative, he will be free to return home.
"He will be coming to Chennai only after completing the quarantine protocol in Bengaluru," Aruna Anand said. The flights from Germany are only scheduled to land only in Delhi and Bengaluru.
The chess ace was in Germany to play in the Bundesliga chess league and was to return to India, but was forced to stay put after the COVID-19 outbreak restricted movement. It also disrupted sports schedules across the world.
He was staying in Bad Soden, a town near Frankfurt and was doing online commentary for the Candidates tournament, which was called off mid-way due to the pandemic, and led the Indian team in the Online Nations Cup early this month.
Anand had been in touch with his family in Chennai on a regular basis via video calls and kept himself busy with chess-related work.
He also raised money for COVID-19 relief by competing in an online chess tournament with other leading Indian chess players on April 11. The event was streamed live online, where all donations made were sent to the PM CARES fund.
(With inputs from PTI)