Daijiworld Media Network - Goa (mb)
from special correspondent
Panaji, Dec 23: The All India Chess Federation's (AICF's) decision of giving status of GM norm for the National 'B' championship to be held at Goa in June next is considered as a step in the process of having more Indian Grandmasters.
AICF's central council meeting here has made good use of the International Federation's (FIDE) ruling by giving GM norm for National 'B' tournaments. Hitherto, only National 'A' was considered as GM norm tournament.
FIDE allows its national affiliates to have any one of the domestic championships under GM norm regulations without the mandatory foreign players' participation.
"It is a right step in the direction of giving scope to a larger number of players to achieve the vital GM (or IM) norm and it would help India have more than the present 17 GMs in a shorter time," D V Sundar, Secretary, AICF, said.
"I am delighted and honoured that AICF has chosen Goa as the site for thefirst norm version of the National 'B'" was the reaction of GSCA president Sameer A Salgaocar, who also happens to be vice president of the AICF. "We will take all the steps necessary to make it a showpiece event", he added.
The meeting also decided the qualification criteria for the National 'A' championship (a 14-player event from 2008).
The top 11 finishers in National 'B' (to be held in Chennai from February 3 to 16, 2008) and three top seeded players of National 'A' would be eligible to compete in 2008 National 'A'.
In 2005, the system had 22 players competing in all-play-all format. The players'association requested for a change since it was taking about 25 days to finish the event.
Consequently, the National Women 'B' would be a 12-player event with nine qualifying from National 'B' and three seeded stars from National Women 'A'.
Players with highest FIDE ratings (five each of men and women) would be allowed to represent India in the Chess Olympiads.
For the 2008 Dresden Olympiad, the AICF has decided the FIDE April ratings as criteria for selection.