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Thread: FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Ch in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

  1. #21
    Nigel Hanrahan's Avatar
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    no, I did not fall off a turnip truck. lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Egidijus Zeromskis View Post
    You brought the idea about the lack of invitation! I quoted the official doc that the QAT player was officially invited.
    Uh, no. You quoted a piece regarding a general invite. Then again, since Saudi Arabia (and Israel, fyi) have, uncountable times, called for the bombing of Iran, insisting that the USA do so (right away!) it's entirely understandable that Iranian chess players might be concerned about their safety. lol.

    Some proof over here.

    e.g., Israel and Saudi Arabia: Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran!

    Furthermore, just this past summer, a terrorist attack against the Iranian Parliament in which 17 were killed and 50 injured was blamed on the Saudi-sponsored and funded Daesh/ISIS terrorists. So the Iranians have very legitimate concerns. But perhaps you think I just fell off a turnip truck?

    We will see when the Iranians and Qatari chess players don't appear. The deadline has already passed so we should know, by now, who is coming and who is not.

    We are all one family. Except, um, the Qataris and Iranians. Yup.
    Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.

  2. #22
    Nigel Hanrahan's Avatar
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    it's tricky getting a visa to a country with no diplomatic relations with yours

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Liles View Post
    I agree Egid. That website (haaretz.com) article seems to *imply* there might be some unstated issues with Qatar and Iran players
    but I did not find anything that shows they are flat out not invited.
    Iran and Saudi Arabia do not even have diplomatic relations. The Saudis broke off diplomatic relations in 2016 after protestors burned the Saudi Embassy. Seems they were angry with the Saudis for executing a well-liked Shi'a religious leader whom the Saudis accused of sedition.

    In any case, that would make passports and visas a little tricky for Iranian chess players, no?
    And, since the Qataris refuse to denounce the Iranians, and even consider them somewhat friends, why, they're just as bad as the Iranians. lol.
    Last edited by Nigel Hanrahan; Monday, 4th December, 2017 at 05:20 PM. Reason: details
    Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.

  3. #23
    Nigel Hanrahan's Avatar
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    shāh māt !

    Recent news indicates that the Anti-Saudi alliance in Yemen is splitting. The Saudis had supported former President Saleh, who fled his office in 2012 in the face of mass protest and was replaced by VP Hadi, who himself fled to Saudi Arabia in 2015. Hadi is now supported by the Saudis and Western regimes such as the US, the UK and Canada ... which provide intelligence, refueling and weapons for the war effort ... while Saleh has been in a (new) alliance with the Houthi rebels. However, whatever Saleh says, it will not bring a quick end to the war as his support has dwindled over the past few years.

    "There is in fact no Yemen as a country: It has been torn apart."

    The war in Yemen, the poorest country of the Arab world, is one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of our times. It has claimed over 10,000 lives, left millions with scant access to food, fresh water and medicine and caused the largest outbreak of cholera in modern history. The civilian suffering was exacerbated by the Saudi naval and air blockade of Yemen, human rights groups say. The coalition has also been accused of committing war crimes through indiscriminate attacks on residential areas in cities controlled by the rebel forces.

    In other related news, the European Union has passed a (non-binding) resolution, calling for an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia and accusing that country of war crimes in Yemen. Non-binding, because many of the EU member states are making a "killing" selling weapons to the Kingdom. Sorry for the gruesome pun.

    The EU parliament “condemns in the strongest terms the ongoing violence in Yemen and all attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, which constitute war crimes,” the resolution passed on Thursday says. It goes on to say that “dozens of Saudi-led airstrikes have been blamed for indiscriminately killing and wounding civilians in violation of the laws of war, including through the use of internationally banned cluster munitions.”

    The document particularly says that the European lawmakers “deplore” the blockade of Yemen established by the Saudi-led coalition and specifically condemns “the indiscriminate coalition-led airstrikes leading to civilian casualties, including children, and destruction of civilian and medical infrastructure.” It adds that they equally condemn the actions of the Houthi rebels resulting in civilian casualties, including the missile attacks on the Saudi cities.
    So, they seem to be talking out of both sides of their mouths. Boris Johnson, e.g., hosted Yemen peace talks while the British Army secretly trained Saudi troops for the war effort. There is a great deal of hypocrisy to go around, it seems.

