Qatar to Take Part in Riyadh Chess Championship

Published December 26th, 2017 - 04:09 GMT

The Qatar Chess Association (QCA) on Monday said Qatar's players will participate in the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship in Riyadh on December 29 and 30 in the Blitz category.

The decision to take part in the championship follows intervention by World Chess Federation (FIDE) which informed QCA that its players can play under the country's flag and not under FIDE flag as proposed earlier. Qatar's players will be provided visa on arrival at Riyadh airport.

While Qatar's players had submitted their entries in both the Rapid and Blitz categories, they have decided not to participate in the Rapid category which starts on Tuesday for lack of time and direct flights from Doha to Riyadh.
In a statement, QCA said Qatar has always kept sport and politics apart.

QCA registered three players on the official website of FIDE on November 23. They were Mohammed Ahmed al Madhahka, Mohammed Nasser al Sayed and Shen Zhou.

The statement said on December 12, QCA inquired about visas for its players, and FIDE said they are trying to ensure that all players get visas. On December 19, when QCA contacted FIDE, they got the same response.

The statement said on December 23, FIDE told QCA that the Saudi authorities will grant visas to Qatar's players provided they play under the flag of the FIDE. On December 24, QCA expressed its inability to take part in the competition.

However, on the same day QCA received an email from FIDE stating that the visas will be ready upon arrival at Riyadh airport.

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