The Chess Village: Marottichal's Journey from Addiction to Triumph

Nestled amidst the serene landscapes of northern Kerala, there exists a village that has defied the odds and found solace in an unexpected pursuit. Marottichal, once plagued by alcoholism and illicit gambling, the village has now become a sanctuary for an ancient and captivating pursuit – chess. The story of Marottichal isn't just about kings and queens; it's about a community's journey from darkness to light, all through the strategic allure of a 64-square battlefield and 32 symbolic pieces.

In the heart of Marottichal, chess is more than just a pastime; it's a way of connecting with one another. The village resonates with tales of chess games, where strategies and moves are passionately discussed over cups of tea. This profound connection with chess even inspired the creation of a film, "August Club," directed by K.B. Venu, where both villagers and seasoned actors share the screen to bring this remarkable story to life.

The Visionary Behind the Transformation

The chess phenomenon in Marottichal was ignited by the vision of one man – C. Unnikrishnan. Drawn by the story of Bobby Fischer, a young American prodigy, Unnikrishnan embarked on a mission to introduce the game to his village. He opened his home as a sanctuary of learning, where generations of villagers honed their skills under his guidance. 

Unnikrishnan's passion reverberates throughout Marottichal, finding its haven in his restaurant, where chess enthusiasts gather for gripping matches. Beyond the restaurant's doors, a modest shed serves as a battleground where players of all ages challenge each other, their dedication palpable with each move. Unnikrishnan's teachings and unwavering commitment have undoubtedly shaped Marottichal's status as the "Chess Village" of India.

Marottichal stands not just as a village but as a living embodiment of the magic woven by chess. Through unity, shared passion, and the unwavering dedication of C. Unnikrishnan, this humble game etched its mark on the village's soul. The journey of Marottichal from the shadows of addiction to the brilliance of chess is an inspiring saga that demonstrates the potential of a single idea to ignite change in the unlikeliest of places.

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