FIDE to restore Elo ratings of banned Indian players

The country’s national chess body (AICF) had banned several players for taking part in tournaments conducted by rival chess association and in unrecognised events.

AICF had banned several players for taking part in tournaments conducted by rival chess association and in unrecognised events.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The world chess body (FIDE) on Monday decided to restore the Elo ratings of dozens of Indian players, whose were banned by the All-India Chess Federation.

“Nearly a decade ago, FIDE, at the behest of the All India Chess Federation (AICF), removed the Elo ratings of dozens of players and expunged their names from the records. Today, we are delighted to welcome back all those players with immediate effect,” FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Former world number three and FIDE vice-president Nigel Short tweeted: “A hugely positive statement by #FIDE President @advorkovich. #Chess must be for the players & lovers of the game - not for the administrators.”

Meanwhile, Gurpreet Pal Singh, one of the players banned by the AICF several years ago, told PTI that he was very happy and was thankful to the FIDE president and vice-president for the world chess body’s move to restore their ratings.

“I am very happy. This is great news. We are very thankful to the FIDE president (Dvorkovich) and vice-president (Nigel Short) for the FIDE move (to restore the ratings),” he said.

 

“This is a big news not only for affected players but for all the Indian chess players. It has been nine years since we were banned. Hope we will be able to play tournaments as per choice from now on,” Gurpreet added.

Karun Duggal, another banned player, said it was a wonderful news for players like him and added that the players should be allowed to pick tournaments according to their wishes.

He also said officials, who were responsible for banning players like him and removing the Elo ratings, should quit on moral grounds for affecting their careers.

File image of banned Indian player Gurpreet Pal Singh (L) from 2003.   -  R.V. MOORTHY

 

The FIDE statement, however, did not mention the procedure to be followed for reinduction of the players who were banned by the AICF.

AICF officials could not be reached for comment.

The country’s national chess body (AICF) had banned several players for taking part in tournaments conducted by rival chess association and in unrecognised events.

The banned players had challenged the AICF move with the Competition Commission of India, which imposed a fine on the chess body for violating provision of the Competition Act, 2002