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FIDE makes urgent appeal to Canada to issue visas to players for Candidates

Canada is yet to issue visas to chess players participating in the Candidates tournament in April including five Indian players.

FIDE makes urgent appeal to Canada to issue visas to players for Candidates

Vidit Gujrathi, R. Praggnanandhaa and R. Vaishali will make their debut at the FIDE Candidates 2024.  


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 2 March 2024 7:00 AM GMT

International Chess Federation FIDE has raised a red flag over the delay in the issuance of visas to the players competing in the prestigious Candidates tournament.

FIDE termed the delay a 'grave concern' as it impacts the timely arrival of the contenders.

Canada is set to host one of the most prestigious chess tournaments from April 3-22 in Toronto, where five Indians, including two women players, will also present their challenge.

The event will determine the challengers for the World Champion title in both the Open and Women's Categories.

Indian chess Prodigy R Praggnanandhaa, Vidit Gujrathi, and Gukesh D have qualified for the eight-player, double round-robin men's tournament while R Vaishali and Koneru Humpy will compete in the women's event, which will be run simultaneously.

"Regrettably, players from various countries worldwide, who submitted their visa applications a few months ago, have not yet received any updates on their status," FIDE wrote on X, drawing the attention of the Canadian government to the issue.

"With only a month remaining till the FIDE Candidates Tournament, there are grave concerns about the timely arrival of the players to Toronto."

India's five-time world champion and FIDE deputy president Viswanathan Anand re-tweeted the FIDE letter, tagging Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

FIDE urged the Canadian government to urgently address the matter to avoid inconvenience to its players.

"Recognizing the popularity of the game in the country, and its growing role in the chess world, we kindly ask the Canadian Government for support in urgently addressing this matter.

"Ensuring the safe and timely arrival of players is crucial for the success and integrity of the FIDE Candidates Tournament and for promoting Canada as a host of the most important chess tournament of the year, which will be followed by millions of spectators worldwide."

The winner of the men's event will take on defending champion, Ding Liren from China while his compatriot Ju Wenjun is currently holder of the women's title

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