AICF to probe charges against Bengal Chess Association secretary

Strongly condemning BCA secretary Atanu Lahiri's 'attitude' the AICF said it would set up a committee to initiate a thorough enquiry into the charges levelled against him by GM Dibyendu Barua.

Grandmaster Dibyendu Barua has levelled charges against BCA secretary.   -  Y. B. Sarangi

Strongly condemning Bengal Chess Association (BCA) secretary Atanu Lahiri's 'attitude' the All India Chess Federation (AICF) on Friday said it would set up a committee to initiate a thorough enquiry into the charges levelled against him by Grandmaster Dibyendu Barua.

AICF was upset with the treatment meted out to top GMs, such as Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Deep Sengupta.

"The AICF strongly objects to the BCA passing a resolution to not invite Ganguly and Sengupta to any chess functions/activity. This is a unilateral decision taken by the office-bearers of the BCA and the AICF had no clue about it till it was brought to our notice a few days back. The AICF stands for its players and Ganguly and Sengupta are kind of chess ambassadors who have brought so many laurels to our nation. To try and sideline them is never our agenda," the AICF said in a statement.

The AICF said it stood by all the players, who are a part of its family and "anyone trying to damage their interests or goodwill will not be a part of the AICF in any capacity."

Referring to nine-year-old Bengal girl being stopped from participating in tournaments, the AICF said it did not approve of the BCA secretary's conduct. "No player can be stopped from playing chess. This is the motto of AICF."

On Lahiri allegedly stopping a tournament organised by Barua, the second GM from the country, the AICF said, "We received a mail from Lahiri that a certain tournament in Kolkata was not approved by the local association and hence cannot be organised. Lahiri or anyone in any capacity in the AICF or any other state or district association is not empowered to stop any chess tournament organised by anyone. Stopping chess activity is perceived as a serious offence by us.

"There is no place whatsoever for anyone who indulges in activities that are not chess-friendly."