Chennai: For his role in promoting chess in the country, grandmaster Viswanathan Anand is the obvious choice for the coveted Bharath Ratna Award, FIDE vice-president D V Sundar said on Thursday.
"Vishy is the role model (for indian chess players) and motivated them to take to the game. In the last five year, AICF (All India Chess Federation) has produced 24 GMs, 74 IMs and 14 woman GMs and 75 per cent of the credit for this growth goes to Vishy," he said while addressing members and newly elected office bearers of AICF here.
Stating that Anand is an ambassador for India and also the chess world, Sundar said chess is the only sport in India that has produced Asian and world champions.
"Vishy`s and other up and coming youngsters` achievements speak for itself," he said.
Anand, who congratulated the office bearers, said: "We can do many more things and maintain the momentum for many years to come."
J C D Prabhakar of Chennai and Bharat Singh Chauhan of Delhi were elected unopposed as president and secretary respectively, while Mumbai`s RM Dongre has been made the treasurer.
Meanwhile, the AICF, together with Grassroots Chess Promotions and Internet Chess Club, will hold the first four-day Internet Chess Tournament on August 20 and 21 and on August 27 and 28.
Other elected members: Vice presidents: G Bhaskar (Andaman Nicobar), Dibyendu Barua (Jharkhand), Sekhar Sahu (Orissa), A Bakthavachalam (Pudducherry), A Narasimha Reddy (AP) and Pradeep Jain (Uttaranchal).
Joint secretaries: PK Gupta (Rajasthan), M S Gururaj (Karna), K Muralimohan (Tamil Nadu), Atul Kumar (Jammu and Kashmir), Arindam Baruah (Assam) and Nand Kishore Joshi (MP).