Other Sports

AICF factions propose different teams for online Chess Olympiad

Chief selector R.B. Ramesh

Chief selector R.B. Ramesh  

With the two warring factions of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) proposing separate Indian teams for the upcoming FIDE online Olympiad, the on-going crisis has assumed new proportions.

The differences between president Venketrama Raja and secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan have split the AICF down the middle.

Acting on a letter from Chess Players’ Forum, the Sports Ministry sought clarifications from both factions. Since the last date for sending names to the FIDE is July 13, a consensus over the names is still likely.

The new online event, in mixed format, will take place from July 22 to August 30. Each participating team comprises six players (and six reserves).

Not surprisingly, both teams include Viswanathan Anand, Vidit Gujrathi, K. Humpy, D. Harika, besides reserves P. Harikrishna and Bhakti Kulkarni.

Differ on juniors

However, the factions differ on the selection of the juniors.

Chauhan’s list includes Nihal Sarin and R. Vaishali, with R. Praggnanandhaa and Divya Deshmukh as reserves. Raja’s proposal has National junior champions Aradhya Garg and Srishti Pandey, with runners-up Mitrabha Guha and Arpita Mukherjee, as reserves.

Chief selector Grandmaster R.B. Ramesh cleared the air. “We, selectors, have not approved two teams. The first proposed team (from Chauhan) was based on three-month average rating, as decided by AICF in 2017. I checked everything and gave my nod. One more selector also approved this proposal.

“Subsequently, I received another provisional team (from Raja) in which the junior players were chosen based on their performances in the National junior championship, and not rating. I wrote back saying, ‘this is not correct.’

Chauhan said, “Four out of six playing members (not counting reserves) have confirmed their participation. Anand and Humpy have asked for a couple of days to decide.”

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 4:57:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/aicf-factions-propose-different-teams-for-online-chess-olympiad/article31983473.ece

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