Zurab eliminates Kovalyov!

Zurab Azmaiparashvili, European Chess Union President, 2017 World Cup Organizer, and steely ruler of Georgian chess has imposed his mighty will on the World Cup, and did what five-time World Champion Vishy Anand could not do: stop Anton Kovalyov.

Anton left the playing hall just before round 3.1 was to start after an Arbiter told him to change out of the shorts he had worn in the previous rounds as he did not think they met the FIDE dress code. Event Organizer Zurab Azmaiparashvili, (above, in the dignified clothing that FIDE recommends to attract sponsors) berated Anton for his appearance and said he looked like a gypsy, which (apparently) is considered a slur in that part of Europe. Anton was forfeited in game 1 for not returning within 15 minutes of the start of the game. Anton left the venue a few hours later, and flew out of Georgia. He was forfeited again today for not appearing, and so is eliminated from the World Cup after beating Akobian and Anand 1.5 - 0.5 in rounds 1 and 2 respectively.

The CFC is protesting, and the Association of Chess Professionals has published a protest, which tellingly includes the following:

We do not expect FIDE to act, and we do not believe they will do anything to remedy the situation. We address the global chess community and national federations.

Doesn't chess deserve better?... please join our protest and sign this letter.

Their protest and link to their petition is here: http://www.chessprofessionals.org/content/acp-protests

Azmaiparashvili's conduct in this affair is both typical for him -- he meets disagreement with abuse and threats -- and additonally troubling for the chess world since the 2018 Olympiad is scheduled to be held in Georgia, where Zurab's powerful will passes as FIDE law. Will any GM be spared his terrible wrath? Stay tuned...
In other non-Zurab news: Carlsen was eliminated by Bu Xiangzhi and Nakamura was eliminated by Fedoseev... and Kramnik is being eliminated by Ivanchuk.

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Susan Polgar