FIDE urges Canadian Government to issue visas to players

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FIDE

Raising a red flag over the delay in the issuance of visas to Indian players competing in the prestigious Candidates event, the International Chess Federation FIDE on Saturday enjoined Canada to process the applications at the earliest, saying there are “grave concerns” over the timely arrival of contenders.

Canada is set to host one of the most prestigious chess tournaments from April 3-22 in Toronto, where five Indians, including two women players, will also present their challenge. The event will determine the challengers for the World Champion title in both the Open and Women’s Categories.

FIDE appeals to the Canadian Government

There was a cloud of uncertainty over the chances of five Indian chess players’ participation in the qualifying tournament for the World Championship final in Canada, as they have not reportedly received their visa yet with about a month to go for the event, prompting the International Chess Federation or FIDE to make an urgent appeal to the host country.

While R. Praggnanandhaa, Vidit Gujrathi and D. Gukesh will be participating in the Open section of the Candidates Tournament, the winner of which will take on reigning champion Ding Liren of China in the final, Vaishali Rameshbabu and Koneru Humpy will compete in the women’s Candidates Tournament, with eight players in the fray in both sections.

The alleged inaction on the part of the Canadian government prompted FIDE to issue an urgent appeal late on Friday night.

“Regrettably, players from various countries worldwide, who submitted their visa applications a few months ago, have not yet received any updates on their status,” FIDE wrote in the X post.

 

Noting that the “most prestigious tournaments in chess, the FIDE Candidates”, is being held in Canada for the first time, FIDE said there are grave concerns about the “timely arrival of the players to Toronto”.

“With only a month remaining till the Candidates Tournament, there are grave concerns about the timely arrival of the players to Toronto.”

India’s five-time world champion and FIDE deputy president Viswanathan Anand reposted the FIDE letter, tagging Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

“Recognizing the popularity of the game in the country, and its growing role in the chess world, we kindly ask the Canadian Government for support in urgently addressing this matter.”

“Ensuring the safe and timely arrival of players is crucial for the success and integrity of the FIDE Candidates Tournament and for promoting Canada as a host of the most important chess tournament of the year, which will be followed by millions of spectators worldwide.” The winner of the men’s event will take on defending champion, Ding Liren from China while his compatriot Ju Wenjun is the current holder of the women’s title.

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