New Delhi, 13th November, 2023 – The All India Chess Federation (AICF) is embarking on a historic journey to propel Indian chess to unprecedented heights. Over the past three years, the Indian chess landscape has undergone a massive reform, evident in its epitome of success on all fronts – from over-the-board play to the seamless organization of tournaments. The recent successful hosting of the Chess Olympiad at Chennai made history, further solidifying India’s presence on the world stage. A handful of Indian players, inspired by the legacy of the legendary Viswanathan Anand, are carrying the torch forward, contributing to the nation’s rising prominence in international chess.
In a strategic move, the federation has committed 2 crore INR (USD 240459) of financial assistance for Grandmaster R Praggnandhaa, Grandmaster Vidit Gujarathi, and International Master Vaishali as they prepare for upcoming chess events, marking a historic chapter in Indian chess.
President Sanjay Kapoor, speaking on behalf of the AICF, stated, “We recognize the immense potential of Praggnandhaaa, Vidit, and Vaishali to make history in the world of chess. Our financial backing is a strategic move to empower these exceptional players and ensure they have the support they need to chase victory and etch their names in the annals of chess greatness.”
The financial assistance, covering training camps, coaching fees, travel expenses, and logistical requirements, aims to provide the players with the resources required to focus entirely on their game. The move comes in the wake of their recent successes, including Praggnandhaa’s runner-up finish in the World Cup and the double delight at the World Grand Swiss, where Vidit and Vaishali clinched both the Open and Women titles, respectively.
Commenting on the initiative, Bharat Chauhan, Chairman of the FIDE Advisory Board, stated, “AICF’s commitment to supporting and nurturing chess talent is commendable. This bold initiative will undoubtedly contribute to the growth and development of Indian chess on the global stage. The reforms in the Indian chess landscape are not only evident in their over-the-board success but also in the effective organization of tournaments, putting India at the forefront of the international chess community.”
Looking ahead, the AICF announced the hosting of five International Grandmaster Chess Tournaments in the next two months. This initiative aims to provide opportunities for the next generation of players to earn international title norms, contributing to the overall development of chess in India.