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Indian chess federation draws up roadmap for game

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) Tapping talent at the grassroots is one of the ambitious goals of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) as part of its future roadmap, it was decided at its annual general body meeting here on Sunday

Announcing the AICF’s plans, its president Sanjay Kapoor said that the federation’s main goal is to introduce chess in the school curriculum.

“Our main focus will be government schools across the country. We have done basic homework in this regard. Hopefully, it will start functioning from June,” said Kapoor at a media interaction here.

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In the initial stage, said Kapoor, about 700 teachers would be trained to impart lessons to budding players, including beginners. “International rated chess players and Grand Masters of the country will also be part of the ambitious project,” he said. The AICF has also decided to have former world champion Vishwanathan Anand on its advisory board.

“Currently there are 34,000 rated players, but our goal is to increase it to 500,000 in the next three years,” he said of the AICF’s plan.

Opening up of the National Centre of Excellence to nurture potential chess players will also be taken up. Starting a chess league is part of the road map for the development of the game.

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“It will be a six-team league. Emphasis will be laid on young talent, apart from international players. We have done some homework and will finalise it in the coming months. Though there is no deadline, it might take some four to five months to have a concrete plan. We are looking for a sustainable plan and not organise one year and then shut down the league,” said Kapoor.

Bidding for 2026 Chess Olympiad and Grand Prix events are also part of the future road map of the AICF. “We want India to become the chess destination for the world. We have drawn out a detailed plan to achieve this goal,” he said, but did not elaborate.

To make district and state units more accountable, the AICF also plans to have a single window registration for players.

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“We will give a financial grant to the tune of Rs 10 lakh for the development of chess to the state units to set up their offices and have a working staff to monitor the activities of chess,” said the AICF president.

There are 33 state affiliates of the AICF.

–IANS

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