Edinburgh: Indian players will not be participating in the British Chess Championship, one of the biggest prize money tournaments of the world, from next year after the organisers caved in to pressure and decided to restrict participation to English and Irish players.
The British championship carries a first prize of £10,000 and there were lot of murmurs about participating countries after Indian International Master R.B. Ramesh won last year.
Many domestic players had then shown their dissent and most of them gave the championship a miss this time.
The British championship does not offer appearance money to GMs and it also does not bear the expenses of participating players.
“I guess we just all figured out that playing in this tournament represented a poor risk-reward ratio given the fact that GMs don’t receive any expenses to play in it,” said GM Nigel Davis of England on his website.
Quite obviously the top Grandmasters are used to some amounts of assured appearance money before the start of any event that takes care of at least their expenses like flight tickets, lodging and boarding.
There lies a risk of losing out — the cost of living being high — if a player does not win any prize. However, the Indian players are well off in such cases as there is huge government support for them.
However, the British Chess Federation has not said anything about the appearance money part in the accord it has reached on restricted participation. It remains to be seen whether the likes of Nigel Short, Jonathan Speelman and many other top British Grandmasters turn up from next year.
For now one thing looks certain, the Indian players will be missing out on an important event on their calendar.