2024 Candidates Chess Tournament Faces Relocation Due to Visa Issues

2024 Candidates Chess Tournament Faces Relocation Due to Visa Issues

The 2024 Candidates chess tournament, scheduled to take place in Toronto, Canada, from April 3 to 23, faces an uncertain future due to unresolved visa issues for players and participants. The tournament, which determines the challengers for the world champion title in both the open and women's categories, is at risk of being moved out of Canada if the visa problems are not resolved by Friday.

Vladimir Drkulec, president of the Chess Federation of Canada, expressed concern over the situation, stating that "if we cannot resolve these issues by Friday, the tournament will be moved to Spain." He emphasized the need for "political will" to address the issue and expressed cautious optimism that a resolution could be reached before the deadline.

The tournament faces uncertainty as many players, including India's teen sensation R Praggnanandhaa, have not received their visas. As many as 40 participants, including 16 players, are yet to secure visas. Vidit Gujrathi, Gukesh D, and Vaishali Rameshbabu, Praggnanandhaa's sister, are among those who have not been issued visas.

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) made an urgent appeal last Friday, expressing concern about the lack of visa updates for players who submitted their applications months ago. The appeal, posted on social media, tagged Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marc Miller, and his department.

Drkulec stated that the federation has contacted multiple members of parliament and government ministers, receiving positive responses from their staff. FIDE director general Emil Sutovsky emphasized that the tournament will not be postponed or players replaced due to visa issues.

This will be the first time the nearly 70-year-old tournament is being held in North America and will feature 16 of the world's best players. The tournament is a significant event in the chess world, and its relocation would be a major disappointment for the Canadian chess community and fans worldwide.

Tags: #Chess, #CandidatesTournament, #VisaIssues, #Canada, #FIDE

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