Chess federation fuming over treatment of Canadian grandmaster at World Cup
Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, September 11, 2017 1:05PM EDT
The Chess Federation of Canada has protested Kovalyov’s treatment to FIDE — the World Chess Organization — as well as to the organizers of the $1.6-million event.
Kovalyov said an organizer berated him about his shorts just minutes before his third-round match.
The Ukrainian-born Montrealer, currently a university student in Texas, had worn the shorts in previous rounds without incident.
“The issue were not the shorts but how I was treated,” he wrote.
He went on to explain that organizer Zurab Azmaiparashvili was hostile and aggressive and used the “Gypsy” slur as an insult. The grandmaster said he was subjected to bullying and racial taunts and decided to leave instead of doing something stupid.
He foreited his prize money in the process and, in a later Facebook post, said his family was out $3,000 because of his decision.
The Chess Federation of Canada representative said it is seeking a diplomatic solution, given the Olympiad — a team chess championship — will be put on next year by the same organizers.
“Our player has definitely been wronged and our federation is very angry about it,” Hal Bond, a member of the group’s executive, said in an interview. “I’m hoping that an apology will be forthcoming from the organizers.”