Mumbai: The l’ffaire Humpy has turned into a media war between India’s best woman chess player and All-India Chess Federation (AICF) secretary DV Sundar.
After charges, counter-charges, there is now a new twist to the controversy. On Monday, Koneru Humpy’s father revealed to DNA that his Grandmaster daughter has got offers from a few international federations to represent their country.
“I can confirm to you that Humpy has been approached by some federations,” Koneru Ashok said. He refused to name the countries who have promised to roll out the red carpet for his daughter. “I cannot disclose the names,” he added.
Ashok, however, pledged his daughter’s commitment to Indian chess. “She has been harassed by the AICF but she is willing to take the harassment in her stride. She will not leave the country,” Ashok, a Dronacharaya Award winner, said.
He further stated that Fide, the World chess Federation, will be sending her invites for its tournaments directly. “I hope the AICF and its secretary Sundar will not come in our way.”
Ashok recently challenged Sundar for an open debate in Hyderabad. Sundar said he was not aware of the challenge nor was he inclined for it.
Sundar’s contention is that Humpy has been preferring individual tournament to international team events. Besides she has been insisting that her father be allowed to accompany her to every tournament. “We can’t bear the expenses of her father. If we do that there is a chance that every girl representing the country might demand similar treatment,” Sundar contended.
A section of the AICF thinks that Humpy is being misguided by her father and claims that having got the Dronacharya from the Government of India on AICF’s recommendation, he should encourage her to play for the country.
“She did not take part in the Dresden Olympiad last year, she did not come for the Asian team event held in her home state (Vizag) and recently she stayed away from the World team championship in China. We could have won a medal if she had taken part,” an AICF official said.
Ashok, however, challenged Sundar to prove his allegations. He even went on to reveal correspondence showing his daughter’s confirmation in four tournaments next year. “I would like to confirm my availability to represent India in the following women tournaments — 3rd Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam, 2009, Chess Olympiad in Russia, 2010, Asian Games in China, 2010, Women’s world chess championship in Turkey, 2010,” a letter claimed to have been sent by her, states. She eventually went on to withdraw from the Vietnam event because of the current controversy.”At this stage she is not in the right mental state to play in that event,” Ashok said.
On Monday, Humpy was in New Delhi purportedly summoned by Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB). It could not be confirmed but an AICF official said she was asked to ‘explain.’
Meanwhile, a Delhi-based AICF official said that he will try to bring about peace between Humpy and Sundar. “The controversy could have been avoided. Such a controversy will do no good to the game and we also have to protect our sponsors,” Bharat Singh Chauhan, the AICF treasurer said.