Armenia expresses concerns and disappointment to FIDE

In a letter to FIDE President Alexander Dvorkovich, Armenian Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Arayik Harutyunyan has expressed concern and disappointment about the decisions taken during the recent Online Chess Olympiad. The letter runs as follows:

“I am writing to you to express my concern and disappointment about FIDE’s recent decisions towards National chess team of Armenia and chess family as a whole.

In particular, in case of Armenia, while declining Armenia’s appeal, FIDE came with following argument:

“…the quality of the Internet connection is the responsibility of the player, including its reliability and stability. The practice of applying this point during the Olympiad has been already established in previous incidents. In the current situation, any other decision would be inconsistent with the tournament regulations, creating a precedent that could lead to further conflicting situations.”

Despite the fact that the Armenian Chess Federation provided a thorough explanation and also raised some questions, FIDE decided not to consider them.
Unfortunately, the situation and problems continued further and in the final FIDE did not follow its own precedent and in the similar case of India, the games, were considered by FIDE as underplayed while in case of Armenia our player lost on time. As a result, FIDE come with unprecedented decision to announce champion both Russia and India.

We think that this is unfair and not consistent approach and decision that doesn’t ensure equal treatment of member countries which is a cornerstone of FIDE as an international institution.

I am confident that in its long way of establishment and in its core mission FIDE tries to raise the trust and confidence towards the tournaments. That trust is being built through securing equal terms of competition among all competing teams so that they all share that they are treated equally. Recent events, however, show that this is not the case with the National Chess team of Armenia feeling being discriminated against. I want to be assured that FIDE will provide explanation to the participants of this tournament and chess community at large on this incident and undertake all consistent steps (including even restarting the event from Armenia-India team’s match stage). We hope that such kind of trust building initiatives will prevent similar incidents in the future and also will unify the chess world.

Should you deem necessary, it would be our pleasure to be part of the dialogue for resolving this misunderstanding.

Making use of this opportunity, I want to express my compliments to you and FIDE.”

Members of the Armenian national chess team earlier slammed FIDE, after a controversial Online Chess Olympiad, which saw both Russia and India crowned winners.

Both countries were declared joint winners of a major international chess tournament after two Indian players lost their internet connection during the final round.

Armenia on Friday said one of its players was disconnected from the server during its quarterfinal match against India, and lost on time. Its appeal was rejected and the country withdrew from the competition in protest.

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