The sprawling grounds at the Gujarat University in Ahmedabad looked like one giant chess board with as many as 20,480 players packed into the area divided into 64 huge squares on Friday.
The end result was an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for most number of chess games played simultaneously at a single venue.
The festive atmosphere at the venue was boosted by the presence of world champion Viswanathan Anand, who oversaw Ahmedabad break the previous record, set in 2004 involving 13,446 players in Mexico City.
Around 140 visually challenged players also took part in the record-breaking effort.
Anand was delighted: “It is no doubt one of the best days of my life,” he said. “I've never seen a chess event of this scale. I am sure we will produce many more world masters now.”
The special representative from the Guinness Book of World Records, Tarika Vara, said at the conclusion that it was indeed a record.
“I am truly amazed with the talent and turnout here. It is a great pleasure to announce that 20,480 played chess at this place simultaneously, and have created a new world record,” she announced.
Anand later played simultaneous chess against 64 players, including film star Paresh Rawal and theatre personality Mohan Joshi to wrap up the event.