01 March 2023

Zone 1.6 (Russia) Becomes Zone 3.8

Here's continuing a story from my main blog that was mentioned in First Yahoos of 2023 (January 2023):-
2023-01-30: Russian Chess Federation moves to Asia (chessbase.com) • 'The Russian Chess Federation has advised the European Chess Union that they have applied for membership of the Asian Chess Federation, and that they intend to withdraw from the ECU as soon as they have been admitted.'

The Europeans reacted immediately:-

  • 2023-01-30: Statement of the European Chess Union (europechess.org) • 'The European Chess Union (ECU) hereby expresses its position on the possible transfer of the Russian Chess Federation (RCF) to the Asian Chess Federation (ACF). '

FIDE took a few weeks to respond formally:-

  • 2023-02-22: FIDE resolution on the Russian Federation joining the ACF (fide.com) • 'The FIDE Council reviewed yesterday, February 21, the report prepared by the Constitutional Commission on the request made by the Chess Federation of Russia (CFR) to join the Asian Chess Federation (ACF).'

The ECU reaction was again immediate:-

  • 2023-02-22: Statement of the European Chess Union – 22.02.2023 (europechess.org) • 'Following the FIDE Council’s decision concerning the proposed transfer of the Russian Chess Federation (RCF) to the Asian Chess Federation (ACF), the European Chess Union (ECU) hereby declares [...]'

The vote of the Asian Federation was overwhelmingly in favor of the transfer, with six abstentions:-

The Chess24 report discussed the qualification for places in a forthcoming stage of the World Championship.

It’s already been confirmed by the European Chess Union that players who were already enrolled in the European Championship that starts in Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia in three days’ time will still be able to play -- and potentially take one of the 23 spots available in the upcoming World Cup. [...]

It appears there’s nothing to stop players competing in Serbia and then, later in the year, competing in the Asian Continental Championships in Kazakhstan, for which no dates have yet been set, according to FIDE’s calendar. The question of World Cup places is an interesting one, with the regulations of the 2023 World Cup, to be held in August in Baku, Azerbaijan, allocating spaces based on the number of players in the World Top 60 in January 2022.

Counting individual players, the Russian federation is FIDE's largest; see FIDE Rating List - January 2023 (January 2023), also on my main blog, for some numbers. The full impact of the transfer remains to be seen.

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