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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Chandigarh Chess Assn Shocks Chess Players with No Prizes, High Entry Fee

Chandigarh, Nov 15: Chandigarh chess players were in for a shock Wednesday when the Chandigarh Chess Association (CSA) announced a tournament with no prizes yet high entry fee.

Senior local players got together to petition the Chandigarh Chess Association and the All-India Chess Federation against the "step-motherly" treatment. A senior player, on condition of anonymity, said, "Right next door, Punjab organised a similar tournament with prizes. The entry fee was similar. But, the prizes and playing conditions somewhat justified the tournament entry fee."

Another young player's father added, "An association selection tournament is not a privately organised event. We can always skip a private organiser's tournament if we don't like the conditions or are not happy with prizes etc. But this is a bonafide, duly supported by the government and All-India Chess Federation tournament. The purpose of the association is to promote chess in the region. They get federation and government financial support. A local player does not wish to skip this  selection tournament as it's an "official event" and has its own prestige so as to speak. They can hold a separate open tournament to earn money." 

Just justify the entry fee and the very organising of the tournament for professional players with cash prizes and at least trophies and certificates for kids, asks Chandigarh Chess community. Associations have resources why not help players? Players need voting rights and a say. If it's only selection trial then reduce the entry fee to nominal or free as is the norm.

He said, "They must make the event worthwhile for all chess players. What will happen is only children of certain academies will play and get to represent Chandigarh at the Nationals. No professional senior player will attend this tournament. The organisers are possibly happy with no senior chess players turning up to play."

Another player added, "What happens is that no genuine professional player from Chandigarh will find it worth the effort. Children from private academies will be sent here and asked to play. The parents, in fear of being banned or sidelined, will send their kids paying the high entry fee for no returns. Who will gain? Eventually, the top-four players going to the Nationals will not be the true representatives of Chandigarh chess players. It's like India team for Olympiad is selected by bypassing all top Grandmasters."

Senior players added, "More than anything else, we ask why an association exists if not to promote chess? Why elections have not been held for years to allow some chess to happen here? There has not been an open rating chess tournament in Chandigarh by the association for at least several years. Why does this association exist? Just to report to All-India Chess Federation that it has conducted the mandatory selection tournament and then sleep for the entire year?"

"The so-called main academies of the city will go on fleecing some parents with fake promises of building their children's career and insist that the kids go play this tournament. In effect, nothing will happen. Unless real chess promoters are part of the association, the sport cannot be promoted across the country. Any players who do something, succeed without association aid."

The letter sent to the All-India Chess Federation by senior chess players of Chandigarh reads as follows: 

The 32nd Chandigarh Chess Championship, run by the Chandigarh Chess Association for qualifying in the MPL Senior National Chess Championship 2022, is scheduled to take place at Chandigarh Baptist School in Sector-45D, 160047, from November 25 to November 27, 2022.

The cost of the event is INR 700 plus INR 250 for AICF Registration.

Even with appropriate entrance costs, the tournament's lack of any prize money worries us. The lack of monetary incentives for winners considerably reduces the likelihood of recruiting professional chess players who rely on the game for their living.

Chess competition, training, and play all come with their own set of costs. Without prizes, an official AICF chess tournament is unable to draw professional players since it cannot cover the costs of training and participating in the event.

We kindly request that you look into the situation and take the necessary steps to guarantee that the fair play requirements are adequately followed in the upcoming competition for the benefit of chess.

Comments on this report by our staff writer may be emailed to



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