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All India Chess Federation announces Rs 65 cr budget for Chess ecosystem

AICF President Nitin Narang announced the budget along with initiatives like support to Chess Content Creators and inclusion of more women players.

All India Chess Federation announces Rs 65 cr budget for Chess ecosystem

India B team at the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022 (Source: Twitter/ Santhosh Kumar)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 4 May 2024 5:55 PM GMT

All India Chess Federation President Nitin Narang announced a 65 crore INR budget on Saturday to improve the 'Bhartiya Chess' ecosystem.

The decision was taken after the conclusion of a meeting late Saturday evening.

Other decisions were taken on key initiatives, including financial and institutional support for the professional players, along with the grassroots level players.

AICF will launch two programs -- AICF Pro and AICF Popular -- to promote chess on a wider scale across the country.

Among the other proposals discussed during the meeting were coming up with a chess development fund, introducing strong financial backing with player contracts and coaching across levels, financially supporting district and state associations, setting up a state-of-the-art National Chess Arena (NCA) for elite-level training and an AICF Rating system.

Awarding Chess players and financial support

The AICF will come up with two-year contracts for national-level players, from U-7 to U-19 age groups, disbursing funds ranging from Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 to players via Direct Benefit Transfer under the relevant categories.

AICF will come up with cash rewards for the top 20 chess players to recognize and reward their excellence. It will be awarded to the top 10 male and female Indian players based on their FIDE rankings. The top five male and female players will each receive Rs 25,00,000, while the players ranked 6th to 10th will each be awarded Rs 12,50,000.

Apart from this, AICF will support the state associations and commit the money across three years.

More inclusiveness to creators and Women players

AICF has also outlined initiatives to enhance inclusivity and opportunity in chess for women, expanding the Smart Girl Program with a minimum of 50 annual events, each supported by a Rs 1,00,000 grant. Further reinforcing this commitment is a 33% reservation for women in several key areas.

The chess content creators program will aim to enhance chess content creation by collaborating with YouTubers, Influencers, and Streamers and fostering new creators through mentorship from established content creators to nurture a thriving community of chess content creators.

Apart from all this, AICF will work with a Corporate Chess league along with the development of National Chess awards.

Remarking on the significant rollout of the initiatives, Narang stated in a media release, “Players are at the heart of chess, and many have to compromise on their passion due to the lack of funds, institutional support, and opportunities. I am committed to making every player's dream a reality through myriad initiatives rolled out today in our Rs 65 Cr budget.

"We are setting up a chess development fund to ensure that we empower the grassroots level players and bring them to a global level of excellence. My mission is to bring chess to every household, with the motto 'Ghar Ghar Chess - Har Ghar Chess'," he concluded.

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