3 JANUARY 2018

First of all, please accept our congratulations for the New Year and our wish that in 2018 our favourite sport, Chess, will serve to unite people and promote peace and friendship between the Nations.

We would also like to emphasize the fact that the organization of the “FIDE World Blitz and Rapid Championship 2017” in Saudi Arabia was on the highest level, as the most of the participants stated, even though the organiser was the only bidder for the event and had little time for preparation. We take this opportunity to congratulate the winners once again.

Unfortunately, the non-issuance of the visas, from the hosting country, for the Israeli chess players left a more sour spot on the organization instead of focusing on the positive aspects of the championship – the huge prize fund, the excellent set up of the playing hall and especially the dress code.

European Chess Union supports by any mean the Israeli chess players who registered in the tournament but were denied visa entries and asks FIDE to take this unpleasant situation into account and grant FIDE World Championships only in those countries that undertake to create equal conditions for all chess players and unconditionally issue visas for all players who belong to federations that are members of FIDE.

We believe that FIDE will consider our position so that 2018 will be a year of breakthrough in this direction and in the future chess will be promoted in the world as a sport without borders.