April 2021 was a sad month for AICCF. Shri V.D.Pandit and Shri E.G.Meherhomji, two founder office-bearers of AICCF passed away in that month. Shri V.D.Pandit was the first Bulletin Editor of AICCF and it is fair to say that he did more for AICCF than anyone else in its foundation years.
Last photo of Shri Pandit
He is survived by his wife Mrs Mangala Vijay Pandit, elder daughter Vaishali Pandit Shenai and younger daughter Dipali Pandit Kulkarni.
The government announced registrations for covid-19 vaccination for the age group 60+ starting from 1st August 2021. Shri Pandit took the first dose of Covaxin on 24th March 2021. The photo alongside shows how he proudly held up his "I got my COVID-19 vaccine" placard at the vaccination centre.
His daughter, Dipali Pandit writes, "He was diabetic for last many years, though his sugar levels were within control. However, during covid infection it is said that the sugar level increases. When his sugar levels increased we thought of taking him to hospital. We wanted to admit him in P.D. Hinduja hospital at Mahim which is in our vicinity and one of the best hospitals. But with the cascading number of Covid cases, there was no bed available there. So we were compelled to admit him on 11/04/2021 in Bandra Kurla jumbo center (BKC) which is a Covid Care Center set up by the government. Initially his sugar was under control but later it went on increasing and failed to come back to normal and he went into diabetic complications. He breathed his last on 27/04/2021. We are still in grief..."
- Organised a meeting among CC lovers in 1993 when the previous organisation, CCAI, became dysfunctional.
From the Annual Report 1993-1994
Years prior to 1993, the Correspondence Chess (CC) activity in the country had come to a standstill. CC was being neglected and had to face a grim battle for its very survival. Those who truly love CC appealed to us to start a separate organisation. A meeting of CC lovers was, therefore, held on 27th Feb., 1993 at Mr. M.B.Mulla's residence in Bombay and it was resolved to start a separate CC organisation and to christen the same as "All India Correspondence Chess Federation" (AICCF).
Meeting 16th June 1996
From left: Standing - S.K.Somani, Dr. A.Chatterjee, V.D.Pandit, P.M.Dalvi, K.Prabhakar
Sitting - E.G.Meherhomji, H.J.Samtani.
- Took responsibility to register AICCF as a new society under the Societies Registration Act and the Bombay Public Trusts Act.
- Formulated the AICCF Constitution, completed typesetting and printing.
- Designed the AICCF logo. This is the same logo you see on our website even after AICCF recently became AIWCF.
- Attended all the AICCF Meetings (2 meetings per year).
- Helped deal with all contentious issues and complaints during this period.
- Corresponded with ICCF players and ICCF Management, leading to AICCF joining ICCF in 1994.
- Started Friendly International Matches against Scotland, Sweden, Poland and England.
- Brought out 11 AICCF Bulletins from Oct 1993 to Aug 1998. In his own words, the AICCF Bulletin was THE EVOLUTION OF A REVOLUTION.
- Coined the words CORCHEGIMMIC and AUTO-CHESS-O-GRAPHY for use in the Bulletin.
- Motivated and trained A.Chatterjee to continue as Bulletin Editor.
- Played several post-card games in AICCF including the 1st AICCF Championship and also many ICCF games by air-mail.
- Along with six other AICCF players (A.G.Nagaradjane, Prasad M.Dalvi, Rakesh Kumar Chauhan, Dr Ambar Chatterjee, Sameer A.Salgaocar and K.Valsan), entered the ICCF Rating List of 01 July 1998 with a Rating of 2264 from 22 rated games.
Shri Pandit was a chess historian and statistician. Since April 1975 he he became a prolific writer of articles/letters on chess in magazines, newspapers and souvenirs. In 1989 he published a book in Marathi entitled, Buddhibalateel Gamatee Jamatee (Anectodes in Chess).
In 1988 He wrote an article "Chess in India" for Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya (Russian Encyclopedia of Chess).
In 2014 he co-authored (with Manuel Aaron) the book Indian Chess History 570 AD - 2010 AD. The book is so extensive and complete in its coverage of both OTB and CC that it can be considered a lifetime achievement.
- The May 2021 issue of Chess Mate carries a 7-page obituary by Manuel Aaron entitled, The Fountain of Information Is No More — Vijay D. Pandit (1945-2021)
- chessnewsandviews.com: Remembering Vijay Pandit by Nagesh Havanur
- chessnewsandviews.com: Vijay Pandit - An Eulogy by Manuel Aaron
Posts on social media
Corona has taken away from us a stalwart of AICCF, a chess historian, statistician and writer.
We send our condolences to his family and join them in their grief.
This news is very painful for any chess player in India whether CC, OTB or Online.
Shri Pandit possessed an enormous collection of photos, addresses, games and personal details, unique in the world.
Once, Chess Mate published a game of G.S.Dixit with the word “Late” prefixed by Shri R.B. Sapre against his name. I wrote to Arvind Aaron that G.S.Dixit was alive at that time. In a fit of haste Arvind sent me a rebuttal, “What if Dixit is not alive and Sapre correct”. I protested vehemently that Dixit was very much alive. After my protest, Arvind referred the matter to Shri Pandit who sent the exact address of Shri Dixit located in Pithapuram, a village in East Godavary district of Andhra Pradesh. Arvind wrote to Mr. Dixit and secured his response and the personal details of Dixit appeared in Chess Mate later on. Mr. Pandit proved that he was a ready reckoner of Indian chess in his lifetime.
