European Championship: On Disputed Territory

Время публикации: 13.05.2016 22:29 | Последнее обновление: 13.05.2016 22:29

Azeri chess players chose not to play in Kosovo

The 17th individual European Championship began in Gjakova in the disputed republic of Kosovo on Thursday. For the second year running the top seed is David Navara; is being challenged by Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Nikita Vitiugov, Ruslan Ponomariov, defending champion Evgeniy Najer, and over 200 other players.

This is the first time that the European Chess Championship has been held in a state that is not recognized by some countries. While we don’t know whether there are players who privately refused to participate based on their own political views it is clear that one of the countries that has refused to recognize Kosovo, Azerbaijan, has recommended its citizens not to play chess there. No other country appears to have made such a recommendation, at least among the strong chess playing nations.

The strongest participant from each of the 15 countries with the highest ranked players is included in the list below – the text in brackets indicates whether their own state recognizes Kosovo.

David Navara, Czech Republic (yes)
Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Poland (yes)
Nikita Vitiugov, Russia (no)
Ruslan Ponomariov, Ukraine (no)
Francisco Vallejo, Spain (no)
Markus Ragger, Austria (yes)
Laurent Fressinet, France (yes)
Jon Ludvig Hammer, Norway (yes)
Gabriel Sargissian, Armenia (no)
Ivan Cheparinov, Bulgaria (yes)
David Howell, UK (yes)
Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Germany (yes)
Evgeny Postny, Israel (no)
Baadur Jobava, Georgia (no)
Ivan Saric, Croatia (yes).

Translated by Ilan Rubin.


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