Monday, July 16, 2007

Chess Politics - the Same the World Over

As always, the ones who get hurt by chess politics is the players - in this instance, players who had been counting on going to the Asian under-8, 10, 12, 14 chess championships in Dubai starting August 21. This really sucks. IndiaTimes - Sports BANGALORE, July 14: The Indian chess players are paying a heavy price for the tussle between the All India Chess Federation and the ministry for youth affairs and sports. The players for the Asian under-8, 10, 12, 14 chess championships have been told to be prepared to fund themselves if the ministry does not sponsor the trip. This situation has arisen as the ministry decided to withhold grants to AICF. Until recently, the ministry funded players for the exposure trips. But now the AICF has asked the players to be prepared to source funds for the championship, which is to be held in Al Ain (UAE) from August 21. As a matter of fact, the government had not funded the team for the Asian Youth Chess Championship (Uzbekistan) in June. Most of the players fended for themselves while some were sponsored by AICF. DV Sunder, secretary-general, AICF said: "I had a meeting with the ministry on July 9. They have assured me that they will do the best. We have sent these letters as a precautionary measure. Because if the government does not fund, then the players will have to manage on their own." He said the AICF will not be able to contribute much. "AICF does not have enough money. We can fund one or two, but funding 25-30 players is impossible. Even if we fund, it should be a continuous process, we cannot stop with just one tournament." The ministry has refused to provide grants as the AICF has not submitted its accounts for the previous years. "The earlier administration under Ummer Koya has not submitted the records. The government had asked us to submit it within 2004. But we could not do it as we were not even given a single record," Sunder said. Girish Koushik, who won the World U-10 chess championship last year, has qualified for the tournament.

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