    So how does all this relate to chess? At the risk of sounding like all those who claim that anyone who disagrees with them is Hitler, which is how Hilary Clinton described Russian President Putin, and how the Saudi pretender-to-the-throne, MbS, described the Iranian clerical leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ... simply put, would you as an athlete go to Berlin in 1936 to compete in the Olympics? Because it's entirely possible that MbS, in a fit of anti-Iranian apoplectic rage, could unleash even more devastation on the region. And that, even if he would, he would lose badly. No doubt such a conflict would please some [un-named] states in the region, and arms contractors in the US, UK and Canada, but it would be a horrific outcome for those affected.

    If the Saudis fought the Iranians over the chessboard, then the conflict would be over in under 20 moves. Perhaps that's why the Saudis do not have diplomatic relations with the Iranian Republic? lol.

    Checkmate. Or is that shāh māt ?

  4. #24
    Nigel Hanrahan's Avatar
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    Saleh is dead, the Saudis will bomb Sana'a, and MbS will be Person of the Year!

    The Yemeni ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been killed in fighting with Houthi rebels. The Saudis are likely to retaliate by bombing the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, in revenge for the death of Saleh - their recent, sudden ally. There will be many more civilian deaths, if that is the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Norwegian Refugee Council, Suze van Meegen
    “No one is safe in Sanaa at the moment,” she said.
    The Saudis will probably "blame Iran" and try to link the Iranian Republic to Saleh's death, saying, e.g., that they put the Houthis up to it, or some such nonsense, so that the US President, e.g., could then impose more sanctions on Iran.

    Finally, analyst Andrew Korybko notes,

    ... [regarding] Saleh’s legacy, he probably won’t be seen as a traitor or a patriot, but as a pragmatic opportunist whose final power play dramatically failed and unwittingly threw his country into yet another circle of hell.
    Let me just go out on a limb and say that, whatever is happening in Yemen, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, is the ideal choice for Time Magazine's "Person of the Year".

    We should know in a couple of days. lol. Apparently, it's not just the New York Times that loves the Crown Prince!
    Last edited by Nigel Hanrahan; Monday, 4th December, 2017 at 04:48 PM.
    Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.

  5. #25
    Nigel Hanrahan's Avatar
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    MbS will be Person of the Year!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel Hanrahan View Post
    Let me just go out on a limb and say that, whatever [slaughter] is happening in Yemen, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, is the ideal choice for Time Magazine's "Person of the Year".
    The readers of Time chose the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, as Person of the Year. The voting wasn't even close. He won by a Landslide.

    See https://english.alarabiya.net/en/med...ting-ends.html

    No matter. The editors of Time ... over-ruled the voting and chose differently.
    Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.

  6. #26
    Nigel Hanrahan's Avatar
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    Iranian, Qatari and Israeli players without visas

    article by Peter Doggers: FIDE's 3-Year Contract With Saudi Arabia 'Potentially Illegal'

    See https://www.chess.com/news/view/3-ye...tially-illegal

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Doggers
    The agreement between FIDE and Saudi Arabia to host the World Rapid and Blitz Championship in Riyadh was signed not only for 2017 but also for 2018 and 2019. However, FIDE's Israel Gelfer doubts the legality of the three-year contract when players from Iran, Israel and Qatar will not obtain visas....

    Three days before the tournament will be opened at the Apex Convention Centre in Riyadh, players from Israel and Qatar (countries without diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia) are still waiting for their visas....
    Doggers claimed that Iranian IM Sarasadat Khademalsharieh "decided not to travel to Saudi Arabia", although he did not identify his source. [Iran is also without diplomatic relations with the KSA.]
    Last edited by Nigel Hanrahan; Saturday, 23rd December, 2017 at 01:32 PM.
    Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.

  7. #27
    Wayne Komer's Avatar
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    Re: FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Ch in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Ch in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    December 24, 2017

    Agon is notorious for not advertising or giving information about their tournaments until the last moment.

    Well, the Saudis are worse. The Opening Ceremony is tomorrow (Christmas) and the first day of Rapids is December 26.

    There is a website and no list of players. This is because Iranian, Israeli and Qatari players, who in theory can get visas, have not got them.

    The uninformative official website:

    http://riyadh2017.fide.com/schedule/

    There is a bit more information at:

    https://twitter.com/worldrapidblitz?...inchess.com%2F

    This from The Guardian this morning:

    Israeli players have been denied visas to participate in a speed chess championship hosted by Saudi Arabia this week, a vice-president of the World Chess Federation (Fide) has said.

    Seven Israeli players had requested visas for the tournament, taking place from 26-30 December. It would have been the first time Saudi Arabia had publicly hosted Israelis, as the Gulf state does not recognise Israel and there are no formal ties between them.

