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The ancient game that saved a village
by Jack Palfrey
BBC News Translate This Article
18 May 2017
On 18 May 2017 BBC News reported:
Fifty years ago, Marottichal was a very different place. Like many villages in northern Kerala, alcoholism and illicit gambling were rife among its small population. Having developed a zeal for chess while living in the nearby town of Kallur, Unnikrishnan moved back to his afflicted hometown and opened his teashop, where he began teaching customers to play chess as a healthier way to pass the time. Miraculously, the game's popularity flourished while drinking and gambling declined. The village's enthusiasm for the ancient pastime, which is believed to have originated in India in the 6th Century . . . 'Chess improves concentration, builds character and creates community,' he [Baby John] said. The village has also lured visitors from as far away as Germany and the US keen to learn the game or hone their skills.
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