Chess: Ukrainian GM's India visa rejected; organisers ask for govt help
The Maharashtra Open organisers have approached the Ministry of External Affairs to get visa clearance for Ukrainian chess Grand Master and three-time world champion Ruslan Ponomariov.
The Maharashtra Open organisers have approached the Ministry of External Affairs to get visa clearance for Ukrainian chess Grand Master and three-time world champion Ruslan Ponomariov, whose application has been rejected.
According to organising secretary Niranjan Godbole, the Ukrainian GM has applied for the visa again so that he can compete in the tournament, set to be held in Pune from May 31 to June 8. "We have got in touch with the Ministry of External Affairs and provided all the required documents. We are hoping that the visa application comes through. We hope to have him at the tournament," Godbole said.
"Fingers crossed though. If things fall in place and he is able to make it to Pune, he will be the top-seed," Godbole said about Ponomariov, who held the world title from 2002 to 2004 and has an ELO rating of 2642.
While it is not yet clear what led to rejection of Ponomariov's visa application although several Russian sports persons have been barred from competing in events due to Russia-Ukraine war. The All India Chess Federation (AICF) is optimistic that getting visa would not be an issue for any player, including Ponamairov, when the country will host Chess Olympiad in July-August.
The Ukrainian GM is expected to be part of the national team in the forthcoming Chess Olympiad. A top All India Chess Federation (AICF) official, said he can't comment on rejection of visa but can assure that nothing like this would happen when they host the 44th edition of the prestigious Chess Olympiad.
"We are not aware of the issue. They have not invited him (Ponomariov) through us. There would be no issues with regard to visas being issued for players for the forthcoming 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai," the official said.