All of the 11 chess teams originally set to play at the World Team Championship in Israel on Sunday proceeded as planned despite attempts by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) to convince the teams to cancel their plans to travel to Israel due to what it sees as the government's oppression of Palestinians.
The International Chess Federation (FIDE) did not respond to a letter sent by the organization demanding that it move the championship from Jerusalem, according to the Israeli Chess Association.
Countries that participated in the championship
The other countries that played alongside Israel included the United States, Ukraine, Poland, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, India, South Africa, China, Spain, France and the Netherlands.
The Israeli team shared a house with Olympic champion Uzbekistan and bronze medalist India, as well as the American, Polish and Azerbaijani teams.
Israel will face rising stars like Hans Nieman from the US, as well as Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Anish Giri, Teymur Radjabov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Javokhir Sindarov, Nihal Sarin, Vasyl Ivanchuk and Alexei Shirov, according to FIDE.
“Under the exciting new format devised for this competition, the participant countries are split into two pools of similar strength, taking as a reference the rapid rating list for November 1st.”International Chess Federation
The championship, which was spearheaded by Culture and Sports Minister Hili Tropper and Jerusalem Affairs and Housing Minister Ze'ev Elkin, will be held until Friday and each game will last 45 minutes.
"Under the exciting new format devised for this competition, the participant countries are split into two pools of similar strength, taking as a reference the rapid rating list for November 1st," FIDE said on its website. "The four best teams from each pool will advance to the knock-out stage, where they will play Quarter-finals, Semi-Finals, and Final, with each duel consisting of two matches between the teams."
"The event, organized by FIDE and the Israel Chess Federation with the support of the Israel Ministry of Sport and Culture, will be held at the Mount Scopus Hall in the Dan Hotel in Jerusalem," the organization added.