The All India Chess Federation on Monday said it supports the candidature of Viswanathan Anand for the post of FIDE deputy president, clarifying its stand after anonymous emails claimed that former AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan was the right candidate for the job. (More Sports News)
Anand will be contesting for the post as part of incumbent FIDE (the sport's global body) president Arkady Dvorkovich's team.
Recently-appointed AICF interim secretary Vipnesh Bhardwaj said he has always supported Anand's candidature.
Bhardwaj's statement came after emails started circulating on Friday, saying that Chauhan was the right candidate for the post and the latter has sought support from the country's chess fraternity for his leadership role in FIDE.
Though the sources of the e-mails are yet to be established, AICF office-bearers criticised the rumours and planned to file a police complaint in an effort to bring those behind it to book.
"The history is a little deep, this is simply a ploy by the opposing members who are actually not for chess but out to damage the reputation of not only AICF, but also our country," Bhardwaj was quoted as saying in a release after taking charge as interim secretary on High Court's order.
The email trail claimed that Chauhan, who was recently barred by the Delhi High Court from functioning as the AICF secretary, has been eying the key post in FIDE elections. But Bhardwaj and Chauhan have vehemently denied it.
On his part, Chauhan sought to emphasise how the AICF was the first federation to come out in support of Anand's candidature as the deputy president.
As per FIDE guidelines, one federation can only nominate one person and it cannot be withdrawn post nomination under any circumstances, and Chauhan said the AICF was aware of the rules and wholeheartedly supported Anand's candidature.
Chauhan, who is the tournament director for the forthcoming chess Olympiad, said, "Anand is a legend, and his decision to work for FIDE is a welcome boon for the world of chess and especially for India, why would we be pitting against him, my aim has always been for the benefit of the game of chess in my country."
The Delhi High Court last Thursday unseated Chauhan as AICF secretary in a case filed by R N Dongre challenging the election (of Chauhan) in violation of the National Sports Development Code.