    The Fide vice-president, Israel Gelfer, speaking in Athens where the body’s secretariat is based, said visas for the Israeli players “have not been issued and will not be issued”.

    He said the tournament would go ahead as planned. It was not immediately clear whether other delegations had been excluded but players from Qatar had suggested they may have been rejected.

    Saudi Arabia’s Centre for International Communication said in a statement that more than 180 players would participate, but it did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...n-saudi-arabia

    What players are coming?

    The FIDE website has announced that Carlsen and Short will be there.

    Chess journalist Tarjei J. Svensen lists these players as participating:

    Carlsen
    Vachier-Lagrave
    Aronian
    Anand
    Karjakin
    Ivanchuk
    Svidler
    McShane
    Short
    Bacrot
    Ding Liren
    Li Chao
    Yu Yangyi
    Wang Hao
    Vallejo
    Anton
    Saigado
    Harikrishna
    Vidit

    https://twitter.com/TarjeiJS?ref_src...inchess.com%2F


    There has been an increasing level of secrecy in tournaments over the past few years. You might remember this:

    https://en.chessbase.com/post/secret...hip-in-ukraine

    “In March 2016, the current Women's World Champion Mariya Muzychuk will defend her title against Hou Yifan in Lviv in Ukraine. Because Muzychuk takes part in the Ukranian Championship (not in the Women's championship but in the open Championship) the Ukrainian Federation decided to keep the games of this championship hidden from the public.

    Therefore, the games are neither transmitted on the internet, nor published on the website of the tournament or other news pages.”

    And Agon sought to limit the publishing of game scores from tournaments it had organized but several sites fought back and Agon lost in the courts.

    And now, the names of the participants in a tournament are not being disclosed.

    What on earth is happening to international chess?

  8. #28
    Nigel Hanrahan's Avatar
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    CNN has a commercial promoting the event

    I can't seem to find it online but yesterday I saw a commercial for the event on CNN.

    Remarkable. I've never seen a commercial for a chess event on a major (US) network that I can recall - ever. Either the Saudis paid plenty to promote their event in Prime Time, or CNN just wants to give them the free publicity. You know. Because they're so "swell" and deserving of the attention. Or both.

    If that doesn't give the US Seal of Approval to the event, I dunno what would.


    http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/21/middle...ess/index.html

    edited to add: I found part of the trailer on YouTube

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uxAbGoVukY
    Last edited by Nigel Hanrahan; Monday, 25th December, 2017 at 11:28 AM. Reason: found part of the trailer
    Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.

  9. #29
    Egidijus Zeromskis's Avatar
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    Re: FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Ch in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Komer View Post
    There is a bit more information at: https://twitter.com/worldrapidblitz?...inchess.com%2F
    Seems this one is the most active at this moment.
    "Drawing of lots for R1: Carlsen will play white in both events, Lagno will play black in both events"

    Games tomorrow. From pictures seems that they plan to put games online.

  10. #30
    Nigel Hanrahan's Avatar
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    Магнус Карлсен в Саудовской Аравии, а знаm

    The King, MbS, says that Magnus Carlsen is in Saudi Arabia, which means that everything is good.

    lol. To paraphrase John Cleese of Monty Python's Flying Circus, just don't mention the war!

    Король пишет историю (The King writes a story)

    Magnus Carlsen is in Saudi Arabia, which means - everything is fine.

    In the capital of Saudi Arabia, the world championship in rapid chess and blitz opened. The event in any case will be significant: for the first time in the history of the country, women will be allowed to play in usual (albeit with restricted) attire, and the authorities managed to agree on the arrival of chess players from unfriendly countries - Qatar and Iran. For complete happiness there was not enough solution for Israel, because of what the forum someone will not consider fully valuable.

    But in fact, only one name has great significance: the participation of Magnus Carlsen actually legitimizes the championship. It has been a long time in the chess world: the decisions and actions of the champion, especially if he is an undisputed owner of the title and unconditionally the strongest chess player, have much more weight than the actions of someone else.

    Of the dissenters, Igor Kovalenko and Anna Muzychuk tried to shout, in particular, but they were hardly heard. Some of the colleagues of the sisters Muzychuk not only came to the tournament, but also, for the first time seeing the exotic clothes, hurried to capture themselves in it. Here it is worth noting that nobody in the hotel where the sportswomen live, no one forces them to wear an abayu.
    Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.

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