AICF unanimously supports Viswanathan Anand's candidature for FIDE Deputy President: Interim Secretary

ANIUpdated: Monday, June 06, 2022, 03:57 PM IST
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Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand | Pic: PTI

All India Chess Federation (AICF) on Sunday said it supports five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand's candidature for the position of world body's (FIDE) Deputy President. Anand will be contesting for the post as part of incumbent FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich's team.

Recently appointed AICF Interim Secretary, Vipnesh Bhardwaj clarified his federation's stand on the matter, saying former Secretary, Bharat Singh Chauhan has always unquestionably supported Anand's candidature.

Bhardwaj's statement came after emails started circulating on Friday, saying that Chauhan is the right candidate instead of Anand and the latter has sought support from the country's chess fraternity for his leadership role in FIDE.

Though the sources of the circulated emails are yet to be established, AICF office bearers vehemently condemned such rumours and pledged to file a police complaint to nail the culprits, who intend to tarnish the image of the national federation.

"The history is a little deep, this is simply a ploy by the opposing members who are actually not for chess but out to damage the reputation of not only AICF but also our country," Vipnesh Bhardwaj said in a statement after taking charge as Secretary on the High Court's order.

The email trails claimed that Chauhan, who was recently barred by the Delhi High Court from functioning as the AICF Secretary, has been eying for the key post in FIDE elections, but Bhardwaj as well Chauhan have vehemently denied the allegation.

As per FIDE guidelines, one federation can only nominate one person and it cannot be withdrawn post nomination under any circumstances and Chauhan said the AICF has been well aware of the rules and had wholeheartedly supported Anand's candidature.

Chauhan, the event director for the prestigious Olympiad which is set to be held in Chennai in less than two month's time, said, "Anand is a legend, and his decision to work for FIDE is a welcome boon for the world of chess and especially for India, why would we be pitted against him, my aim has always been for the benefit of the game of chess in my country. I am for chess and for chess players always! I have spent 45 years in the game, as a player, trainer and administrator, this is a cheap trick to divert the attention and to bring disrepute to our country. We love Anand, we worship Anand and to me personally, he is like family."

It may be recalled that the Delhi High Court, acting upon a complaint, had filed a ruling against Chauhan a few days ago that stalled his activities as AICF secretary.

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