Chennai, Sept 13: The Chess Players Forum has appealed to the Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju to reward the Indian team which emerged joint champions (with Russia) at the recently concluded FIDE online Chess Olympiad on its historic achievement.
"We wish to appeal to you to suitably reward the Indian team recognising and acknowledging their current outstanding historic achievement. This would set in motion a deserving gesture to recognise and reward the achievements of Indian chess players who have brought laurels to the country," the Forum, a collective of players in India, said in a letter to the Minister.
The forum president IM Varugeese Koshy, in a letter appealed to Rijiju that chess players be recognised by the government.
"Our country's participation in the event itself was facilitated only after your office speedily intervened and ensured the proper selection of the team, when the process was derailed due to infighting between two factions of the All India Chess Federation," he added.
The Indian men's team had previously won a bronze medal in the Olympiad in 2014, he said, adding the current achievement ranks even higher than that.
"At such a juncture, we wish to bring to your attention the general under-recognition of achievements of chess players in years gone by. Even during the recent sports awards and title citations conferred by the government of India, chess is continued to be overlooked," Koshy added.
He also highlighted the several achievements by chess players in the past two decades, including good results in the world championships in various categories. The Olympiad team comprised former world champion Viswanathan Anand and Koneru Humpy among others and was led by Vidit Gujrathi.