World’s biggest chess championship faces axe over ?300k tax bill – Telegraph.co.uk

“But the Government should recognise that. The Government pours ?300 million a year into physical sport but spends nothing on mental sport, and then goes after the guy who does.

“They should value the?Chess?Challenge. I’m not doing this for money – my profit is seeing children’s education being improved.”

This year 45,000 boys and girls nationwide have competed in the challenge, and last weekend the top 60 players gathered in Loughborough, Leics, to battle it out for the top prize of ?2,000. Former winners include Yang-Fan Zhou, who is on the brink of earning the esteemed grandmaster title and Stephen J Gordon, a grandmaster who was British Under-21 champion three years running.

“What we try to do is produce champions, the children who go on to run the country,” Mr Basman said. “We have had the top girl in England, Akshaya Kalaiyalahan, come through in the competition.”

The English?Chess?Federation argues that VAT charges risk putting children off. A spokesman said: “VAT charges on entry fees hit lower-income parents with more than one child playing chess?particularly hard when they enter large or high-profile competitions to gain the experience and skills they need to succeed at a higher level.”

An HMRC spokesman said they did not comment on individual cases.

World’s biggest chess championship faces axe over ?300k tax bill – Telegraph.co.uk

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