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Breaking: No National Premier and Challengers, only one Nationals!

by ChessBase India - 16/12/2017

Since times immemorial, India has had the format of National Challengers and players doing well in that tournament qualifying for national premier. The Central council of AICF has come up with a path breaking idea of dissolving the format of national challengers and premier and consolidating it into one national tournament with a prize fund of 20 lakh for open and 15 lakh for women. It would also mean that the tournament would be a norm event and would be considered as "The National Championship" of the country. Read on to know more. And let us know your opinion of this decision.

The All India Chess Federation has resolved to accept the recommendations of a sub committee regarding selection of Indian Team for Olympiad/World Team Championship / Asian Team Championship as given below:

Criteria for selection of Indian Team for Olympiad/World Team Championship/Asian Team Championship: –

It was resolved to select Indian Men and Women team for Olympiad/World/Asian Team Championships on the basis of ELO rating. However the National Champion will get an added a bonus of 50 rating points and Women Champion 25 rating points. Consequentially, for others  the existing Rule of awarding 75 ELO points for players who participate in the National Challengers/Premier and National Women Challengers/Premier stands withdrawn. Henceforth no such ELO points will be added.


For the purpose of calculating the rating, three months average rating of the player prior to the selection month will be taken as teams will be selected 3 months prior to the scheduled month of event. For example, team for 2018 World Chess Olympiad which is scheduled in the month of September 2018 at Georgia will be selected in the month of June 2018 considering the rating average of FRLs of March 2018, April 2018 and May 2018. The same criteria will be applied for World and Asian Team championships. 


However, if the team earned the right to play World Team Championship based on the performance in World Chess Olympiad, then the same members of the team who participated in the Olympiad will be selected for World Team Championship. In case player from the Olympiad team is not available to play the World Championship due to any reason, the player with higher rating will be replaced by using the rating criteria. While determining the rating, the three months average rating of the player will be taken into consideration.  However, the player to be eligible for consideration should be active player having participated in at least 9 games within 6 months prior to the selection.

No National Premier and Challengers, only one Nationals!

From the above it will be clear that the Indian team for the above three Team Championships will be selected only on the basis of ELO rating and not as per premier National Championship Ranking.


Therefore it was decided to merge the National Challengers and the National Premier from 2018 onwards and there will be only one National Championship. Apart from the above reason, the members of the AICF felt that there are lot of confusions in many State Governments regarding the status of National Challengers and they are not considering it as National Championship and thereby chess players who play in National B (Challengers) are not considered for Government Jobs under sports quota. Further as per FIDE guidelines only the National Championship will be considered as Norm tournament. The National B (Challengers) is not considered by FIDE as the Premier National Championship and our players were not able to get any FIDE Norms like IM norm, WIM norm, GM norm, WGM norm through National Challengers.


Therefore taking all the above into consideration it has been decided to merge the above two championships as one and shall be called Senior National Championship. It was also decided to enhance the prize money to Rs.20 lakhs for men (first prize 5 lakh) and Rs.15 lakhs for the Women Championship. We hope many players will benefit by this decision. However, it was also decided to call for the views of the players so that the same can be implemented.


The players who have objections to this arrangements may respond to this decision with reasons to the All India Chess Federation before 24.12.2017.


Source: AICF website.


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