Press Release – CPF Appeal to Sports Ministry on Sports Code 2011

Press Release – CPF Appeal to Sports Ministry on Sports Code 2011
November 4, 2020

November 04, 2020


Press Release:

Chess Players Forum’s Appeal to Sports Ministry – Adherence to National Sports Development Code 2011 by the All India Chess Federation

The Chess Players Forum (CPF) has appealed to the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS), Government of India (GOI) on the All India Chess Federation (AICF) not adhering to the clauses of the National Sports Development Code 2011, a mandatory functioning guideline by the GOI to streamline sports administration in the country to be adopted by all the National Sports Federations (NSF). It’s published at the Ministry’s website:

We found two issues of concern from the perspective of chess players: 1) the Code of conduct for players as mentioned in the Constitution of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) and 2) non-inclusion of prominent chess players of the country in the management of AICF to a minimum of 25% of the total strength with voting rights, as stipulated in the Sports Code. Our attached letter to the Minister of MYAS addresses these two issues in detail, with relevant portions of the Sports Code mentioned in detail.

1) A few clauses of the AICF constitution listed below show the general attitude of the body towards chess players, which is draconian, authoritative and facilitates any kind of punitive action by power and intimidation (with our emphases):

  1. Expulsion/Suspension:

“(a) If an Office Bearer, affiliated unit or its Office Bearers or a player or an individual directly or indirectly connected with the Federation refuses to comply with the provisions of this Constitution, Rules and Regulations or is guilty of such conduct which in the opinion of the central Council is likely to affect the character or stability or interest of the Federation, such person or affiliated Unit or its Office Bearers shall be liable for expulsion or suspension for such periods as the Central Council may fix by a Resolution adopted by not less than two-thirds of the Members of the Council present at such Meeting.”

“(c) Suo Moto action: Under extra-ordinary circumstances, where a disciplinary action is necessary to protect the objects of the constitution and Bye laws of AICF, the Hon. Secretary/Central Council shall Suo Moto take action [the action attracting Section 24(a)], against any player, official, Academy etc., to suspend from all chess activities, debar, impose penalties etc., with the reasons being put in writing. However, the matter shall be placed in the next Central Council/AGM for a final decision.”

Annexure: Clause II. Code of conduct for the players:

“(c) Players shall desist from indulging in any act detrimental to the interests of Federation nor shall they spearhead any movement against the Federation. They shall not also pass any derogatory remarks in public or to the press about the Federation.”

“(w) Any other act which is against the aim and objects of the Federation and detrimental to its interests.”

“(y) Players shall strictly abide by the Constitution, Rules Regulations and Orders/Instructions of the Federations in force from time to time and also abide by the instructions of the Arbiters and AICF Office Bearers.”

The constitution of the AICF is available at The above show the desire to browbeat players into complete submission to  their authority and curb voices of right and healthy criticism. Especially alarming are the Suo Moto clauses giving the AICF the authority to act against players on flimsy and authoritative grounds, very well aware that they practically do not stand any chance to legally face such actions of the AICF. Majority of professional players are dependent on the game for their livelihood, the very reason the body promulgates such harsh clauses.

The powers of Suo Moto action self-granted by the AICF to act against chess players are against the tenets of our Indian Constitution as well Civil Code of Law, hence illegal and draconian in nature. This is totally against the letter of spirit of the Sports Code which advises NSF towards ‘Protection and promotion of players‘ interests and welfare’.

2) Even though the Code clearly stipulates AICF to include prominent chess players in its Management Committee with a minimum of 25% representation, with rights to vote in the decisions of administration, it has never been implemented by the body. Here, the definition of the GOI on ‘prominent players’ in the Code:

The definition of sportspersons of eminence was defined vide Office Orders No.1-9/92-SP-IV dated 13.07.1993. According to which (i) Medal winners in International Sports Events which are recognized by corresponding international bodies; (ii) Arjuna Awardees; (iii) Sportspersons who have achieved upto 8th position in individual events or upto 4th position in team events in the open National Championship/National Games; and (iv) in case of Junior Players, the sportspersons who have achieved upto 8th position in individual events or upto 4th position in team events in the National Championship (open for Junior) are defined as sportspersons of eminence”.

Clearly, the above stipulates have not been adhered to by the AICF even nearly a decade after the promulgation by the GOI.

We hereby wish for action from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to act on our appeal and safeguard the welfare and interests of the chess players of the country.

Varugeese Koshy, International Master
President, Chess Players Forum