Friday, August 03, 2018

The government is forcing Britain's best chess prospect to leave the country

Nine-year-old Shreyas Royal has variously been described as “the greatest British chess prospect in a generation” (Malcolm Pein) and "the best prospect the country has ever seen" (Chris Ward).

But, reports the Guardian:
Shreyas Royal has lived in the UK since he was three but has been told he will be sent back to India when his father’s work visa expires in September. 
His parents, Jitendra and Anju Singh, moved to south-east London from India in 2012. They have been staying under a tier 2 long-term work permit. The only way Shreyas's father would be eligible to renew his visa would be to earn more than £120,000 a year, which he does not. 
The couple appealed to the Home Office on the grounds that Shreyas is a national asset, but received a letter this week saying that while the nine-year-old showed "immense promise" it did not mean he could remain in the country. 
"I was not expecting that kind of response," said his father. "[The Home Office] have a rule to allow exceptional talent here. They need people like my son in the UK."
We certainly do.

Here is Leonard Barden writing in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago:
Fide, the global body, ranks England as the No 12 chess nation. This is due to a long-standing sextet of GMs rated 2650+ and ranked in the world top 100 – Michael Adams, Nigel Short, Luke McShane, Matthew Sadler, [Gawain] Jones and [David] Howell. Short is 53 and Adams 46, while Howell at 27 is the youngest, so the seeds for future decline are obvious. 
A current thread on the English Chess Forum asks: "Who is our next Adams?" The answer at the moment seems to be "Nobody". 
This is just one more example of the way the Conservatives' obsession with immigration is diminishing Britain.

The good news is that two Labour MPs - Rachel Reeves, a former junior chess champion herself, and Matthew Pennycook, who represents Greenwich and Woolwich where Shreyas lives - have taken up his case.

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