World chess governing body vows Israelis will always have right to compete

Dvorkovich met with President of the Israeli Chess Federation Moshe Slav and Director General of the FIDE Emil Sutovsky, the first Israeli to achieve the title.

January 22, 2019 07:09
1 minute read.

Chess. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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Newly elected President of the Athens-based Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE - World Chess Federation) Arkady Dvorkovich, expressed his ongoing support to root out antisemitism and continued to ensure that Israelis will have the right to compete in all competitions held by the FIDE, during a visit to Israel last week.

Dvorkovich met with President of the Israeli Chess Federation Moshe Slav and Director General of the FIDE Emil Sutovsky, the first Israeli to achieve the title.

"We talked about a partnership with the Israel Chess Association on big international competitions that can be held in Israel and about training young chess players.” Dvorvich said to TASS news agency.

During the meeting, Israeli officials lauded the swift decision making of the FIDE to relocate its World Blitz and Rapid Championship from Riyadh to Russia after Saudi Arabia barred Israelis from participating in the tournament. Saudi Arabia had also banned Israeli players in 2017.

During which time the FIDE released a statement saying, "FIDE rejects discriminatory treatment for national, political, racial, social or religious reasons or on account of gender,” adding that the FIDE statutes stipulate that only federations offering free access to competitors are allowed to host tournaments.

"The State of Israel thanked us for changing the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships to St. Petersburg, in agreement with the Saudi partners, and this allowed for Israeli players to take part in the championship," Dvorkovich said in regards to last year's competition.

Within the meeting it was also announced that the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC) will financially support the Israeli Chess Federation in order to build growth within the country and on the national scale of competition.

"We hope that our support will ensure the participation of Israelis in the most prestigious of tournaments, bring about new victories and especially contribute to the popularity of chess and the development of cultural ties,” said Dr. Haim Ben-Yakov CEO of the EAJC. “We are confident that Israeli chess players are the best ambassadors of goodwill.”

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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