The Indian team has decided to pull out of the upcoming World Cadet Chess Championship in Egypt in the wake of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. The tournament is scheduled to start from Saturday (October 14) in at Sharm el Sheikh and the decision to withdraw has been taken fearing the safety of participating players and officials.
The All India Chess Federation (AICF) has also requested the world body FIDE to postpone the tournament given the situation in the ongoing war. Moreover, the Sharm el Sheikh, the venue for the Championship is less than 400 kms from the Israel border. This is one of the major reasons for the Indian team to withdraw from the competition.
As many as 39 players across different categories – under-12, 10 and 8 – in the World Cadet Chess Championship that is scheduled to be played from October 14 to October 23. If the reports are to be believed a total of 80 people, including players and officials, were set to travel for the tournament.
“Considering the ongoing situation at Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas and the age of participants, after due deliberations, it was decided to withdraw the participation of the Indian team in the World Cadet Chess Championship-2023. The All India Chess Federation took this decision considering all the aspects of safety and security of young players as Egypt shares the border with Gaza as well as Israel.
“Sharm el Sheikh, the host city for the championship is less than 400 KM from the Israel border and the conflict can significantly impact commercial airlines in the Middle East on short notice. The Federation took this hard decision based on force majeure and unforeseen scenarios as we give paramount importance to the safety of our players even though our players put in almost one year training to participate in this important event,” the press release from AICF said.
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