Chess teams from Russia, Belarus not to play in Chennai Olympiad

Chennai: The International Chess Federation or FIDE suspended Russian and Belarus national teams from participating in official FIDE tournaments until further notice.

With this, the FIDE put an end to the uncertainty of participation of the strong Russian chess team in the upcoming 44th Chess Olympiad to be held in Chennai in July-August 2022.

India as the host country can field two teams, and if the number of entries are in odd numbers, the host nation can field one more team.

In a statement the FIDE said: “Taking into account the current recommendations of the IOC (International Olympic Committee), the FIDE Council suspends the national teams of Russia and Belarus from participation in official FIDE tournaments until further notice.”

“In the individual tournaments of the FIDE World Championship cycle, players from these countries will be able to participate under the FIDE flag,” FIDE added.

Earlier, a senior FIDE official said: “The Russian team probably may not come.”

With the West against Russia and FIDE cancelling its sponsorship agreements with Russian and Belarusian companies, participation of the Russian team might have resulted in several countries boycotting the event if the geopolitical situation does not improve by July.

The chess federation of Ukraine, as per reports, has called for a ban of all Russian players and Russians from the FIDE elections.

Image courtesy of (File photo)

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