By Marissa Payne
September 9 at 6:22 PM
Canadian chess grandmaster Anton Kovalyov entered the FIDE World Cup in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Saturday wearing the same plaid shorts he wore two years ago at the tournament. But this time, his wardrobe choice caused the 25-year-old trouble after new tournament organizer European Chess Union President Zurab Azmaiparashvili allegedly began bullying the player over his lack of long pants.
“He was very aggressive, yelling at me and using the racial slur ‘gypsy’ to insult me,” Kovalyov wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday, hours after he decided to forfeit the tournament to protest his treatment.
“So imagine this, the round is about to start, I’m being bullied by the organizer of the tournament, being assured that I will be punished by FIDE [world chess’s governing body], yelled at and racially insulted,” the ethnic Ukrainian continued. “What would you do in my situation? I think many people would have punched this person in the face or at least insulted him. I decided to leave.”
….“If the organization of the tournament would have warned me sooner I would have taken a cab to the mall and bought pants, without any problems whatsoever,” he said. “But instead I was treated like garbage.”