The Journey of a Village from Quitting Alcohol to Getting Addicted To Chess

BANGALORE: Marottichal is a beautiful village in God’s own country. The village comes under Thrissur district and it is known for the intoxicating hills and waterfalls. Tourists are welcomed for a four hours long trek and a memorable day at the hill top. The place has numerous stories to tell you but the most interesting one will be about C Unnikrishnan, who helped the village to transform in to ‘Chess Village’, reports Indiatimes.

Earlier in the 60s and 70s the village was going through its worse phase with increased use and illegal brewing of liquor. This caused various problems to the villagers and finally the villagers came together and convinced the excise officials to raid the village and put an end to their problems. But the biggest problem was the addiction the villagers had for alcohol thus replacing this with something else was the best option they found.

C Unnikrishnan a fan of Bobby Fischer, the American who became the youngest chess Grandmaster at the age of 16 came with the idea of spreading chess in the village. The idea was widely accepted and after decades the village is now known as the ‘Chess Village’. The village president Sreenivasan stated that, “Around 90 per cent of the villagers are chess players. The panchayat has undertaken a mission with an objective of announcing that the village is the first comprehensive chess literate village in the country. The village will be formally announced as the first chess village in August.”

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