20-year-old International Chess Master (IM) Dushyant Sharma is suffering. That’s because the young man from Jalandhar lost his laptop containing several years’ worth of opening analysis during a recent robbery in Spain while participating in the Sunway Sitges Chess Tournament.
Apart from that, the Spanish robbers also took away his passport, 400 euros, an expensive jacket and a laptop bag.
Not only Dushyant, but several other Indian players also lost their laptops, cash and other expensive items in three separate incidents that happened almost back to back.
Luckily for them, the robbers had forgotten their passports, but Dushyant was unlucky in that regard.
“I am not in a position to play in other European chess tournaments as I have lost my passport. I have to get a passport and apply for a visa again,” Dushyant told IANS. Ta.
“The laptop itself costs about Rs 200,000 and the laptop bag costs about Rs 3,000. His jackets cost about Rs 10,000 each. He also lost €400 in cash and other items,” Divya said. Sharma said.
He says passports, visas and other items lost in the robbery will be retrieved, but 10 years of work analyzing various chess pieces will be lost forever.
“There are things that I can buy, but I can’t because the analysis of chess moves is my own effort. There is no backup,” Dushyant said.
The same may be true for many other Indian players who have lost their laptops and other valuables.
The Sunway Sitges Chess Tournament, organized by Spain’s Sunway Hotel Group, is included in many chess players’ schedules every year.
Around 70 Indian athletes participated in the event this year, Dushyant said.
He said the apartment where the robbery took place belonged to Sunway Hotel and was officially recognized as a place for players to stay.
“On the night of December 19, 2023, after finishing the seventh round, Grand Master (GM) Sankalp, my roommate, and I returned to the room. When I went inside, I found my lap on the table. I could see that my top was missing. I also noticed that other items like cash, jacket and passport were missing,” Dushyant said.
Sankalp was missing his laptop, charger and airpods.
They immediately called the hotel authorities, who took them to the police station.
At the police station, there was a language barrier as the police officers did not speak English and the Indian players did not speak Spanish.
Somehow, a first information report (FIR) was registered in Spanish.
“Later, when the FIR was translated, it was found that the date of the robbery and other aspects were incorrectly mentioned. I had to go to the police station to get it corrected,” Dushyant said. said.
The FIR had to be translated in order to obtain a copy of the travel documents from the Indian embassy.
Dushyant said the doors to his room and balcony were closed while he was out, and it was unclear how the robbers got into the room without breaking the lock.
“There was no sign of forced entry into our room,” Dushyant said.
Hearing about the robbery, other Indian players were doubly alarmed. They made sure the room door and balcony door were securely locked before going out or going to bed.
Despite this, two other rooms where female GM Srija Seshadri, female IMs Mounika Akshaya and Arpita Mukherjee and female FIDE master Vishwa Shah were staying were also robbed.
The second robbery occurred on December 22nd when the players were out for a walk at Sunway San Jorge, and the third the next day at the Sunway Arizona apartments when several players were sleeping in their rooms. .
“After hearing about the spate of robberies, many Indian players have decided to move to hotels in Barcelona as a precautionary measure,” Dushyant said.
He said this was not the first time such a robbery had taken place on the premises of Sunway Hotel.
“After searching on the internet, I found earlier that a robbery had also taken place at the apartment where we were staying,” Dushyant said.
Adding salt to the wound, Dushyant said hotel authorities and tournament organizers indirectly said that the Indian players themselves may have stolen the property.
However, other players’ rooms were not explored.
The tournament in question is a tournament sanctioned by the International Chess Federation (FIDE).
However, FIDE has not made any statement regarding the robbery that occurred at the official accommodation facility for players of the European country Spain.
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Meanwhile, FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich apologized to 11 athletes for the mistake made by local organizers regarding the Women’s Grand Prix tournament in India.
The women’s Grand Prix tournament was held in Delhi in March-April 2023.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – IANS)
First published: Dec 27, 2023, 14:57 IST
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