AICF governing body to discuss 5-year action plan on May 4; extends support to D Gukesh for World Championship match

Youngest World Championship challenger. Source (X)

The All India Chess Federation (AICF) is keen to ride the momentum created by the success of Indian players in recent times and turn a new leaf. As a part of its development strategy, the federation is going to table an ‘action plan’ at its general body meeting on May 4. If approved, this will be implemented with immediate effect.

“It’s a five-year plan prepared on the basis of internal discussions,” the AICF president Nitin Narang told RevSportz. “It’s for the overall development of chess in India. Players at the senior and junior levels and everybody in the Indian chess ecosystem including coaches and arbiters will benefit from it. The action plan is based on the challenges we have faced over the years,” said Narang.

On Wednesday, the AICF announced a reward of Rs 51 lakh for D Gukesh for winning the Candidates chess competition. It was proactive in ensuring thorough preparation for the tournament held in Toronto, where Gukesh became the champion in the open section. The federation had provided Rs 2 crore to the five Indian participants in the build-up to the competition.

Narang said the AICF will once again support Gukesh for the world championship match against China’s Ding Liren. “We have spoken to Gukesh and told him to submit the details of what all he needs to prepare for that match. We have left it to him to decide and told him that like an extended support team, we will provide everything that he wants,” said the president.

About staging the world championship duel in India, Narang said the AICF was keen, but did not get into the details. “We would like to have that match in India. But, there are a lot of things to be assessed. There are different considerations, including finances and logistics. We will have discussions and hope to come to a decision soon.”

Gukesh was welcomed by AICF and Tamil Nadu officials at the Chennai airport in the wee hours of Thursday. There were a number of students from his school, VelammalVidyalaya. Amid chaotic scenes, he was accorded a hero’s reception. The player who turns 18 next month stunned a number of heavyweights to become the youngest-ever Candidates champion.

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