Vidit Gujrathi and his visa troubles
Vidit Gujrathi is currently ranked no.5 in India with an Elo of 2710. The only classical tournaments that Vidit has played in 2022 are Tata Steel Masters, Prague Masters, FIDE Grand Prix and the Chess Olympiad. For a player of his rating it is quite important that he gets to play in more classical events so that he can work on his Elo. Currently for Vidit, it is not the tournament invitations that are causing an issue. He has an invitation from a strong tournament in the USA. However, his problem is that there is no appointment for the USA visa before July 2023. And the tournament starts from the 1st of November 2022. Get to know more about Vidit Gujrathi's visa issues.
On 8th of September 2022 afternoon, India no.5 super GM Vidit Gujrathi made the following tweet:
Speaking to ChessBase India Vidit said, " Since the Olympiad ended, I have been trying to get the visa to Fall Chess Classic that will be held in Saint Louis, USA from the 1st to 11th of November 2022. There are very few tournaments that one can play in Classical chess, hence I was really hoping to get to play in this event. On 18th of September I am travelling to Azerbaijan to play in a rapid and blitz event, which will end on 25th of September 2022. From there I will go to Austria to play the European Club Cup from 2nd to 10th of October 2022. I will then return to India and will be left with 20 days to get my visa work done. I applied for my USA visa, but got an appointment for July 2023. If my interview can be schedule between 12th to 21st of October 2021, then I can get my visa and also my passport back for travelling."
After returning from the European Club Cup, Vidit will be playing in the Champions Chess Tour from the 14th to the 21st of November 2022. However, Vidit is fine to travel for the visa interview as the games will happen during the night. The visa issues take up a lot of time of the chess players. Along with sponsorships and training, it is one of the key issues that chess players have to solve. That's because when a chess player travels outside the country they have to carry their passport. Hence, their visa work has to be done when they are in India, which is not quite often.
Most of the top players do have their Schengen visa sorted out for a few years or multiple months. However, with the USA visa, Vidit did not have it in advance as very few top level tournaments happen there. Understanding how few top level tournaments are available to Indian players, each and every opportunity to play a Classical event to increase your rating has its weight in gold. In the past, chess players have faced visa issues and timely intervention has helped them made tangible progress in the chess world. We hope that Vidit Gujrathi's visa issues are sorted by the relevant authorities.