The Indian team has decided to withdraw from the World Cadet Chess Championship due to safety concerns. The event was scheduled to be held at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from October 14 to 23. The All India Chess Federation (AICF) said in a press release that the decision was made given the situation in Gaza and with the safety of the participants in mind. Events were scheduled for the under-12, 10, and 8 categories.
AICF sources revealed that around 80 people, including players, coaches, and accompanying individuals, were to travel to Sharm el-Sheikh for the tournament. The release further stated that Sharm el-Sheikh is less than 400 km from the Israel border, and the conflict can significantly impact commercial airlines in the Middle East on short notice.
The AICF official also confirmed that the Indian federation has requested the World Chess Body (FIDE) to postpone the tournament.
The conflict between Israel and the Hamas ruling Gaza has been ongoing. Israel launched an unprecedented offensive against the Islamic militant group after its fighters broke through the border fence and stormed into the country’s south through air, land, and sea on October 7.