February 16, 2023

Russia's Predicted Gambit


Russia's Predicted Gambit
The Chess Players (1876), Thomas Eakins.  Wikimedia Commons, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Chess Federation of Russia (CFR) is leaving the European Chess Union "for the sake of playing practice and higher competition."

The CFR will be trading its European registration for the Asian Chess Federation (ACF). According to Alexander Tkachev, executive director of the CFR, all paperwork has been submitted for the ACF congress's approval, hopeful that the transition will be finalized by late February or early March. CFR has confidence that this shift will provide Russian chess players with more opportunities to expand their expertise through match practice and steeper competition.

The European Chess Union (ECU) said it was not surprised by CFR's move. They referenced comments made by CFR's president, Andrey Filatov, warning of his intention to "break through the blockade" of sanctions put on Russian sports after the invasion of Ukraine. The Union also said it would not protest CFR's decision unless the International Chess Federation forbids it. 

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