AAI International Chess Tournament 2011

AAI International Chess Tournament 2011

| 10 | Chess Event Coverage

Press Release

NEW DELHI: Big time chess returns to India with the highest-ever rated AAI International Grandmasters Chess Tournament organized by the Airports Authority of India.

The AAI, which is a leading Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, as part of its Centenary Celebration of Civil Aviation in India, is organizing “AAI International Grandmasters Chess Tournament 2011”, which will feature six of the most promising young talents in the game from all over the world.

This will be India’s first ever Category 17 chess tournament with a unique group of six grandmasters playing in a double round robin event from June 21 to July 2, 2011. The venue will be the AAI Officers’ Institute near Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi.
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(Pictured reading from top left) Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan of China, Indian National Champion GM Parimarjan Negi, Indian No. 2 GM Krishnan Sasikiran, Czech Republic No. 2 GM Viktor Laznicka, Philippines No. 1 GM Wesley So and GM Fabiano Caruana of Italy.

Keeping pace with other high-profile events globally, the tournament will offer total prize money worth US $ 24,500. The winner takes $ 8,000, while the runner-up will receive $ 6,000. The purse for the next four finishers will be $ 4,000, $ 3,000, $ 2,000 and $ 1,500.

“The game was given to the world by India and we also have the world champion from India in Viswanathan Anand. So it is only logical that the AAI supports an endeavour which showcases India’s ancient game and young talent from around the world,” said Mr. V P Agrawal, Chairman Airports Authority of India at the first Press Conference held to launch of the tournament.

“We have been supporting various games and young sportspersons, including chess. Parimarjan Negi, the current National champion, and who has broken many records and Dronavalli Harika among women are supported by AAI. Negi, incidentally will also feature in AAI International Grandmasters Chess Tournament,” added Mr. Agrawal.
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Indian chess has never seen such a high-rated double round robin international tournament ever before. This is also the first time since early 1980s, that a women’s world champion will be playing in India.

“We are proud to host such a high quality event, the likes of which have never been held before in India. It will be a treat for chess lovers in Delhi and all over the country. We will have all modern facilities and use the event to promote the game in India by inviting youngsters to watch and learn,” said Mr. Bharat Singh Chauhan, President, Delhi Chess Association, which is also supporting the event.

“To have a Category 17 event in India has always been Delhi Chess Association’s dream. And now that Delhi also has its first-ever national champion in Parimarjan Negi, it is only logical that we have the tournament in Delhi. The Airports Authority of India, who have been generous supporters of the game, as also other sports, need to be congratulated for making a tournament like this come to life,” said Mr. Chauhan.

The tournament featuring six Grandmasters will see the players battle it out against each other twice, once each with white and black pieces. The tournament runs from June 21 to July 2, 2011.

Each of the participants is being given the airfare and Boarding and Lodging for the duration of the tournament. The players will also be put up at the newly renovated rooms and suites at the centrally located Institute.

{ED NOTE: The official website is here, and a Facebook page is here.}

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About Airports Authority of India and Sports
The Airports Authority of India, which is celebrating 100 years of Civil Aviation have been proud supporters of sports in India. Shri VP Agrawal, Chairman, AAI also heads as President, All India Public Sector Sports Promotion Board (AIPSSPB), AAI has various schemes and programmes to encourage young talent.
The thrust of Airports Authority of India Sports Control Board (AAISCB) is:
  • To promote young and promising talent in sports
  • Promoting Olympic Sports in the country
  • Developing Sports as a Welfare Measure for its employees
  • Promotion of Cultural Activities amongst employees and their families.
The AAI has a Sports Talent Search Scheme under which it provides financial assistance to outstanding unemployed sportspersons under the age of 30.

The AAI has a Sports Scholarship scheme, under which it inducts 60 sportspersons every year and gives scholarships of Rs. 8,000 and Rs. 6,000.

Under the AAI Sports Contract Scheme, outstanding sportspersons are given an initial contract of one year and extendable to a maximum of three years after which they are considered for recruitment into the organization. The amount varies from Rs. 12,000 a month to Rs. 25,000 depending on the level of achievement.
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