2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

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Brian Towers
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2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by Brian Towers » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:49 pm

According to the FIDE website - http://www.fide.com/component/content/a ... ement.html -
FIDE is pleased to announce that, under the aegis of the General Sports Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between the 26th and 30th December 2017.

The first two Rapid Championships (Open and Women) will be on the 26th to 28th December and the Blitz Championships (Open and Women) will follow on the 29th and 30th December. The events offer a record breaking prize fund of US$2,000,000 with the Open events having individual prize funds of US$750,000 and each women event having a prize fund of US$ 250,000. 30 prizes shall be offered in each event. A payment of 20% from the above total prize fund shall be made to FIDE.

The number of players participating in the World Championships is set at a maximum number of 250 players for the Open events and 150 players for the Women events. All players rated at least 2600 for the Open and 2300 for the Women, in any of the FIDE rating lists (Standard, Blitz or Rapid) from September 2017 to October 2017 are eligible to register to play in the King Salman World Blitz & Rapid Championships 2017 and . Early registration is appreciated to facilitate confirmation of selection as well as arrangement of invitation letters for visa.

The players on the list below will be offered free accommodation in Riyadh, as well as travel expenses, if they confirm and sign their participation by the deadline of 30 November 2017.

OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
FROM STANDARD RATING LIST

ID Name Fed. Sep17 Rating Sep17 Games Oct17 Rating Oct17 Games Nov17 Rating Nov17 Games Max 3months
1503014 Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2827 9 2826 6 2837 9 2837
623539 Vachier-Lagrave, Max. FRA 2804 9 2794 12 2796 2 2804
4101588 Kramnik, Vladimir RUS 2803 0 2794 6 2787 13 2803
13300474 Aronian, Levon ARM 2802 9 2801 16 2801 0 2802
...
2805677 Gelfand, Boris ISR 2737 6 2737 4 2719 8 2737
...
2806851 Rodshtein, Maxim ISR 2695 0 2699 6 2688 16 2699
...
2802007 Sutovsky, Emil ISR 2683 0 2683 0 2689 9 2689
...
14100126 Shvayger, Yuliya ISR 2442 14 2442 0 2440 16 2442
...
12512214 Khademalsharieh, Sarasadat IRI 2433 0 2414 9 2419 6 2433
The $2 million question is who will turn up and will they make it through Riyadh airport passport check.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:21 pm

Brian Towers wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:49 pm
The $2 million question is who will turn up and will they make it through Riyadh airport passport check.
Also what the dress code will be for female players and whether they will be allowed to hire a car to drive themselves should they so wish.

That also assumes you don't get religious figures popping up claiming chess is banned.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:29 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:21 pm
Also what the dress code will be for female players and whether they will be allowed to hire a car to drive themselves should they so wish.
If Facebook's translations are working, there is a conversation in Russian between Sutovsky and Azmai on Facebook that says that while women will be required to wear the hijab, they won't need to wear it while they are playing.
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:21 pm
That also assumes you don't get religious figures popping up claiming chess is banned.
Given the title of the event includes King Salman, it would appear the King is sponsoring the event. Therefore, I suspect the involvement of "religious figures" who are anti-chess will not be a concern.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:36 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:29 pm
that says that while women will be required to wear the hijab, they won't need to wear it while they are playing.
That's all right then is it?

Personally I see parallels with the South Africa of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Just don't go there.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:40 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:36 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:29 pm
that says that while women will be required to wear the hijab, they won't need to wear it while they are playing.
That's all right then is it?
I didn't say it was. I thought it was an interesting point.

NickFaulks
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:46 am

Brian Towers wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:49 pm
The $2 million question is who will turn up and will they make it through Riyadh airport passport check.
I think it is safe to assume that anyone with a personal invitation from King Salman will get the red carpet laid out. In any case, I don't believe that Jews have anything to fear when visiting Saudi Arabia - it isn't like Iran or Palestine.

Brian Towers
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by Brian Towers » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:56 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:46 am
Brian Towers wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:49 pm
The $2 million question is who will turn up and will they make it through Riyadh airport passport check.
I think it is safe to assume that anyone with a personal invitation from King Salman will get the red carpet laid out. In any case, I don't believe that Jews have anything to fear when visiting Saudi Arabia - it isn't like Iran or Palestine.
If you check the list you will see that there is one Iranian player on the list. Note also that the KSA does not recognize the existence of the state of Israel nor are Jews allowed entry to the KSA.

I suspect that FIDE, not King Salman, control what appears on the FIDE website. It's not clear to me that all the players listed by FIDE have a personal invitation from King Salman.

We will see.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

NickFaulks
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:15 am

Brian Towers wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:56 am
nor are Jews allowed entry to the KSA.
I believe that is untrue, and that Jewish bankers routinely seek business in Riyadh.

Angus French
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by Angus French » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:31 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:21 pm
Brian Towers wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:49 pm
The $2 million question is who will turn up and will they make it through Riyadh airport passport check.
Also what the dress code will be for female players and whether they will be allowed to hire a car to drive themselves should they so wish.
Women are now allowed to drive cars in Saudi Arabia.

They still, I believe, carry out public beheadings and they've been fighting a war against Yemeni rebels in which thousands of civilians have been bombed to death.

See here for a recent piece in the London Review of Books.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by LawrenceCooper » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:10 am

From Facebook:

Anna Muzychuk is feeling disappointed.
2 hrs ·
FIDE has announced World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships to be organized in the end of this year in Saudi Arabia. First Iran, then Saudi Arabia.. wondering where the next Women's World Championships will be organized. Despite of the record prize fund, I am not going to play in Riyadh what means losing two world champion titles. To risk your life, to wear abaya all the time?? Everything has its limits and headscarves in Iran was more than enough.

David Robertson
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by David Robertson » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:08 pm

Brian Towers wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:56 am
Note also that the KSA does not recognize the existence of the state of Israel nor are Jews allowed entry to the KSA
The first part is correct; the second part is not. Every entrant to the KSA must declare a religion. Jews are allowed entry in principle though in practice they may be denied a visa (along with 'no religion'). Citizens of the state of Israel are banned. Anyone with an Israeli stamp in their passport is banned. So that's me excluded on two grounds so far. Women travelling alone are banned. Unmarried couples are banned. Single women under 30 are banned unless accompanied by an older male family member. And so it goes.

Unless King Salman seriously intends to suspend all of this - and how would anyone know in advance - the event is preposterous. A requirement to wear a hijab, though rightly unacceptable to many, is the least of it. The first Israeli banned, and that should be the end of the event

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:53 pm

"The first Israeli banned, and that should be the end of the event"

Absolutely. Didn't it used to be against FIDE statutes to ban people on racial grounds?

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Michael Farthing
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by Michael Farthing » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:07 pm

What have racial grounds got to do with it?
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Paul Cooksey
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:36 pm

I'm a bit surprised to hear Azmai talking about players wearing hijab, an abaya was sufficient for my female colleagues in KSA recently. Although I have heard Riyadh is more conservative than Jeddah.

I'm surprised to see this event in a country where some players would be unable or unwilling to play. I did not realise it was one of the events for which it is hard to find sponsorship

NickFaulks
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Re: 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26-30 December 2017

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:35 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:36 pm
I'm surprised to see this event in a country where some players would be unable or unwilling to play.
As far as Bermuda teams are concerned, that would certainly rule out the US, for which several players have in recent years been unable to obtain visas, even for transit. As to the Yemen war, I personally do not support the manner in which it is being pursued, but similar US carpet bombing campaigns in Korea and Vietnam have cost far more lives in equally dubious causes.

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