By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, Dec 8 | The All India Chess Federation (AICF) would like to have a strangle hold on the chess tournaments held in the country and it’s evident from the show cause notice issued by its President P.R. Venketrama Raja to Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan, said chess players.
This despite the ruling by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) that AICF cannot ban players for competing in tournaments not affiliated to it or to its affiliates like state/district chess associations and forcing to amend its bye-laws.
In the show cause notice to Chauhan apart from listing out charges like-allowing player data theft; flouting norms for selecting Women International Masters (WIM) for round robin tournament; allowing Thought Roots Private Ltd/Nutr to do chess coaching business with chess Grand Master (GM) Farrukh Amonatav when he was on official visit sponsored by Government of India and issuing a press release beyond the brief given by AICF President Raja.
Referring to the press release issued on Aug 30, 2019 pertaining to Bengal Chess Association (BCA) matters, Raja in the show cause notice told Chauhan: aceMoreover you had also unnecessarily added a para saying no one from Dist. level can stop anyone from organising tournament, which as created lot of problems. This was never part of our discussions,” the show cause notice notes.
“The said act of yours tampering the statement given by me on behalf of AICF and not informing the office bearers and members appropriately, is in contravention to Article 23(i), (iii), (viii) and (ix) of the Constitution and bye-laws of AICF,” the notice told Chauhan.
The show cause notice is silent on the kind of problems that AICF had faced allowing anyone from organising chess tournaments in the country.
According to people in the chess field, AICF gets a sizeable revenue from tournament organisors who seek the chess body’s recognition for their event.
The chess body will not get any revenue from the organisers of independent chess tournaments.
“A Leopard doesn’t change its spots. So is AICF which will not change its mindset from trying to control all chess related activities in India. This portion of the show cause notice clearly shows AICF’s attitude,” Karun Duggal one of the players who had filed and won the case against the Indian chess body in CCI told IANS.
In October this year, a 11-year old school boy Karthick Rahul, was evicted from The Hindu Tamil Nadu State Level Chess Tournament Tirunelveli Under-13 midway by the Secretary of Tirunelveli District Chess Development Association (TDCDA) in Tamil Nadu for playing in tournament that was not affiliated to district/state associations/AICF.
The AICF is maintaining a sound silence on the matter.
The Vice President of FIDE-global chess body – Nigel Short had recently told media that AICF is anti-player and cited the order by CCI.
The AICF had banned several players for playing in an unaffiliated tournament and also persuaded FIDE to revoke their ELO ratings.
While FIDE has restored the ELO ratings of over 50 Indian players, the AICF has not admitted the players back into its fold.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)