Rival factions setting up a federation not recognised by the players, government or the international body does not give sports administrators in India sleepless nights. But what could prove a big concern is the lure of big bucks on offer in a tournament proposed by a parallel chess body.
The Chess Association of India (CAI) was reportedly registered last week in Lucknow and have announced a tournament with a prize money of Rs 15 lakh, to be held from December 23 to 30 in New Delhi.
The All India Chess Federation secretary DV Sundar scoffed off the establishment of the new federation, which is not recognised by AICF, the Sports Ministry or the global chess body FIDE. But there is the danger that gullible players may fall prey to the attractive pay packet and participate in the event, which could result in suspension from all AICF activities.
CAI has been formed by some of the disgruntled elements already banned by AICF, and those close to former secretary PT Ummer Koya.
Darshan Gupta, joint secretary of CAI said they would come up with details of the proposed event in the next couple of days. “The first prize in the New Delhi tournament will be approximately Rs 3.5 lakh and we are expecting a number of top players to take part. We have plans to organise similar events in other cities too,” Gupta told HT over phone from New Delhi.
The big prize money is bound to attract young players, feel officials and players. “This is a major concern as there are not enough open tournaments being organised. The prize fund of Rs 15 lakh will attract gullible youngsters. The top prize of few lakhs is not a small amount for parents and players struggling to attract sponsorship,” said a chess official on condition of anonymity.