Indian Chess Federation in turmoil

2/1/2005 – There seems to be a spot of trouble abrewing in the All India Chess Federation. General Secretary Ummer Koya, who is also a FIDE Vice President, has been restrained by the Madras High Court from acting as Secretary of the AICF. The Indian news services are full of it.

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From the Chennai-based web site ChessMate we received the following story. Note that the term "lakh" is an Indian numeral referring to 100,000. One US Dollar is equivalent to 43.7 Indian Rupees, so that Rs 20 lakh translates to Rs 2 million or US $45,768.

FIDE Vice President Restrained From Functioning By Madras High Court

In a sudden move, the Madras High Court restrained the AICF Secretary and Treasurer P.T. Ummer Koya and Soumen Mazumdar from acting as Secretary and Treasurer. The Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, Maharashtra Chess Association and the Delhi Chess Association sought the relief from the illegal activities of these two office bearers.


Ummer Koya (left) with other FIDE and national delegated during a simultaneous exhibition against Garry Kasparov in Dresden last summer

"Koya had been terrorising the players for long," said IM Manuel Aaron. Dongre said from the Rs.20 lakh (Rupees Two Million) Government grant for the Commonwealth Championships of 2003 and 2004 he received only Rs.5 lakhs while the Government had sanctioned the full Rs.20 lakhs. Bharat Singh said of the Rs.4.50 lakh Government advance grant for the Parvnath International Open in 2005, the draft was made on Jan 11, 2005 but he is yet to receive it from the Federation.

The decision is a blow to Koya as he cannot function as Secretary of the AICF, Vice President of FIDE and also President of the Commonwealth Chess Association before clearing these charges in this court or the Supreme Court.


Koya goofing off in a pretend game against a bronze statue at the Calvià Olympiad

When journalists asked Manuel Aaron when you got a chance to remove Koya from the AICF in 2001 why didn't you do it, he replied that the situation was different then. An attempt to hijack AICF was made and we had to stop that. "When the auditing of the AICF moved from Delhi to Calicut in 2001, Koya went on a rampage," Aaron said. Further, Aaron said AICF was registered in Madras in 1958 but Koya had it registered in Calicut in 1991 forging the signature of Manuel Aaron.


The ChessIndia Complex, which runs the AIFC web site

The immediate future for the AICF looks gloomy. Asked if there was elections what will happen. "If there is a secret ballot we will win," said Manuel Aaron. Koya has to fight in the courts at Chennai where he could appeal or go to the Supreme Court. Allegations against him sound serious and AICF will be run by its President N Srinivasan until the present air of uncertainty is cleared. The Chess India complex at Kozhikode belongs to Koya himself and AICF was paying him rent. "We had only given significant of the illegal activities of Koya," said Aaron.

Chess in India will not be stalled, assured Bharat Singh who said all the players are cleared from Delhi and he has been doing this work. "We could organise more events to compensate in this period," said R.M. Dongre, Chairman of the Maharashtra Chess Association.


R.M. Dongre, Manuel Aaron, Bharat Singh at a press conference in Chennai on Feb 1

  • The full press release is available here: 1 2 3 4 5

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