World chess governing body FIDE’s vice-president Nigel Short on Thursday slammed the All India Chess Federation as it’s yet to fully implement the Competition Commission of India’s order to reinstate the ratings of some players.
Short, a former British Grand Master, was responding to a question on restoring the ratings of players who were banned by the AICF for participating in unrecognised tournaments.
“I think there are people within the AICF who in my personal opinion are anti-player. The FIDE president [Arkady Dvorkovich] had said the players should have their ratings reinstated. It is not an outside decision, the CCI ruled against the AICF,” he told reporters in Chennai.
“We, at FIDE, support players. There are more chess players in FIDE governing council than earlier. We had restored the FIDE ratings of many Indian players. When you have some people who have had their livelihood taken away for a decade. The CCI has decided it is wrong. Still the matter has not been resolved,” Short added.
Short, who lost the world title clash against Garry Kasparov in 1992, also said there was a proposal to have Indian Premier League-style league for the sport in India some years ago but the chess administrators in the country were not for it.
Short remarked that in India, all chess-related activities are under the administrators’ control, and in such a situation the game will not flourish.
“There is tremendous enthusiasm and love for chess in this country. I would like to see a Chess Indian Premier League. There was a proposal for it about three years ago, but didn’t materialise. I think that is a lost opportunity for the players and the public,” said Short.
The Englishman was all praise for five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, saying the Indian ace was still in the top-10, which showed the dedication he has to stay at a very high level.
“Chess is a young person’s game. People reach their peak like in other sports in the 20s and or maybe 30s and not later. Vishy [Anand] is touching 50 in a few days. So, you simply cannot expect the guy to go on indefinitely. Even Mahendra Singh Dhoni loses his touch a little after some time (laughs). So you know the greatest of the greats cannot be expected day in and day out to keep producing things.”
He added, “Vishy actually does remarkably well. He is still in the top-10. To have such a relatively small decline shows the dedication and perseverance he has working on his game to stay at a very very high level.”
The 54-year-old said India can become a force to reckon in the game at the global level in the near future. “India could easily become the dominant chess nation in a relatively short space of time. I pluck the figure 2030 out of the air. India has that potential. This is the birthplace of chess. Forget about the history, this is where the future lies,” he said.