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Israeli Girl Cannot Compete in World Chess Championship in Tunisia

Israeli Girl Cannot Compete in World Chess Championship in Tunisia

“The time has come to put an end to discrimination against Israelis in chess, in sports and in every field.”

Liel Levitan, 7, cannot compete in the World Chess Championship in Tunisia because she’s Israeli. The country decided not to allow Israelis to compete in the tournament. From The Times of Israel:

“Just a few months ago, a World Chess Championship was due to take place in Saudi Arabia,” chess player Lior Aizenberg told Hadashot news. “It was clear to everyone that outstanding Israeli chess players would not be able to participate.

Aizenberg has instead founded the World Alternative Championship, which takes place in Israel and extends competition invitations to players from across Europe and the Arab world.

Liel has also been invited to compete at the competition, which counts outgoing chairman of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky and American pro-Israel group Stand With Us among its supporters.

“The time has come to put an end to discrimination against Israelis in chess, in sports and in every field,” said Aizenberg.

The International Judo Federation on Friday stripped the United Arab Emirates and Tunisia from hosting two international tournaments due to their failure to guarantee equal treatment of Israeli athletes.

The decision to suspend the tournaments came after organizers at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Slam refused to acknowledge the nationality of the Israeli athletes — a policy directed only at Israeli participants.

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Comments

No country that cannot provide equal access to legitimate competitors from every nation should be allowed by the international sponsoring organization to host international competitions. I applaud the Judo Federation.

(((Boogs))) | July 24, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Another reason not to allow the kid to compete: She’ll win. WWMS*

*What Would Mohammed Say

Mohammed would say they shouldn’t be hosting the tournament in the first place, because chess is either haram or makruh, depending whom you ask.

I love how the article completely avoids answering why this is happening. It would be Islamophobic to say!

I thought the bylaws of the international chess governing body, FIDE, forbid such exclusions. The event should be re-bid and if the prize fund is much less, that’s how it goes.

It seems there are no good prize funds for most FIDE events these days outside the Muslim countries. But still, the Muslims buy themselves discredited titles if they exclude Israelis.

Come to think of it, FIDE has had a history of such splits. There was a period when FIDE had a world championship title (winners included Kasimzhdanov and Topalov) and then (with no respect to those fine players who also seem to be fine people) there was the real one sponsored by Kasparov’s “Professional Chess Association”. In this case it was Kasparov boycotting FIDE rather than FIDE excluding him, but still, the FIDE title isn’t always the most respected. Maybe now the “Alternative” title will be seen as the real one!

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