I requested Shri Pandit for the games of Mr. Dixit and he promptly sent me a personal copy of his book Ahmedabad 1955. It contained each and every game of all the participants. He also offered to send other games of G.S.Dixit which were over hundred! Though I now live in Mumbai, in those days I was moving to different places on transfers in AP, my native state. Anybody could find by this experience of mine how helpful Mr. Pandit was to anybody, be it Tom, Dick or Harry!
In regard to his co-authorship with Mr. Manuel Aaron, Arvind Aaron explained about Pandit's association with Manuel Aaron for over seven years in the preparation of the joint publication.
For Indian Chess be it CC, Web or OTB, he was one and only and we can never find a substitute or near substitute. Hats off to Mr. Pandit's dedication to Indian chess. My condolences to his family members.
Eric Ruch (President, ICCF): Sad news indeed. My sincere condolences to Mr. Pandit's family and to all our CC friends in India. The COVID-19 is such a terrific pandemic that nobody is really sure on how it will end.
Alan Rawlings: It was very sad to learn a day or two ago via Twitter of the death of Shri V.D. Pandit, taken by diabetic complications arising from Covid-19 infection. As ICCF General Secretary and Delegate for England I had much contact with him in the period up to 1999 when work commitments led him to step back from the management of AICCF, and it was a shame that he was unable to visit the memorable ICCF Congress 2004 in Mumbai. He was a great representative of your nation.
Iain Mackintosh: Sad news. I have posted a notice on the SCCA website link.
Per Söderberg: I remember Mr Pandit from the time he set up the match with us. Sad news. He will be missed by the CC Community.
Alan Borwell(Former President, ICCF): Just heard of sad passing of Mr. Pandit who was one of AICCFs founding fathers 😔 I hope that you and your dear wife are safe and well and also all other AICCF friends? Moira and me are fine, although the last year has been very strange and restrictive. We are hoping that near normality will be resumed to allow more travel etc next year. We are hoping to organise 2022 ICCF Congress near Glasgow, pandemic permitting.
Awani Kumar: It was very shocking to hear about the sad demise of Shri V.D. Pandit. I have prepared an article V.D. Pandit — a tribute please consider it for the AIWCF Bulletin.
Niranjan P. Shukla: It is a great loss to us for not having Mr. Vijay Pandit with us anymore. You have perfectly described his contribution to our federation as well as Indian chess in general as historian, statistician and author. Both of us were in regular touch on phone. We were friends and occasionally used to discuss chess related and personal matters. But of late, due to the pandemic we had no interaction. We were Godrej colleagues. He was pioneer in organising OTB chess tournaments in our company and encouraged Godrej chess players to participate in team chess events at local level. In his demise I have lost a true friend and a well wisher. My condolences to his family members. I pray God for his Atma to be in peace. Om Shanti!
Anil Anand: So sad to hear this. He did a great job of releasing the AICCF Bulletin in the founding years. May his soul rest in peace.
Arnab Sengupta, Nagesh J, Prashant Singh, Lalit Kapoor, Vibhor Gupta, Satyajit Das, D.M.Modak, Vasanth Kumar: God bless his soul. May his soul rest in peace.
Valsan K.: Really sad news for chess players. May the departed soul rest in peace.
Sailesh Chandra: Om Sadgati.
Pervez Mandviwala: My condolence. I have fond memories witth Shri V.D.Pandit - he was a strict player. I had bad habit of writing moves on post card but due to laziness / procastination didn't post it so Shri Pandit asked to change dates promptly - this gave me a boost to change myself and I became organised from then on. Shri V.D.Pandit made an incorrect sacrifice in a Sicilian Najdorf game, but nevertheless played nicely till he lost the game in the end. Once in an ICCF game a player was complaining that he was not receiving my post cards. The TD intervened and I promptly showed the copies (sent under certificate of posting) or something like that but TD wanted the games to be continued by Registered Post only which was too costly for me (Rs 25/- post instead of Rs 7/- Air Post) in those times. I complained about this to AICCF management. Shri V.D.Pandit intervened and wrote a very strong letter to the TD in my favour - but still the TD, although polite to me, did not relent and I was forced to continue with Regd. posts. Finally I won that game and also stood second in that tourney. The TD then wrote me a letter congratulating me and also appreciated my perseverance in continuing with the game in spite of higher cost involved. Shri V.D.Pandit was a 'Chess Statistician '. If possible, kindly share these memories of mine in upcoming Bulletin and also his contribution to chess as a 'Chess Statistician'.
Amit Kumar Sharma: Bhagwan Shri V.D.Pandit sir ki aatma ko shaanti or unke pariwar ko ye dukh sehne ki shakti de. Om Shaanti, Shaanti, Shaanti. In chess-mate magzine, May 2021, there is an article of more than 6 pages, based on Shri V.D.Pandit.
Gautam De: Very Sad. V D Pandit passes away.
In Vijay Pandit's demise we have lost a Chess Historian, Chess Statistician, Chess Author, Correspondence Chess Organiser, Correspondence Chess Player and above all a personality that we can never forget.