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Support the petition for legendary Sultan Khan to be awarded the GM title

by Sagar Shah - 09/05/2020

FIDE granted the GM title to players like Ossip Bernstein, Ernst Grünfeld, Boris Kostic, Géza Maroczy, Jacques Mieses, Akiba Rubinstein, Friedrich Sämisch, Savielly Tartakower, Milan Vidmar, Carlos Torre and others. A player who was equally strong and one of the best in the world was Sultan Khan. At the heights of his power he was a three-time British Champion, had beaten players like Capablanca, Rubinstein, Yates and also Tartakower in a match. He surely deserved the GM title, but his achievements have been overlooked in the past by FIDE. Through the petition, we ask for your support, so that we could request FIDE to award the GM title to the legendary chess player.

Sultan Khan, a chess legend who deserves the GM title | Photo: New in Chess

We, at ChessBase India, want to raise awareness about the fact as to what a great player Sultan Khan was and make an appeal to FIDE to consider granting him the GM title posthumously. In this respect we have organized Sultan Khan Cup 2020 sponsored by IPS Academy that will be played on 9th of May 2020 on Playchess. In his brief but meteoric career, Sultan Khan rose to the top of the chess world, playing on even terms with the world's best players.

A brief history about Sultan Khan

In 1905 was born a soft spoken, unassuming Sultan Khan in Mitha Tiwana in the Khushab district of the Punjab. 23 years later he became the national champion of India. He went on to win the British Championships three times and scored wins over great players like Capablanca, Tartakower, Flohr and many others.


Some of the achievements of Sultan Khan:

1. He won the British Championship on three occasions: 1929, 1932, 1933.

2. The first half of 1931 was probably the best period for him: he defeated Capablanca at Hastings (although he only came 3rd after throwing away a game against Euwe).

3. He then played Tartakower in a 12-game match defeating him 6½-5½.

4. In the Prague International Team Tournament he scored 11½/17 against many of the leading players of the day, drawing with the World Champion Alekhine and defeating Flohr.

Sultan Khan - A truly deserving GM

According to the website which calculates historical chess ratings, Khan was for at least a couple of years among the world’s top ten players, and ranked no.6 in the world at his best. It would be fitting if he were given some recognition for his achievements. In 1950, when FIDE first awarded the titles of International Grandmaster and International Master, Sultan Khan had not played for 15 years. Although FIDE awarded titles to some long-retired players who had distinguished careers earlier in their lives, such Ossip Bernstein, Ernst Grünfeld, Boris Kostic, Géza Maroczy, Jacques Mieses, Akiba Rubinstein, Friedrich Sämisch, Savielly Tartakower, Milan Vidmar and Carlos Torre, it never awarded any title to Sultan Khan.

Your support is essential

Sultan Khan deserved the title of Grandmaster. He is no more, but a player of his stature should be recognized and feted with the GM title. If you sign this petition, with your support we would like to request FIDE to grant him the GM title.

Sign the petition

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