Foreign coaches to be hired for junior chess players: AICF

Venkatachari Jagannathan

Chennai, Feb 6 (IANS) Hiring foreign coaches for Indian junior/sub-junior chess teams and for senior women players and providing international exposure to top performers are some of the measures being considered by the All India Chess Federation (AICF) to take Indian chess to the next level, said top officials.

The focus is on developing the game and the players in the country and not on reacting to others' views, they said.

It's part of the AICF's long-term development programme.

"We will be sending a big contingent to participate in the Aeroflot chess tournament in Moscow. The expenditure will be met by the central government," P.R.Venketrama Raja told IANS here on Wednesday.

"The Indian contingent would include 29 players and four coaches. The total expenditure is expected to be about Rs.50 lakh," AICF General Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan told IANS.

"Top senior/junior/sub-junior players will be part of the contingent," Chauhan said.

The AICF will hire foreign chess Grand Masters and International Master Trainers for a year as coaches for Indian senior women's, boys/girls juniors and sub-juniors teams.

For coaching the senior women players, the AICF plans to hire only a Grand Master with a minimum of Fide Trainer's title. The coaching contract will be valid for one year till March 31, 2020.

The AICF expects a minimum of 30 days training spread over three camps and the coach will have to accompany the team for all the official team championships.

For coaching juniors and sub-junior players (12 girls and 12 boys), the minimum eligibility is International Master with Fide Trainer title.

Chauhan said under the Smart Girl project, the AICF will extend a grant of Rs 50,000 each, totalling Rs 6,00,000, to conduct FIDE-rated chess tournaments for girls in 12 cities.

Similarly, tournaments in 12 cities would be conducted for below the poverty line (BPL) players, he remarked.

Both the officials said the AICF does not want to react to issues raised by others when queried about their reaction to global chess body FIDE's Vice President and Grand Master Nigel Short's comments.

"It is his views. We don't want to react. Our focus is on developing chess and chess players in India. The players are happy. The results of AICF's actions are positive with the emergence of Grand Masters and International Masters," Raja said.

According to him, the contentious issues are sub judice and the court orders will be implemented.

In an interview to IANS, Short had said: "There are several cases that the AICF is fighting. It is still worrying that the AICF has been involved with, and continues to be involved with, so much litigation. There is a clear warning bell that something is amiss in the AICF. A well governed body will not have so many court cases."

Short said the FIDE had written to the AICF in December 2018 seeking an explanation on certain issues.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

--IANS

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