Ground Report | New Delhi: Adult Film to chess players; Dronavalli Harika, an Indian chess champion, was one of many players accused of receiving sexual harassment letters at a tournament in Latvia last November. The Indian grandmaster, who is ranked 11th in the world, said she only knew about the incident on the last day. The organizers of the Grand Swiss tournament in Riga and the FIDE (International Chess Federation) handled the situation professionally.
The case is being investigated by Latvian police, world chess federation FIDE said. According to a report by Russian news site Meduza, female chess players have been receiving such mail since 2009.
“I wasn’t aware until the final day that a letter had been sent in my name to Riga. To avoid causing any disruption, FIDE held the problem until the final day before handing over the letters to the police. “I was informed of the matter on the last day, and I handed over the legal case to FIDE,” Harika said.
The first revelations came earlier this week from Russian news site Meduza, which said it conducted extensive investigations and spoke to numerous victims, most of whom were Russian. Five of them were minors when the abuse began, according to the report. He said the first such letter he found was written in 2009. The most recent case occurred last November in Riga, the Latvian capital, when hotel staff informed the police and, on the advice of FIDE, intercepted further letters.
According to Meduza’s report, the usual form of shipment was in white envelopes containing pgraphic material; there would be no letter written and they were sent identically, with the only change being the addresses of the recipients.
Players who have been receiving these cards, according to Meduza’s report, include IM Bibisara Assaubayeva, IM Alina Bivol, IM Anastasia Bodnaruk, IM Anastasia Savina, WGM Daria Voit, WGM Dina Belenkaya, WIM Irina Utiatskaja, WIM Anna Styazhkina and GM Gunina.
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