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Israel-Hamas conflict: India withdraws from World Cadet Chess

Source: PTI
Last updated on: October 13, 2023 13:13 IST
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IMAGE: Smoke billows following Israeli strikes in Gaza City, October 11, 2023. Photograph: Saleh Salem/Reuters

The Indian team has pulled out of the World Cadet Chess Championship scheduled to start at Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt from Saturday in the wake of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, fearing it could jeopardise the safety of the players and officials.


As many as 39 players from India were supposed to compete in the tournament, the venue of which is less than 400kms from the Israel border. The competition will be held in the under-12, 10 and 8 categories from October 14 to 23.

The All India Chess Federation (AICF) has also requested the world body FIDE to postpone the tournament, keeping in mind the tense situation in Gaza.

"Considering the ongoing situation at Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas and the age of participants, after due deliberations, it was decided to withdraw the participation of the Indian team in the World Cadet Chess Championship-2023," AICF said in a press release.

According to AICF sources, some 80 people, including players, coaches and those accompanying the players, were to head to Sharm el Sheikh for the tournament.

"The All India Chess Federation took this decision considering all the aspects of safety and security of young players as Egypt shares the border with Gaza as well as Israel," the release said.

"Sharm el Sheikh, the host city for the championship is less than 400 KM from the Israel border and the conflict can significantly impact commercial airlines in the Middle East on short notice.

"The Federation took this hard decision based on force majeure and unforeseen scenarios as we give paramount importance to the safety of our players even though our players put in almost one year training to participate in this important event."

Meanwhile, an AICF official said the decision was taken as the safety of the children had to be taken into account and there was uncertainty over flight operations.

Israel has launched an unprecedented offensive against the Islamic militant group Hamas ruling Gaza after its fighters broke through the border fence and stormed into the country's south through air, land and sea on October 7.


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