National Challengers 2017 will be a rated event
The All India Chess Federation (AICF) has come up with decisions related to National Challengers and National Premier events that will take place in the next few months. The all important change is that the National Challengers which was an unrated event in 2016, will now be a rated tournament. Also there are restrictions on participation for players below a certain rating threshold. The National Premier event also will witness some changes. Here are all the details.
Please be guided by the following decisions regarding National Premier, National Challengers and National Women Challengers.
National Challengers :
It was resolved to revert to the old practice and make National Challenger and National Women Challenger as rated events. It was further resolved to restrict donor/special entries as detailed below:
- National Challengers : To restrict donor/Special entries to a minimum ELO rating of 2200 as per the last published FIDE FRL before the championship. Players below 2199 ELO are not eligible for participation. The above restriction will be relaxed to the host Association and they will be permitted to field maximum of four players with the minimum ELO rating of 1800.
- National Women Challengers: To restrict donor/Special entries to a minimum ELO rating of 1800 as per the last published FIDE FRL before the championship. Players below 1799 ELO are not eligible for participation. The above restriction will be relaxed to the host Association and they will be permitted to field maximum of four players with the minimum ELO rating of 1400.
National Premier Qualifications:
Modifying the earlier Rule, the members resolved that from 2017 onwards players with the ELO rating 2650 & above will get preference over the National Challengers while filling up the vacancies caused by the non participation of the top four ELO rated players who are directly seeded along with the National Champion and first nine qualifiers of National challenger in the immediate past year. However, if players with ELO 2650 are not available, players as per Ranking in the National Challengers will be considered.
As far as National Women Premier Qualifications are concerned, the existing Rule to continue.
Source: AICF Website
Clarifying the last rule: In National Premier 14 players take part: Nine players from National Challengers, Reigning National Premier Champion, and Top four rated players of India.
Anand and Harikrishna in all probability will not take part in the National Premier. In this case the first preference went to the tenth and eleventh places of National Challengers in the last few years. Now due to the new rule the fifth and sixth highest rated players of India will get the right to participate, provided they are above 2650. Currently we have Vidit Gujrathi as number five at 2673 and Parimarjan Negi at number six (2670). As Negi will also not play, then the seventh highest rated player is Surya Sekhar Ganguly. But Ganguly (2644) is below 2650. In this case it is probable that the tenth place from National Challengers will get the right to play. We will also have to see which month's rating list AICF chooses for the 2650 threshold.