Chess Controversy: GM Ramesh resigns from chief selector’s post of AICF

Grandmaster RB Ramesh has on Tuesday resigned from the post of chief selector of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) alleging “interference” from warring officials of rival factions.

Ramesh, a former Commonwealth Chess champion said he found it difficult to continue in the post (as selection panel head) due to the constant interference in team selection issues and confusion created by federation officials.

“I have quit as chief selector of the AICF because of interference in team selection and the uncertainty prevailing in the federation…It was also getting too complicated,” Ramesh told PTI.

He further said the team had been selected as per norms laid down by the AICF and added that his fellow selectors were in agreement.

“The team has been picked as per norms of the AICF and the other selectors too agreed,” Ramesh added.

The other selectors were International Master Lanka Ravi and FIDE Master Ashwini Tiwari.

Ramesh said he had picked the squad going by the rating of January to March as no tournaments were held after that owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.

The factional feud in the federation had cropped up again when the groups – one headed by President P R Venketrama Raja and the other by secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan had named separate teams for the Online Chess Olympiad scheduled from July 22.

However, the two factions then appeared to reach a common ground and named similar squads.

The Raja and Chauhan factions have been at loggerheads over various issues.

Meanwhile, former world champion Viswanathan Anand and current women’s Rapid world champion Koneru Humpy have confirmed their participation in the Olympiad, according to Chauhan.

Team: Men: Viswanathan Anand and Vidit Gujrathi, Reserves: P Harikrishna and Aravindh Chithambaram; Women: Koneru Humpy, D Harika, Reserves: Bhakti Kulkarni and R Vaishali; junior boys: Nihal Sarin; Reserve: R Praggnanandhaa; junior girls: Divya Deshmukh; Reserve: Vantika Agarwal.