Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the Russian Federation leaves Europe to join Asia

“Today a historic event took place: for the first time the most powerful chess federation in the world moved from one continent to another”, Greetings to Andrei Filatov, President of the Russian Chess Federation. After months of tension related to the conflict in Ukraine, the Russian Chess Federation announced on Tuesday, February 28, that it was leaving Europe to join Asia.

The measure was passed at the Asian Chess Summit in Abu Dhabi and was welcomed positively by the Kremlin.

The Russian Federation made it clear that the measure will come into force on 1Well possible. “I am looking forward to this fruitful cooperation, the participation of the Russian team in the intercontinental competition and the hosting of the Asian competition in Russia”Andrei Filatov added, quoted in the press release.

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Russia has largely dominated the world of chess for decades, notably making the field a space to contend with the United States during the Cold War, and the Russian Federation is one of the field’s heavyweights. The President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) is also former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkadi Dvorkovitch, who was re-elected last August against Ukrainian Andriï Barychpolets.

Russian players banned from playing under their flag

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov praised “Great news for our players and our federation”which will allow Russian athletes to participate in “Major International Competition”.

The Russian Federation is turning to the Asian Federation after years of tension with the European Chess Federation, which has intensified since the start of Moscow’s offensive against Ukraine.

In March 2022, a few days after the start of the conflict, FIDE and the European Chess Union (ECU) announced the suspension of the Russian Federation.Despite this, Russian players can continue to play international games under the banner ” neutral” FIDE.

The federation’s decision comes at a time when several Russian sports federations, including football, are also considering leaving Europe. Following the outbreak of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, several Russian sports institutions were suspended by international organizations, and Russian athletes were suspended or banned from competing under their flags. In response, the Russian Football Federation, which is banned from all European competitions, has repeatedly threatened to join the AFC.

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The participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games has also been heavily debated since the beginning of the year.

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