For the attention of the FIDE President and the FIDE Presidential Board

Dear Mr Dvorkovich and Board members,

The ECU General Assembly, meeting in Skopje on March 23rd, 2019 considered the refusal of the Iranian player Aryan Gholami to play an opponent from Israel in the seventh round of the Rilton Cup Blixt tournament which took place from 27 December 2018 to 5 January 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden.

The refusal was followed by unacceptable promotion and political exploitation which violates the main principles of sports and rules of FIDE. All the related material presented at the ECU General Assembly has sent already to FIDE by the International Director of the English Chess Federation Mr. Malcolm Pein.

After discussion, delegates unanimously agreed on the following resolution:

To request of the FIDE Presidential Board:

  • A statement that such individual boycotts will no longer be tolerated.
  • A resolution from the Board banning the practice of  ‘ special pairings’ at the Chess Olympiads, FIDE tournaments and in all FIDE rated events. This refers to the practice of deliberately keeping players or teams from certain countries apart by adjusting the pairing software.
  • If required, to take such steps at the next General Assembly to ensure the two points above are on the agenda for the next FIDE GA.