The Maharashtra government proudly acknowledged Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, the sole Grandmaster from the state, for securing a spot in the FIDE Candidates Championship. However, the perceived neglect by the government has presented some financial challenges for the talented youngster.
Vidit, victorious in the FIDE Grand Swiss 2023, earned his place in the Candidates alongside Gukesh D, R Praggnanandhaa from Tamil Nadu.
While Tamil Nadu actively supports its players, with the government fully backing Praggnanandhaa and Gukesh’s preparation and participation, Maharashtra’s response remains elusive.
Lakshya seeks state government's help
Lakshya, representing Vidit, has reached out to the government, expressing the need for support. “We have approached the government but are yet to hear from them in this regard,” an Akshaya representative told The Free Press Journal.
Vidit, a wizard from Nashik, highlights the financial challenges of the FIDE Candidates 2024 campaign.
Unlike some of his counterparts sponsored by other states, Vidit emphasises the crucial role of financial backing. “It does cost some money, and it would be a great help if the state government supports me in this regard,” he said.
As the third-highest rated player in India, Vidit achieved the Grandmaster title in January 2013. His journey to the Elo rating threshold of 2700 makes him a formidable contender. Despite receiving support from Bharat Forge and Lakshya, Vidit stresses the need for additional financial assistance from the Indian government and potential aid from the Government of Maharashtra to realise his goal for the challenging FIDE Candidates 2024 campaign.