The first Chess village of India: Marottichal, Kerala


It is believed that the practice of chess started in India. A game which preceded chess was played in 7th century AD was called Chaturanga. Later the Arab rulers named it Shatranj. Then the game reached Europe via Persia and became worldwide famous.
There is a small village in Kerala named Marottichal in Thrissur district, where under the trees, in the lanes or in the shops, everywhere you would see people are playing chess. Everyone there is a great chess player. It is a part of the daily routine of the people of this village to play chess. The ambience of this place is the same throughout the year. Therefore it is also called the chess village of India.
Now you must be wondering when and why these people got hooked to chess? It was Mr. C. Unnikrishnan who started the practice. Around 40 years ago, almost all the men of this village were addicted to the locally brewed liquor. Mr. C. Unnikrishnan wanted to free everyone from the addiction of alcohol when he was 14 years old. He was inspired by chess grandmaster Bobby Fisher and he thought that he could use chess to divert their minds.
First of all Mr. C. Unnikrishnan himself learned chess and then taught this game to 100 villagers. After that, it kept spreading everywhere in the village. According to him, at first it was quite challenging and slowly the chess destroyed the alcohol addiction of the villagers. Now the situation of the people of this village is much better than it was before 40 years ago.
This great move by Mr. Unnikrishnan saved the lives of many by enticing them to the game of chess. Today 90% of the people of this village are chess players. Chess changed the scenario of this village.


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