A poor man’s word will not carry weight in India, was the comment of the sad father of an 11-year-old boy who was emotionally abused at a chess tourney recognised by All India Chess Federation (AICF) and its affiliated units.
“I have not received any reply from AICF President PR Venketrama Raja to my mail. I heard the AICF had immediately responded to a complaint by Arjuna Awardee and India’s second Grandmaster (GM) Dibyendu Barua on a similar complaint. Like the Tamil proverb, poor man’s words will not be heard by the kings who manage Indian chess,” K Murugesh Babu told IANS on Thursday.
At a time when India is hosting the World Junior Chess Championship in Delhi, his son, 11-year-old schoolboy Karthick Rahul, an upcoming player was barred from playing in a chess tournament midway by an official of the Tirunelveli District Chess Development Association (TDCDA) in Tamil Nadu on Saturday.
Babu, in a mail to Raja on Monday, said he had paid the necessary entry fee for his son to play in The Hindu Tamil Nadu State Level Chess Tournament Tirunelveli Under-13 on Saturday morning and left the venue.
He said none of his relatives were there with Rahul at the tournament venue when he was expelled.
The one-day state-level chess tournament for under-10/13/15 boys and girls was organised at Sadakathullah Appa College in Pallayamkottai in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu under the aegis of the TDCDA.
When the first round was in progress and Rahul was playing against his opponent, the Secretary of TDCDA “barred him on the grounds that he had played in a tournament that was unauthorized”.
“The secretary asked my son to write an apology letter for playing in an unrecognized tournament and also give an undertaking that he will not play in such tournaments in the future. I felt very sad,” Babu told the AICF President.
Babu said he expected a reply from Raja on the reasons for his son’s exit from the tournament.
Chess players and international chess arbiters have demanded that AICF accept responsibility for such happenings at its affiliated units.
Babu even pointed out the contrasting response to his complaint and to that made by Barua.
In August, Barua had alleged in a media conference that Bengal Chess Association Secretary Atanu Lahiri had prevented the defending State Under-9 Champion and the current Commonwealth Under-10 Champion from participating in state-level chess tournaments.
On August 30, soon after Barua levelled his charges against Lahiri, the AICF with alacrity issued a press statement condemning the latter and it will initiate a probe into the affairs of the BCA.
The AICF statement also said that “no player can be stopped from playing chess. This is the motto of AICF.”
Later the AICF constituted a three-member committee to probe into the allegations of Barua including that of not allowing the girl to play in tournaments.
“In my case there is not even acknowledgment of my mail. The AICF and Tamil Nadu State Chess Association (TNSCA) are conspicuously silent on the issue,” Babu said.
Meanwhile, a list of questions addressed to Raja by IANS on Monday still remains unacknowledged.