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India's chess champs sweat over visa for Candidates Tournament as Canada drags its feet

2 Mar, 2024 02:15 IST|Sakshi Post

Mumbai, March 2 (IANS) There's a cloud of uncertainty over the chances of five Indian chess players' participation in the qualifying tournament or the World Championships in Canada, as they have not reportedly received their visa yet with about a month to go for the event, prompting the International Chess Federation or FIDE to make an urgent appeal to the host country.

While R. Praggnanandhaa, Vidit Gujrathi and D. Gukesh will be participating in the Open section of the FIDE Candidates Tournament, the winner of which will take on reigning champion Ding Liren of China in the final, Vaishali Rameshbabu and Koneru Humpy will compete in the women's Candidates Tournament to be held simultaneously in Toronto from April 3-22, with eight players in the fray in both sections.

Of the 16 players who will be figuring in the Open and Women's competitions, five are Indians and though FIDE said in its appeal that "players from various countries worldwide" have not yet received their visas, social media was abuzz with claims that it is the Indian players who are facing problems.

The alleged inaction on the part of the Canadian government prompted FIDE to issue an urgent appeal late on Friday night.

Noting that the "most prestigious tournaments in chess, the FIDE Candidates", is being held in Canada for the first time, FIDE said there are grave concerns about the "timely arrival of the players to Toronto".

"Regrettably, players from various countries worldwide, who submitted their visa applications a few months ago, have not yet received any updates on their status.

"With only a month remaining till the FIDE Candidates Tournament, there are grave concerns about the timely arrival of the players to Toronto," FIDE said in a statement posted on its official X handle.

"Recognising the popularity of the game in the country, and its growing role in the chess world, we kindly ask the Canadian government for support in urgently addressing this matter.

"Ensuring the safe and timely arrival of the players is crucial for the success and integrity of the FIDE Candidates Tournament and for promoting Canada as a host of the most important chess tournament of the year, which will be followed by millions of spectators worldwide," the statement said.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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