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Grandmaster Sankalp Gupta, Five Other Indian Chess Players' Valuables Stolen While Playing Tournament In Spain: Report

Woman grandmaster Srija Seshadri, IM Dushyant Sharma, WIMs Mounika Akshaya and Arpita Mukherjee, and WFM Vishwa Shah suffered the burglary, in addition to GM Sankalp Gupta. There reportedly were three separate incidents of break-ins into their apartments in Spain

Screengrab from a video posted by woman international master Mounika Akshaya, showing her handbag and her passport dumped in the balcony of her apartment in Sitges, Spain.
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As many as six frontline Indian chess players, including Grandmaster Sankalp Gupta, reportedly underwent a horrible ordeal while competing in the recent Sunway International tournament at Sitges, Spain. The players are said to have lost several valuables, including a passport, after three separate incidents of break-ins into their apartments. (Chess News)

The six players who suffered the burglary are Sankalp, woman grandmaster Srija Seshadri, international master Dushyant Sharma, woman international master Mounika Akshaya, woman international master Arpita Mukherjee and woman FIDE master Vishwa Shah, according to an Indian Express report. 

Sankalp and Dushyant were sharing a room, which is where the first incident happened, as per the report, on December 19. Three days later, two separate apartments were burgled on the same day within a few hours' gap, the report added. In the first case, an apartment shared by five players, including Mounika Akshaya was affected and in the second, the apartment that had Arpita and Vishwa was hit.

The report mentions that all the three apartments were in the official accommodation earmarked for the Indian players by the tournament organisers. These apartments were located less than two kilometres from where the event was happening. Furthermore, the report states that no players of any other nationality have complained of their apartments being broken into or their possessions going missing.

“I lost my laptop, laptop charger and airpods. My roommate Dushyant lost his passport and had to drop out of the tournament to go to the Indian Consulate the next day to get documentation made to travel back to India,” the report quotes GM Sankalp as saying.

“It was very bizarre. They took my airpods, but left my roommate’s behind. They stole my roommate’s passport, but left mine behind after rummaging through the bag it was in. I can still track the location of my airpods, they’re at the same location for the last three days. I know exactly where they are in Barcelona: an area called La Mina. I told the police that and asked if I should go myself to retrieve them. They told us that it was one of the most dangerous areas of Barcelona and dissuaded us from going there,” Sankalp added.

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