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Old December 31st 13, 02:11 PM posted to
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Default Israeli Flags Not Shown at World Youth Championship in UAE

Let's try to put the youth tournament in perspective. In 1984 Dubai was asked at the last-minute to host the Olympiad after Iceland, Venezuela and Indonesia backed out. The USCF initially indicated it would not send a team because the Israelis would not be allowed visas. A compromise was proposed under which the USCF did send a team and got a promise that the issue of Israeli visa at future FIDE events would come up for a vote at the concurrent FIDE Congress. The USCF delegates approved this by a 2-to-1 vote at the annual convention that summer at Somerset, NJ.

FIDE agreed that in all future tournaments, the host country must provide visas to all players who qualify. This was tested at FIDE's knockout world championship in Libya in 2004. The Libyans did agree to provide visas to the Israeli players but not to their seconds, wives, etc. The Israelis and their supporters boycotted the Tripoli tournament.

What this means is that the tournament just concluded is the only time that Israeli players have competed in a chess tournament in an Arab country.. That's significant.

A funny aside to this is the US Delegation was supposed to Walk Out of the 1986 Olympiad in Dubai if a resolution was not passed condemning the UAE for not giving admission to the players from Israel. However, when the resolution was not passed or even presented and the time came when the US was supposed to walk out, the USA team was in first place in the Olympiad having just defeated the Soviet Union with Seirawan having defeated Kasparov. So, the US was supposed to give up its historic chance to win the Olympiad ahead of the USSR. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the USA delegation did not walk out.

Joel Benjamin boycotted the 1986 Olympiad in Dubai on the ground that Israel was not allowed to play. That is how Dlugy got on the team as second alternate. Dlugy had a good result and was one of the reasons the USA team almost won the Olympiad.

Sam Sloan
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