Is it OK for players to play for peanuts?
IM Lela Javkhishvili recently made a comment about the World Rapid & Blitz Championships in Saudi Arabia in an interview with Peter Doggers.
"Yes, it's problematic to go to such countries, yes we all prefer to play in some European countries and yes, prize money is very important.
I didn't see some of those players protesting against ridiculous and somehow insulting prizes in the recent ACP Women’s Rapid and Blitz European Championship, where almost nobody got conditions and where for example 5th place wouldn't even cover travel expenses. For me it's not less insulting than to wear a hijab for four days.
No one argues that the situation with human rights (and especially women's rights) is unacceptable in Saudi Arabia, as much as no one argues that FIDE should be more sensible in choosing countries where to organize tournaments.
But there are a lot of tournaments in some other countries where human rights are also ignored, in сountries that occupy foreign territories. We all know that, but still, why do we play there? And where in those cases are the voices of "principled" chess players and "human rights defenders"? I would like to hear from them the reason why is it worse to go and play in Saudi Arabia?"
GM Emil Sutovsky, head of ACP, dispute the position above:
...It is a very funny comment by WGM Javakhishvili, as we had a record number of players provided with the conditions in ACP European Women's Rapid and Blitz. We have had about 15 players covered with the accommodation (and that is in a 5-star hotel in Monaco!) - you are welcome to check it with the players, or with Jean Michel Rapaire. And ACP the prizes were pretty decent, once again check the facts or ask the players. No wonders WGM Javakhishvili spreads the false information - it is pretty much the way her husband Evgeny Surov acts every time, when ACP is involved.