OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM GM ANTON KOVALYOV ABOUT WORLD CUP INCIDENT

I have witnessed strange things in almost every World Cup. This one is no different.

I have witnessed strange things in almost every World Cup. This one is no different. Today, GM Anton Kovalyov of Canada, after beating GM Akobian and GM Anand, was forfeited in round 3 game 1 vs GM Rodshtein for wearing shorts, the same shorts he wore in round 1 and 2.

This situation happened before. But the organizers usually tell the players not to come to the next round with the same outfit. This time, boooom!!

I understand the rules. But I believe in consistency. If it is OK for round 1 and 2, then the organizer should have asked him not to come back to next game with shorts. Rules 8.1 is very vague. There should have been warnings for next game.

Update: According to the Russian Chess Federation, GM Anton Kovalyov decided to go home after being forfeited game 1. (I just added photos by the Organizers and ChessBase of him leaving)

Here is an official statement from GM Anton Kovalyov on his FB page. I have known him for some years through college chess in the US. He has always been mild mannered and polite. He never bothered anyone.

Anton Kovalyov:“I wanted to wait a little till I calm down, but I’m tired of seeing lies everywhere. So here’s what happened: The issue were not the shorts but how I was treated. I came to the game and was approached by the arbiter asking me to change (first time). I told him that I don’t have pants with me, and then I noticed that I was playing black instead of white, which came as a surprise for me and asked him to check that. He and the other arbiters checked and confirmed to me that I’m playing with black, we talked a little and everything was fine. Then came Zurab, he was very agressive, yelling at me and using the racial slur “gypsy” to insult me, apart from mentioning several times that I will be punished by FIDE. I told him that I had asked before at the previous world cup if what I was wearing was OK and I was told by somebody from the organization that yes. Zurab, in a prepotent way, said he doesn’t care, he’s the organizer now. At this point I was really angry but tried not to do anything stupid, and asked him why he was so rude to me, and he said because I’m a gypsy. 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, yelled at and racially insulted. 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. Worth pointing out, I didn’t take any pants with me because I gained some weight and they were to tight. 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, but instead I was treated like garbage. I was too stressed out by the way I was treated and the threats of being punished by FIDE no matter what I do, so I choose to leave before I do anything stupid.Another point worth pointing out, Zurab never asked me to go and change, the conversation consisted of threats, insults, and agressive behavior from Zurab. He was clearly provoking me. I will not appeal anything. I am disgusted by this type of people. I don’t want the money. I’m coming back home.”

Photos by World Cup organizers (http://tbilisi2017.fide.com) and chessbase.com

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