Let players play!
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The ACP wishes to express its uttermost dissatisfaction with FIDE’s recent decision not to take any action in the widely-publicised case of GM Zhang Zhong and WGM Li Ruofan – who despite being the top players in their country, Singapore, were denied their right to take part in the Zonal tournament.
FIDE’s non-action sets a dangerous precedent. The ACP has drawn FIDE’s attention to the problems the players faced and even published an open letter trying to raise public awareness around this case. FIDE had more than enough time and more than one way to straighten the wrong-doing of the Singapore federation yet decided not to do so.
The chess community should not be deceived: not taking action is a positive decision not to do so. Unfortunately, especially in the recent past FIDE seems to be taking action only when it serves the political interest of its leaders and not the supreme interest of chess.
As a result of FIDE’s intentional inaction, Singapore’s best players have been robbed of their legitimate chance to participate in the current World Championship cycle. ACP wishes to stress it again: professional chess players can not be deprived of their right to play chess!
FIDE’s silence on the matter is intolerable and unjust and it opens the door for other abuses from other Federations in the future.
FIDE can still show their good will and it is within their power to counterbalance the damage. A wild card for the upcoming World Cup for GM Zhang Zhong and the Women’s World Championship for WGM Li Ruofan would be an appropriate compensation for the players who suffered unfair treatment. It would also be fair, as both of the players were among the Elo-favorites in the Zonal they had to miss.
We remain hopeful that FIDE will amend its mistakes and will take appropriate steps to prevent future harm to professional players. We call FIDE’s leaders to liase with the ACP in order to work out a sustainable solution that will serve the best interest of chess.
Failure to do so will be seen as a hostile act against the professional players – and ACP is ready to engage in a full-scale fight for its members.