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AICF lines up 13 international chess tournaments for 2022, hikes prize money for nationals

IANS | December 06, 2021 05:42 PM

NEW DELHI: Having signed a new annual sponsor, the All-India Chess Federation (AICF) has lined up as many as 13 international open tournaments across the country as part of a packed calendar for 2022. And to make things attractive for the players, the AICF has hiked prize money for all national championships, having managed to arrange sponsorship for all major events.

"For the first time, we have a sponsor for all national events in the form of MPL, " AICF president Sanjay Kapoor said. "Thanks to them and our other efforts, we will be offering attractive prize money in every tournament, " he added.

The AICF has signed a sponsorship deal worth Rs 1 crore annually with MPL Sports and has thus decided to spend Rs 76 lakh from that as prize money for the various national championships. The prize fund for the senior nationals, both Open and Women, will see a hike of Rs 10 lakh while prize money for junior nationals will be upped by Rs 7.50 lakh.

The chess year will get underway with the MPL National Junior Championship (Under-20) at the IGI Stadium in New Delhi while Ahmedabad will have the honour of hosting the first international tournament, the Ahmedabad International Open, from February 23 to March 2, the AICF informed in a release on Monday.

The biggies, the MPL National Women Championship (Feb 9-19) and the MPL National Senior Championship (Feb 9-21), will take place simultaneously in Bheemavaram in Andhra Pradesh and Kanpur, respectively. The MPL Natioal Senior Championship in Bheemavaram will have a total prize fund of Rs 30 lakh while that for the women's event in Kanpur will be Rs 25 lakh.

The Indian teams for all major world championships in the year 2022 will be selected from these events.

"These are exciting times for Indian chess, " AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan said. "Our players, right from the Under-8 category, will have multiple opportunities to showcase their talent and come into the limelight."

The other international tournaments will be held in Pune (Mar 4-11), Guwahati (Mar 13-20), Delhi (Mar 22-29), Kolkata (May 21-29), Bhubaneswar (May 31-Jun 8), Visakhapatnam (June 10-18), Bengaluru (June 20-28), Punjab (Aug 22-30), Bikaner (Sep 1-9), Indore (Sep 11-19), Chhattisgarh (Sep 21-29) and Uttar Pradesh (Oct 1-9).

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