Riyadh — Special arrangements have been made to issue visas upon arrival for over 200 chess players and officials, including those from Iran and Qatar, to take part in the five-day King Salman World Blitz and Rapid Championships starting on Tuesday in Riyadh, according to a press statement issued by the World Chess Federation (FIDE).
After combined efforts of FIDE officials and Saudi Arabian authorities, visas for players from Iran and Qatar were secured, the FIDE press statement said.
Any news on the Internet stating that visas for players from Iran and Qatar have been “refused” is completely wrong, it said.
“The fact that players from Iran and Qatar may decide not to participate, after consulting their own authorities, is clearly their own individual decision,” FIDE said.
The Saudi authorities informed FIDE that the visas for Qatari players will be issued and they also proposed that for security reasons the Qatari players should play under the FIDE flag.
This issue was resolved. The Qatar Chess Association was informed that their players would play under their own flag.
FIDE, additionally, had accepted the registration of two Qatari players as FIDE nominees, although they had not met the minimum rating requirements.
The King Salman World Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship will be held at the iconic Apex Convention Center at King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Riyadh.
Awarded for its state of the art architecture, it was designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid.
Source Credit: Saudi Gazette