Chennai: The All India Chess Federation on Thursday postponed all national championships till May 31 in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
The AICF also asked the state associations to avoid any state-level events till April 15.
“All the national championships to be held till May 31 stay as postponed and new dates will be notified soon,” AICF honorary secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan said in a release.
“As you are well aware the coronavirus has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. It is likely to have widespread implications in the times to come but instead of panic we need to take adequate precautions.
“The government of India has advised to avoid any huge gatherings which means we have to cancel chess tournaments where there is participation of lots of parents, children, other players from various parts and also arbiters and volunteers etc,” the release said.
Requesting the state association to avoid any state level events till April 15, AICF said it “will not be responsible or accountable for their actions.”
AICF further said those who had planned FIDE rated events till April 15 were requested to reschedule their events, adding “the risk becomes highest in FIDE rated opens due to huge participation.”
The Sports Ministry also issued an advisory on Thursday to all national federations to follow the Health Ministry’s advisory and avoid large gatherings in sports events.
The coronavirus outbreak, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday, has led to more than 4,000 deaths globally.
India recorded its first coronavirus death in Karnataka on Thursday while the number of confirmed cases has reached 74.
Several sporting events across the globe have been postponed or cancelled in the wake of the virus outbreak, while some events are played behind closed doors.