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Banned chess players seek compensation

295   //    26 Jul 2018, 22:24 IST

Chennai, Jul 26 (PTI) Chess players Karun Duggal and Gurpreet Pal Singh, banned by the All India Chess Federation (AICF) for taking part in tournaments conducted by the rival Chess Association of India (CAI), are planning to move the Competition Commission of India's appellate tribunal, seeking Rs 50 lakh as compensation for "the sufferings, loss of reputation and loss of opportunities."

The players had approached the Competition Commission against the ban and it ruled on July 12 that the AICF was guilty of violating provisions of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002 and imposed a fine of Rs 6,92,350 on the federation.

The Federation has been asked to comply with the order within 60 days and encouraged by the ruling, the players are now seeking compensation. The AICF is likely to file an appeal, according to chess federation sources.

"We will be filing a case claiming Rs 50 lakh as compensation for the sufferings, loss of reputation, loss of opportunities," the Delhi-based Duggal said.

He also that he would take up the issue with the Sports Minister and with FIDE (the international chess body) to get justice.

Singh, a national junior champion in 1994, on his part said, "our main aim is to ensure that young chess players don't suffer like us."

He alleged that they (and two others) had been targetted for reasons unknown and said the hope was that their Elo ratings (used to calculate the relative skill levels of players) "would be restored".

"Our only fault was that we played in some open tournament just to earn some extra prize money," Singh added.

The complaint against the AICF was that it had not allowed players to participate in events not authorised by the federation.

The players had also complained to the CCI that their Elo rating points were removed by AICF without giving any prior notice for participating in a chess tournament sponsored by the Chess Association of India (CAI) in 2010.


Also, a writ petition is pending in the Madras High Court in this regard, they added.

Duggal, who had a peak rating of 2195, said there was nothing more to lose for him and the other players who had been banned by AICF.

"But we would like to see that other players do not suffer in the future," he added.

The AICF had banned about 2,500 chess players. Rating of 151 players was revoked. Majority of the 2,500 players who were banned have quit chess, Duggal said.

In its order, the CCI directed AICF to lay down the process and parameters governing authorisation/sanctioning of chess tournaments. In doing so, AICF would have to ensure that the parameters were necessary to serve the interest of the sport and these shall be applied in a "fair, transparent and equitable manner".

The CCI order also asked AICF to review the disciplinary action taken against the four players who had complained