Vidit Gujrathi, the third-highest rated Indian chess Grandmaster and former national champion, escaped unhurt in an attack by goons during the Asian championship tournament in Makati, Philippines on Sunday. The tournament is part of the World Championship cycle organised by FIDE.
On his Facebook page, Gujrathi shared details about the incident and highlighted the woeful conditions that he was put up in. The 27-year-old chess player from Nasik wrote, “I had to pay 150 USD for a room which actually costs 35-50 dollars as per the hotel and other websites (photos attached).After paying 150 dollars, there is no internet in the room. Food provided is awful. There is even no drinking water in the room(!!) . Me& my colleagues Abhijit Kunte and Lalith Babu went outside to buy water, but then the most unexpected incident happened. We were attacked by local goons who possesed weapons. We were cornered and then attacked. We tried to flee but we were chased and finally marginally escaped. We are still trying to recover from this horrible incident. The saddest part is that upon informing this to organizers they remained aloof and ignored the seriousness of the issue.”
Speaking exclusively to News Nation from Philippines, Gujrathi said the situation is not ideal. “Today, I have to play a match to play but I am spending time in the police station trying to file a report which is not ideal at all. I am hoping that I can get some food. The commissioner has assured us of security,” Gujrathi said with tension in his voice.
When asked about what was the problem, Gujrathi said there was total miscommunication. “Actually, they did not know that there was such a tournament here. They had not informed on us phone, formally or informally. Thus, they could not provide security. The hotel which they have provided to us is bad. The food is bad. There is no net. I have brought a SIM card. There is no WiFi in our room,” Gujrathi said.
The Indian Grandmaster has said he had received no communication from FIDE or the Indian Embassy. “I think the Indian Embassy has been informed. Personally, there has been no interaction with me. I don't know whether they have received the message. I have no idea what action FIDE has taken,” Gujrathi said.
The Nasik youngster stated that he hoped in the future players would be given better accommodation and some basic elements like good food and WiFi, which is essential for chess players to prepare, is provided. For all his achievements, this situation is not a great way to treat a good player of chess.