All India Chess Federation revokes ban on Gopal

by ChessBase
7/5/2009 – In March we reported on the ban that was placed on G.N. Gopal, one of India's bright young stars, by the AICF. The 2555 rated GM had failed to play in the national championship last December, and the punishment would have seen him missing the next Asian and the World Junior Championship. Now, after protest by the Chess Players Association of India, the AICF has lifted the ban.

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All India Chess Federation revokes ban on Gopal

The All India Chess Federation (AICF) took an important decision to revoke a one year ban on grandmaster G.N. Gopal. The decision was taken at the Central Council and Annul General Meeting in Chennai. GM Gopal finally got the justice!

Geetha Narayanan Gopal, twent years old, grandmaster since 2007

In the last year, Indian Grandmaster G.N. Gopal’s decision to skip the 46th National ‘A’ chess championship proved costly. The All India Chess Federation (AICF) took disciplinary action against the player.

Disciplinary action by AICF

The AICF decided not to recommend GM G.N. Gopal, who had skipped the last National ‘A’ championship despite being warned by the federation to represent India in any official tournaments, for a year with immediate effect. That, in effect, put the Kochi-based player out of any official Indian team for one year. He was, however, free to play in tournaments for which he is personally invited.

The decision was taken in Chennai at the AICF Central Council meeting, which found his reasons for staying away from the last National ‘A’ championship held in Mangalore last December, and playing in a tournament overseas instead, unsatisfactory.

CPAI helped Gopal

The Chess Players Association of India launched a protest, stating, "We would also like to bring to your notice that decisions pertaining to players taken in AICF meetings are not communicated to the players. Hence the players are not aware of all the rules and regulations".

"There are many instances of players skipping the National A but the AICF did not take any action. The punishment against Gopal is very harsh," said Verghese Koshy, a senior player and reputed coach. CPAI president GM Tejas Bakre said it would request the AICF to reconsider its decision.

About GM G.N. Gopal

From G. N. Gopal to GM Gopal, it truly has been a sensational journey for an 18-year-old. He made his three norms within a space of six months – at the International Open in Kolkata, the Lake Sevan in Armenia and the Asian Zonal in Dhaka. He became Kerala's first grandmaster.

He won his first National title in 2001, the Under-12 rapid. In 2004, he won the bronze at the Asian under-14 championship in Tehran. The same year, he won the National junior title too.


Grandmaster Geetha Narayanan Gopal

Note that his name is Gopal, and in the South Indian system you call him that if you know him well. If you wish to be formal you must address him as Mr. Gopal. Never call him Geetha, which is his mother's name (Narayana is his father, these being added to the given name in the Indian tradition). In lists and records he is simply GN Gopal.

Name: G.N. Gopal
Age & Date of Birth: 20 years, 29-03-1989
Parents - Father: Prof: B. Narayana Pillai
Mother: Prof: Geetha Prakasini

Chess Career Highlights

  • He represented India in the prestigious Chess Olympiad at Dresden, Germany on Nov 2008.He represented India in the 1st World Mind Sports Games (WMSG).
  • In Asian individual championship 2007,Gopal qualified to the FIDE World Cup 2007 by finishing 9th in this continental championship.
  • Silver medal in Asian zonal 3.2 held at Dhaka 2007.
  • Gopal won the individual board prize gold medal and the Indian team won the silver medal. (In the Asian Team Chess Championship, at Vizag from 3rd Jan to 9th Jan 2008)
  • Shared second spot in the 9th Banja Luka Grandmasters tournament, 2008.
  • Current Elo rating of 2555.

Miscellaneous events

  • Clear second spot in Gjovic GM swiss tournament in Norway in Dec 2008.
  • Joint second in the Gibtelecom Masters tournament 2008 in the United Kingdom.
  • Second spot in prestigious Gausdal classics Interntional tournament 2008GM goup-A.
  • Gopal amazingly became the National Junior Champion at the age of 15. (National Junior championship is a prestigious event for under-20 boys.)
  • The first International Master and the first Grand Master of Kerala.
  • Member of the Indian Men’s Team from Dec 2006, 2007, 2008.
  • The only unbeaten Indian in the Aeroflot Open, Moscow Feb-2007.
  • Joint Champion in the concluded Lake Sevan (Armenia) from 6th –14th July 2007.
  • IM norms from World Junior Championship Turkey 2005, Belaguer (Spain) 2006, Valsad (Gujarat) 2006.
  • Gopal received the prestigious Tigran Gold medal from the Armenian Prime Minister during the Lake Sevan International Grand Masters tournament in Armenia.
  • In the FIDE World Cup in Siberia in November, Gopal had a tremendous tussle with former FIDE World champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov and only lost the blitz Playoff after four games had been drawn.

Gopal's biography in The Hindu

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