The All India Chess Federation (AICF) is looking to reduce its legal expenses which were on an upward swing last year, said a senior official. As per the AICF’s annual report for the year ended on March 31, a sum of Rs 33,82,585 has been accounted as ‘Legal Expenses’, up from Rs 25,92,608 spent the previous accounting year. “With Rs 33 lakh as a leverage, one can hold a big grand master (GM) level tournament and also raise substantial funds through sponsorship,” a chess player, who organised chess tournaments earlier, told IANS preferring anonymity. He also said: “These are actually not legal expenses, but ‘ego expenses’ of the AICF.”

For the year ended March 31, the AICF has earned a total income of Rs 8.41 crore up from Rs 7.59 crore earned the previous year. Last year, however, the excess of income over expenditure was down at Rs 91.13 lakh from Rs 1.08 crore logged during the previous year. Agreeing that the AICF should reduce its legal expenses its Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan told IANS: “Legal expenses are unavoidable for any organisation. The AICF has to take action to defend and implement its rules, protect the players from unscrupulous tournament organisers and others.”

“We have to engage lawyers to issue notice to the organiser of a prize money chess tournament in Andhra Pradesh for defaulting on his commitment to pay the winners. The issue will be settled and the players will get their prize money by the end of this month,” Chauhan said. According to Chauhan, there are some state chess associations that were charging big sums from the players and not remitting their dues to the AICF and action has to be taken against them.

To a query on global chess body FIDE restoring the Elo ratings of several dozens of banned Indian chess players Chauhan said: “The Elo ratings is FIDE’s domain. It can restore the ratings of the players it had cancelled earlier.” Chauhan replied in the negative when asked whether the issue would figure in the annual general meeting (AGM) of the AICF to be held in Goa on June 23.

Recently FIDE announced its decision to restore the Elo ratings of dozens of Indian players in their records. “Nearly a decade ago, FIDE, at the behest of AICF, removed the Elo ratings of dozens of players and expunged their names from the records. Today we are delighted to welcome back all those players with immediate effect,” FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich had said in a statement on May 27.