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Commonwealth Chess C'ship participants scammed by organizers

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New Delhi [India] | July 7, 2018 7:11:39 PM IST
The organisers of the Commonwealth Chess Championship have allegedly cheated the young kids and invited additional participation in exchange of Rs 10,000 each.

According to the regulations, there is only one official entry per country in each category, but in this case, 700 participants across 16 categories enrolled in the event and interestingly, 644 players were from India.

The open section for commonwealth saw 165 players, out of which only 31 were foreign participants from 7 countries and 134 from India. The top 24 seeds were from India. And there was not a single Grandmaster from any other country.

None of the hoards of players who were attracted to this event could achieve the International Master or Grandmasters Norm since the championship did not meet the criteria of having required number of Foreign titled players.

All those who participated from India received certification that they have represented India in the Commonwealth championship along with an official India T-shirt. Apart from paying a huge entry fee, these participants were forced to buy the India T-shirts from the organisers.

The Junior Categories such as Under-10 Boys and Girls, Under-16 and Under-12 Girls saw only 2 foreign participants out of possible 53 countries which form the Commonwealth association.

In this money-making racket, the organisers collect up to Rs. 70 Lakhs from players as entry fees, and gave them certificates as commonwealth players. Even the foreign players and accompanying persons were charged Rs7000 for travel from Delhi airport to the hotel and back when actual transportation cost would be a fraction of it.

These apart, the organisers receive government grants and private sponsorship to the tune of Lakhs.

The top officials who are in the State Association and Federation for more than 15 years bid for the Commonwealth championships at every opportunity and India has hosted it 8 out of the 13 times in the last fourteen years.

The secretary of the Federation, Bharat Singh Chauhan, is the Chairman of the Commonwealth Chess Association and has been controlling the association multiple times in this decade itself.

The donor entries in chess have become a big syndicate where state associations charge donor entry fees from players who do not qualify from the district selections and national federation. This is extended all the way to International events including this year's Commonwealth championship.

In this process, organisers, private academies/ foundations controlled by office bearers, state associations and national federation are making crores of rupees per year directly from players while giving them dubious certification as state level/ national level / international players.

There is no difference in certification between the players who are allowed to play as donor entries and the player toil to qualify on the basis of their meritorious selection from district to international levels.

The Commonwealth Chess Championship was organized here at Leela Convention Centre from June 25 to July 4. (ANI)

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