New Delhi: Chess player Diwakar Prasad says he is ready to play bare-chested and prove wrong accusations that he employs unfair means to win matches. The 31-year old Jharkhand chess player is in the eye of probably the biggest scandal in Indian chess following allegations that he took external help during his games. Prasad, dubbed 'Dhoni of Indian chess', caught the attention of his peers and fans with his rapid rise since finishing runner-up in the National 'B' championships in the capital last year. His ELO rating shot up to 2523 after he gained around 100 points and won 6-7 titles, and was rewarded with a place in the Olympiad team last year. But the voices of praise quickly gave way to whispers of suspicision. The reason: his games matched move for move with computer-generated programmes. And those suspicisions gained ground when his practice partner Umakant Sharma was banned by the All India Chess Federation for 10 years after being caught with a Bluetooth device during a tournament. The Chess Players Association of India made a formal complaint against Prasad during the recent National 'A' competition accusing him of taking external assistance during his games. Prasad said he felt "harassed" by the CPAI which he termed as an "association of Bengal players" and "insulted" by the some of the measures put in place at tournament venues. "I know all these measures like frisking, not allowing mobiles phones in competition halls, AICF officials keeping a hawkeye on players, are in place to catch me. It is a way to insult me. But you cannot pin a coach for his ward's misdeeds," he said. "I'm under immense pressure and am not being able to play my natural game. I know technology has really advanced today but there is no need to do all these. "If anyone wishes, I can play without clothes to make him believe I am not using any hidden devices to excel in my job." Prasad challenged his detractors to beat him in an open contest. Asked why should players be against him, especially Ganguly who had openly voiced his concerns on his games, Prasad said it was a matter of professional rivalry.
Topics : Chess