Visa Issues Threaten Toronto's Hosting of Prestigious Chess Tournament

Visa Issues Threaten Toronto's Hosting of Prestigious Chess Tournament

The 2024 Candidates Tournament, a prestigious chess event organized by the International Chess Federation (FIDE), is scheduled to take place in Toronto from April 3 to 23. However, the tournament's location remains uncertain due to visa issues affecting several participants.

Five Indian players have received visa approvals for the tournament: Praggnanandhaa R, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, and Gukesh D in the Open category, and Vaishali Rameshbabu and Koneru Humpy in the Women's category. However, three players and an official from other countries are still awaiting their visas.

Vladimir Drkulec, president of the Chess Federation of Canada, confirmed that all Indian participants have received their visas and will be able to participate in the tournament. However, he emphasized that the tournament will be moved to Spain if all players from other countries do not receive their visas by Friday.

"We are down to ten visas still needing approval. There are no Indians on that list," Drkulec said. "But it won't do any good if we don't get all the players approved from other countries as the tournament will move to Spain."

FIDE has issued an urgent appeal to Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marc Miller, to resolve the visa issue. FIDE director general Emil Sutovsky has stated that the tournament will not be postponed or players replaced due to visa issues.

This will be the first time the Candidates Tournament, which has been held for nearly 70 years, will be held in North America. The tournament features 16 of the world's top chess players, including Magnus Carlsen, the reigning World Champion.

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

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