the Gopal family shocked, chess players support the Indian GM
One of the top Indian players G N Gopal, faces a 1 year ban. The decision was taken this Tuesday at the meeting of the All Indian Chess Federation in Chenai.
The story begins in 2008 when the All Indian Chess Federation (AICF) decided that the National A championships are mandatory for all Indian players below 2650. G N Gopal, however, had a contract with a Mexican tournament and was not present at the start of the event (read the story here). The AICF immediately stated that Gopal will be banned from chess for a large period of time, but no official document has been issued at the time.
The final decision for a 1 year ban was taken on Tuesday, March 10, in Chennai at the AICF Central Council meeting, which found Gopal’s reasons for staying away from the last National ‘A’ championship held in Mangalore last December, and playing in a tournament overseas instead, not satisfactory. It is now sure that G N Gopal cannot take part in competitions in India or with the India National team for 1 year.
The Gopal family shocked
The decision of the AICF has not yet been communicated to GN Gopal, but it is technical matter. The Gopal family is shocked. “It will take a while before we overcome this,” said G Narain Pillay, a retired English lecturer, for the Indian DNA. “I’ve spent all my earnings to fund my son’s career in chess. Now, they say he can’t play.” Gopal’s father said his son could not take part in the National A because he was committed to playing a tournament in Mexico on the same dates.
The stand of the All-India Chess Federation
The All-India Chess Federation (AICF) refused to term the punishment as a ban.
“We have to draw a line at some point of time. We cannot tolerate indiscipline from players,” said RM Dongre, vice-president of the AICF. The decision to punish Gopal was taken at the AICF’s Central committee meeting held in Chennai on Tuesday. The charges against Gopal include refusal to take part in the National A tournament in December.
AICF’s secretary DV Sundar said the federation would not tolerate such indiscipline.
But the Chess Players Association of India (CPAI) said the players’ body was not being informed of the decisions taken at the AICF meetings.
Chess players defend Gopal
The decision has not been communicated to the Chess Players Association of India (CPAI) as well. The assiciation launched a protest, stating, “We would also like to bring to your notice that decisions pertaining to players taken in AICF meetings are not communicated to the players. Hence the players are not aware of all the rules and regulations”.
“There are many instances of players skipping the National A but the AICF did not take any action. The punishment against Gopal is very harsh,” said Verghese Koshy, a senior player and reputed coach. CPAI president GM Tejas Bakre said it would request the AICF to reconsider its decision.
Stay tuned for more updates!