Delhi Women’s Grand Prix: FIDE apologises after GM Zhansaya Abdumalik pulls out due to shoddy treatment

The Women’s Grand Prix in New Delhi, which was supposed to start on Saturday, needed to be embarrassingly pushed ahead a day after one of the 12 competitors withdrew from the event due to the shoddy treatment meted out to them.
FIDE confirmed on their website that one player had withdrawn from the event due to what it claimed were “the errors of local organisers regarding the Women’s Grand Prix tournament in New Delhi” while the organisation’s president Arkady Dvorkovich issued an apology to all the players in a letter. While neither FIDE’s statement nor Dvorkovich’s letter named the player, it is learnt that it was Kazakh GM Zhansaya Abdumalik.
According to a report on europe-echecs, a monthly French-language chess magazine, Abdumalik was upset after landing in the Indian capital and learning that no official transport from the airport had been provided to the players. The report added that no FIDE official is present in New Delhi. Moreover, when players finally did arrive at the official hotel on Friday, they were informed that their rooms were not ready.

Statement @FIDE_chess President A. Dvorkovich after GM Zhansaya Abdumalik withdrew and left the Women’s Grand Prix due to various organizational issues. The Muzychuk sers also dropped out prior to the tournament due to other issues. This is not good, chaos, unfortunately!…
— Susan Polgar (@SusanPolgar) March 25, 2023
Given all these reasons, Abdumalik chose to pull out from the Women’s Grand Prix, which was to have 12 players, including three Indians, Harika Dronavalli, Koneru Humpy, and Rameshbabu Vaishali.
“We understand that this situation has caused great dissatisfaction among the players and has put the tournament in danger. We acknowledge your concerns and frustrations, and we take them seriously. We highly appreciate your openness and would like to assure you that we are committed to addressing the issues that have been raised regarding this tournament and FIDE women events in general,” Dvorkovich wrote in his letter to the remaining players.
He went on to add that FIDE had decided against postponing the tournament despite the pullout.
“In case of postponement, the current FIDE calendar does not allow space for strong assurances when the tournament can be held. It is also important not to create a precedent that the whole event can be terminated and other players’ plans influenced due to the decision of a player to withdraw,” he wrote.
He added that there would be an additional coordinator present to be at the full disposal to the participants.

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