Indian team withdraws from world cadet championship in Egypt

TNN Bureau. Updated: 10/13/2023 12:34:41 PM Sports and Culture

Chennai, Oct 13: The Indian team has pulled out of the World Cadet Chess Championship scheduled to be held at Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt from October 14 to 23 in view of the situation in Gaza and keeping in mind the safety of the participants.

As many as 39 players from the country were supposed to take part in the tournament which included events in the under-12, 10 and 8 categories.

"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," All India Chess Federation (AICF) said in a press release.

According to AICF sources, some 80 people, including players, coaches and those accompanying the players, were to head to Sharm el Sheikh for the tournament.

"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," the release said.

"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."

Meanwhile, an AICF official said the Indian federation has requested the world chess body (FIDE) to postpone the tournament keeping in mind the situation in Gaza.

The official also said that the decision was taken as the safety of the children had to be taken into account and there was uncertainty over flight operations owing to the situation in Gaza.

Israel has launched an unprecedented offensive against the Islamic militant group Hamas ruling Gaza after its fighters broke through the border fence and stormed into the country's south through air, land and sea on October 7.

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