The All India Chess Federation (AICF) on February 14 decided to bid for the next available edition of the Olympiad while also announcing starting of a high-profile Indian Chess League this year.
The newly elected AICF president Sanjay Kapoor unveiled a blueprint to turn the country into a chess superpower at a press conference after the federation conducted its Annual General Meeting (AGM).
"We want India to become the chess destination for the world. We have drawn out a detailed plan to achieve this goal," Kapoor said. He said a "foolproof" bid would soon be prepared for the Olympiad as and when the process begins.
"For a long time, we have been keen on starting the Indian Chess League with an international flavour to popularise the game even more. "The first edition, following the franchise-model, will be organised before this year is through," Kapoor said.
He said the AGM decided that the federation will host the Women's Grand Prix, which is an important part of the world championship cycle, to give a huge boost to women players in the country. "Not just that, we are also going to initiate an AICF-Chess in Schools programme to popularise chess at the school level. All our 33-State affiliates will be implementing this simultaneously.
"We want every school-going kid in India to play chess. This will help in developing smarter future generations, thanks to the life-skill benefits that come naturally from the game," he said. Other major decisions taken at the AGM includes single window registration for all players, establishment of a Centre of Excellence and organisation of a Super Tournament.
"The Super Tournament will see many top-level players in action. It will give our higher-ranked GMs an opportunity to compete with the best in business at home while also help upcoming youngsters improve by watching them from close quarters," Kapoor explained.
Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan underpinned the importance of the single window registration process, saying that from now on every player will be registered for his or her district, state as well the AICF itself.
"The Centre of Excellence will help tap and train talent at the grassroots level, with the ultimate vision of infusing at least 10 players from India in the Top 50 rankings of the world," Chauhan said.