AICF President saves the day
The National Premier 2016 was on verge of being discontinued as five players had withdrawn their names from the event due to horrific playing conditions. Vidit Gujrathi, Abhijit Kunte, Tejas Bakre, Abhishek Kelkar and Neeraj Mishra were left in a lurch when the fourth round began with the remaining nine participants. This is when the AICF President Venketrama Raja intervened and saved the situation. We bring you the entire story that took place on the 20th of November 2016.
The background: Fourteen of the best chess players met in Lucknow to play in the National Premier 2016. On 16th of November when the round was about to begin the organizers cited a lack of venue as the reason for postponing the tournament by a day. On 17th the first round began in the Lucknow Public school. After the completion of three rounds, the players were summoned once again to tell them that the venue had to be cleared. A new venue had to be found until 11 a.m. on the 20th of November. You can read about all of this in our previous report.
20th November 2016, 11 a.m.
Tired of being treated in such horrible fashion five out of the fourteen players decided to withdraw their names from the tournament and submitted a letter to the organizers. They were GM Vidit Gujrathi, Abhijit Kunte, Tejas Bakre, Abhishek Kelkar and Neeraj Kumar Mishra.
Thus, the National Premier Championships are back on track and on 21st of November the round will begin as usual at 2.30 p.m. You can watch the live games here. Kudos to all the five players who stood against the injustice done to the participants and a huge congratulations to AICF President Venketrama Raja who ensured that he personally resolved this situation.
Latest Update: 3 p.m. 21st November 2016
Neeraj Kumar Mishra has withdrawn from the tournament. When contacted he said, "We are not a trade union people. MD comes satisfies the demand and everything is settled! Had Vidit not written to the President this would never have happened. I didn't like the way chess players/arbiters are treated by the organisers and office bearers of AICF below the president. Hence, I am at the airport right now waiting for my return flight."