All India Open chess meet from today


The CAI said entries for the seven-day tournament had crossed 400 and they were expecting at least another 100 entries at the venue on the morrow, which would make it the biggest tournament in terms of participation.

“We are expecting 500-plus participants. This will be the biggest tournament in the country till now. We have a total purse of Rs 15 lakh, with the winner getting Rs 3 lakh. So it will be the highest prize money tournament,” CAI general secretary Mahesh Ved told a press conference here.

The association, formed last month by some former All India Chess Federation officials with an aim to promote chess at the grassroots level, accused the current AICF set-up of ‘looting money’ from players.

“The AICF would charge Rs 4,000 for even under-7 tournaments and the prize money would be a mere Rs 50,000 while they were getting minimum Rs 10 lakh plus grant from the government and money from sponsors. We are charging just Rs 1,000 per player and we are giving away Rs 15 lakh,” CAI president Naveen Kumar Wal said. Wal said the tournament would have got even more entries, including Grandmasters and International Masters, had the AICF not tried to scuttle it by threatening players not to participate.

The 10-round tournament will have a prize of Rs 4,000 for even the 80th-place finisher. There are five prizes only for women starting from Rs 5,000.

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