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This can't happen in Vishy Anand's land

A shocking piece of sporting apathy was reported in these columns earlier this week when an international level — Mumbai Mayor Cup chess tournament — was organised in the most disgraceful way, leaving participants from India and abroad seething.

Basic amenities denied
Basic facilities like electricity and clean toilets were not provided for participants and their parents, who had to walk up six to seven floors of a Kandivli college for an event that attracted 19 countries.

Although this was highly deplorable, it came as no major surprise to those who are well aware of how some sporting events are conducted in this land.

Chalta hain attitude?
India reeks of a chalta hain attitude with little attention given to the fact that participants at sporting events must only have to worry about how they fare when they face the competitive field and nothing else.

This is how champions are produced all over the world — quite the contrary in India where everything around the actual sporting endeavour seems to be falling apart.

Why should a chess player have to worry about whether he would be comfortable at the venue when he/she has to concentrate fully on the 64 squares?

Probably, the most tearful part of this newspaper’s Wednesday report was about a young player being stuck in the lift on the first floor while his mother waited for him on the sixth floor, where his match was to be held. He was late for his match and lost. This is how the young, talented and hungry are treated.

That this happening in the land that boasts of a world champion is a travesty of sorts! Wonder how champion Viswanathan Anand would react if he hears this sob tale. Like most of us, he would tear his hair in despair. Not only because of what happened, but because of the fact that there’s every chance of it happening again.

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