Chennai, Oct 16 (IANS) Contrary to earlier expectations, the Central Council meeting of All India Chess Federation (AICF) on Tuesday did not discuss the controversy surrounding the Bengal Chess Association (BCA) while it decided to give Rs 10 lakh annual grant to each state associations to popularise chess in schools, a senior official said.
“The issue of BCA was not discussed at the AICF Central Council meeting. The report of the AICF enquiry committee probing the complaint against BCA official was also not placed at the meeting,” AICF Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan told IANS.
The turmoil in the BCA began on August 27 when the normally reticent Grand Master (GM) Dibenyendu Barua took the Indian chess world by surprise by levelling various charges against BCA Secretary Atanu Lahiri.
Barua charged Lahiri with misuse of power as BCA Secretary and conflict of interest with regard to a West Bengal government project to teach chess to tribal students in the state.
Lahiri has disputed the charges and also said the BCA has not passed any resolution against the two players as alleged by Barua.
Chauhan said the central council also decided to grant Rs 10 lakh to each state chess association to popularise in schools as the games’ future lies there.
“The grant will be used by the state association to hire office space, chess coaches and other expenses for popularising chess in schools,” he said.
He said the proposal has to be ratified by the AICF General Body meeting.
An AICF official, not wanting to be identified, however, told IANS: “The Federation does not have that much money to pay about Rs.3.3 crore annually to state associations. This seems like a sop to the state associations with an eye on the elections for AICF office bearers next year.”
The official also added that if AICF asks the state associations to enroll school students as members by paying Rs 250, then it is a bad strategy and would backfire.
According to Chauhan, the Central Council also decided to abolish the recognition fee for national championship.
The meeting also decided to reduce AICF’s share of player entry fee to 25 per cent from 50 per cent while the balance 75 per cent will be for the tournament organiser.
Chauhan also said the Central Council also decided to appoint an ad hoc committee for Himachal Pradesh.