Israel is denied participation in the Chess WC

Chess board world recordChess Pieces, Photo:

Israel is denied participation in the Chess World Championships

Israeli chess players are denied entry visas to Saudi Arabia, and thus can not participate in the blitz Chess World Championships against Magnus Carlsen. – Too bad, says Carlsen’s manager.


Vice President in the International Chess Association (FIDE), Israel Gelfer, confirms the denied visas in an email to the news agency Reuters, according to  NRK.

– This is not a World Championships if it is the case that chess players from several countries are denied participation. Every single chess player should participate based on merits, no matter what passports they have, where they are issued or what stamps you have in the passport, says spokesman of the Israeli Chess Association, Lior Aizenberg, .

Originally, seven Israeli players would have requested entry visas to participate in the tournament, but because the Gulf states do not recognize Israel as a country, there will be no participation for the seven.

Not pleased

Magnus Carlsen’s manager, Espen Agdestein, is not pleased with the decision made by Saudi Arabia.

– I think this is a shame. I wish that everyone qualified should be allowed to participate in the World Championships, therefore this is very idiotic, he says.

The decision however does not affect Carlsen’s participation.

– He will partake in the championship, and is apolitical regarding playing chess, says Agdestein.

It will be competed both in limited time and in blitz chess during the World Championships in Saudi Arabia. Limited time chess will be played from December 26 to 28, and the World Championships in blitz chess on December 29 and 30.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today