FIDE players and the FIDE flag
Four years ago, I posted here about a controversy over the Turks not playing the Israeli national anthem for Marsel Efroimski, an Israeli girl who won the Girls’ Under-14 World Chess Championship at the World Youth Chess Championships, which were played in Turkey that year.
Once again this year, the World Youth Chess Championships are being held in a Muslim nation: the United Arab Emirates, and predictably, once again the Muslim hosts are demonstrating their anti-Semitism. This fresh controversy has been noted in a news report at ChessBase, a highly respected chess news site, as well as in a comment on the blog of Ben Finegold, the coach of the US delegation.
Here is the report at ChessBase:
One very unfortunate development concerns the Israeli players and delegation. The official site, which lists all the players and nationalities, took down the Israeli flag and has even gone so far as to rename them from the country “FIDE”, attributing them the FIDE flag as well. It is a very unfortunate precedent for the World Youth, and unheard of until now.
After Chess City, there is now the new country FIDE
FIDE is the acronym of the World Chess Federation — the global governing body for chess tournaments. Then there’s this comment at Finegold Chess, which has more details:
Ben, maybe you can answer this question because I can’t find anyone else on the scene who might know!
When the World Youth Championships started in Al Ain, all the countries were listed on the “Players” page (http://worldyouth2013.com/playerlist/country) — and included on that list was “Israel,” which, when clicked, showed the individual player listings for the 8 or so competitors from Israel.
But sometime in the last 3 days or so, the word “Israel” was inexplicably DELETED from the list of participating nations, and a NEW “entry” appeared on the list of participating nations: “FIDE.”
When one clicks on the “FIDE” nation-entry, now all the formerly Israeli players are listed there (http://worldyouth2013.com/playerlist/country/245).
What apparently happened (as far as I can tell) is that the organizers (or another nation) complained about or refused to allow “Israel” to participate in the championships, so the Israeli national association was expelled from the tournament — and yet the players were allowed to continue playing directly under the aegis of FIDE, just so long as they did not identify as being from Israel.
Even stranger, some of the individual Israeli/FIDE players have ZERO results posted, which seems to indicate that they are not actually playing in the tournament, despite being listed as participants. Either that, or they ARE participating, but their games are not being reported on for some reason.
If I had to guess, I suspect that some of the Israeli players withdrew from the tournament in protest after their national identity was stripped from them.