Sundar: Imagination and half truths

10/23/2009 – "I saw GM Koneru Humpy’s letter on your website," wrote D.V. Sunder, Honorary Secretary of the All India Chess Federation. "You normally seek the reaction of the other side, as you have earlier agreed that there is always the other side of any episode." Indeed there usually is. We bring you in full what we received from the AICF: a letter of clarification.

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At the outset let me tell you that many things are said out of imagination and half truths. As I see it, there are two things which are highlighted 1. Her father accompanying her to Asian Indoor Games and 2. Her not being allowed to Gibralter open. And she has accused me on both these things, let me clarify on the above two first.

  1. It is a lie to say that we have not recommended her father to accompanying her to Asian Indoor Games. Her father knows very well that I have recommended him on the request of Humpy to accompanying her as his personal coach. In fact after recommending his name to the Indian Olympic Association, I have also requested him to talk to IOA directly. The fact is that Government has refused any personal trainer for any players for which AICF or its Secretary cannot be found fault with.

  2. We have the copy of the letter from Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (Humpy is employed in Oil company) instructing that all chess players to participate in the Indian tournaments and not to be permitted to any foreign tours during the period of the two GM tournaments in January & February. Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) is the nodal agency controlling the sportsmen employees of all oil companies in India and all players are bound by their rules.

    The PSPB is an affiliated member of the All India Chess Federation we are bound to honour their commitments. Hence, while we had no objection to her participants in Czech tournament we had indicated that it is not possible for us to consider to her request for Gibralter tournament favaourably. It is for the first time that in India AICF arranged for back to back tournaments one at Delhi and the other at Chennai and these tournaments attract more than 20 Grandmasters. So it is our wish that players like Humpy should participate in such events. In fact we have been repeatedly asked by our members, chess lovers and the press why we are not requesting all top players to play in India. Therefore, we want players like her to play. So you will find that the above two allegation against AICF or the Secretary are either out of not knowing the whole truth or a deliberate attempts to malign us.

  3. It is a lie to say that AICF agreed to spend for Mr. Koneru Ashok. On the contrary we have sent a mail to Humpy informing her very clearly that AICF cannot foot his bills.

  4. Koneru Humpy has never sought the permission of AICF to participate in any tournament before. First time we received a request in August and we have not denied her any permission.

  5. Her ticket for the World Championship at Nalchik, Russia, was given to her before she left India. What prevented her to inform us about the return dates of the tickets so that we could have given her the ticket she wanted. She could have even mailed us from Russia and we would have been duty bound to get her ticket. After all now-a-days e-tickets are issued. She need not have troubled her father for this. India had sent an official coach/Manager WIM Anupama Gokhale to the same championship. They could have utilized her services also. We had checked up with WIM Anupama, and she confirmed that when she asked Humpy if she could stay back, Humpy had replied saying not necessary. In fact we are hearing this for the first time through the media.

  6. The World Championship Bronze certificate can be issued only by the organizers at Nalchik, Russia, and it is common knowledge that AICF cannot issue the merit certificate.

  7. It is common knowledge that whenever a kit sponsor is involved, the most important thing he expects is that the players have to wear T-Shirts with their logo. This is one of the main conditions for sponsorship. For the first time in Indian Chess history we had a sponsor and all the players were paid money to represent the Country in the Chess Olympiad. Koneru Humpy is no exception. Not only Humpy, if any player is seen playing without the T-Shirt the AICF is duty bound to caution. That is exactly what AICF did in this case with Humpy.

  8. I have nothing to say on her personal remarks about me. She is free to have her opinion. But what ever decision the AICF takes it is only after discussing with people like Mr. Bharat Singh and Mr.R.M.Dongre. But she was all praise for AICF administration when we enabled her mother to accompany her to Asian Games at Doha as her “personal trainer”.


    D.V. Sunder (right), Secretary of the All India Chess Federation, with
    Ravindra Dongre, Deputy President of Commonwealth Chess Association

  9. It will be interesting to note that Humpy refused to play in the World Women Team Chess Championship held at Ningbo, China, from 01st to 12th September, 2009 just because the AICF did not accede to her father's request to spend for him. This is for the first time ever that India qualified for the World Women Team Chess Championship and only ten countries qualified to play in this coveted championship. She had also indicated that she will play in selected Women tournaments for the Country. But within 15 days she plays for a club in the European Women Team Championship. She did not play in the Dresden Olympiad also. Will it be wrong on the part of AICF to request the best player of the Country to represent India? And can that be construed as harrassment?

  10. One thing is very clear to us that Ms. Koneru Humpy will play for the country only if her father or mother accompanies her.

  11. These personal allegations are not acceptable and totally unwarranted. In fact, I had requested Mr. Koneru Ashok to come to the AICF Central Council meeting where all our office bearers and State representatives will be present on 26th September, 2009, so that we can sort out all issues, to which he refused to come.

  12. The AICF has open mind on these issues. Koneru Humpy is free to meet all of us at her convenience to discuss and sort out her grievances if any.

Finally the entire Indian Chess fraternity knows my contribution to the growth of the game of chess in India. Just to highlight a few of my personal contributions:

a. I had organized the All India Bank open FIDE rated chess tournament annually from 1978 to 1992.
b. I organized the Vishy Anand-Alexei Dreev World candidates at Chennai in 1991.
c. I organized the Videocon IM tournament in 1993
d. I organized the Asian Zonals in 1994
e. I organized the Sakthi Grandmasters tournament in 1995
f.  I organized the Penta Media Grandmasters in 1998
g. I organized the Asian Continental Women Championship in 2001
h. I organized the Asian Junior in 2008

Further to the above I have organized countless National Championships and State Championships. Therefore, in all humility I would like to tell you that there are very few parallels to be compared with me in my endeavour to promote the game of chess in India.

D.V. Sundar
Hon. Secretary
ALL INDIA CHESS FEDERATION


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