India is world's chess capital now: ACF

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Dubai, Nov 10: Asian chess is on the top of the world at the moment with India emerging as the chess capital of the world with no less than six world titles, according to the president of the Asian Chess Federation (ACF) Shaikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Shakhboot Al Nahyan.

''It is an extremely proud moment as the European players have asked for friendly matches with their Asian counterparts to benefit from the latter's skills'', he said.

On a reckoning note over India Chess spirit ACF says,"The ACF is proud with seven world titles and the highest men's ranking now," Shaikh Sultan said. "We have the men's World Championship and the highest men's ranking - Indian GM Viswanathan Anand - and the women's World Championship winner Xu Yuhua of China.'' "It is only a few years ago when Europe, especially the former USSR, dominated the game at all levels. Now India has become the capital of chess as they can boast of no less than six world titles.''

"I am delighted to disclose the European Chess Federation has asked for friendly matches in order to benefit from the Asian players. It is a major turn and a proof of the improvement of the game.'' "It is remarkable how the All Indian Chess Federation have worked and improved the game. We, in the ACF, are proud of the Indian achievements and will use these capabilities to improve the game in the continent by friendly matches, seminars for coaches and training sessions in our quest to close the gap between advanced teams and the weaker teams '' ACF remarks on India's performance in Chess.

"Also, the game has improved greatly in Iran, Vietnam, China and Qatar and our plan is to use these countries in helping their neighbours to improve the game. Success breeds more success and the achievements of the Indian chess players, especially Anand, have boosted the game in India. I expect more Indian champions in the future.'' says ACF

ACF further said, "We, in ACF, know that financial capabilities might hinder the progress of the game in many Asian countries, but we are working on a new marketing strategies bearing in mind that the main sport sponsors in the world are from Asia.

"We are also introducing new continental competitions like the universities' championship and we hope to serve the game well," he told the Gulf News.

On UAE chess players not taking part in the Asian Indoor Games (AIG), Shaikh Sultan said: "The decision not to take part was the responsibility of the UAE National Olympic Committee and the UAE Chess Federation.

"It is my belief if the UAE players do not take part in international tournaments, lose matches against better players and benefit from them, they will never improve and our game will not achieve any victories." UNI

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