Thursday 17 July 2014

Olympiad Rules

With around 2 weeks to the start of the Chess Olympiad the big news is the exclusion of the defending Women's Champions Russia from the event. They aren't the only team missing out (8 other teams, mainly from Africa are also excluded), but they are certainly the most high profile. The reason given by the organisers is they missed the deadline to nominate their team members, and under the regulations, are not eligible to play.
FIDE have already protested this decision, but ironically, the organisers a quoting FIDE's own Olympiad Regulations as a basis for this decision. The regulations set out various deadlines for countries to enter teams, and for the actual members of the teams to be nominated. In Russia's case it is believed they held off nominating a team until the transfer of Kateryna Lagno from Ukraine to Russia went through. However this happened after the deadline for team lists. Of course if they had been a little smarter, they probably could of nominated another player, and then simply replaced her with Lagno before the start, as the regulations do allow this.
In the end this case, and the case of the other missing teams, boils down to which regulations are being followed. There are a number of regulations that cover the Olympiad (including one the gives the FIDE President a great degree of power in making on the spot decisions), so there are a few to choose from. It is hardly surprising then that the organisers are going to rely on regulations that support their case, while FIDE will use different ones. Nonetheless I assume it will all be sorted out before the start, with the Russian team (and maybe the others) being allowed in, as in the end, a little 'behind close doors' discussion usually delivers the preferred outcome.


Cathy Chua said...

Why do you think this is the preferred outcome? Russia is attempting to do something illegal to strengthen its team. Permitting them to do that is unlikely to be the preferred outcome.

Shaun Press said...

Having the defending champion in the tournament is certainly FIDE's preferred outcome,which was what I was trying to say. Certainly I agree in part with your comment, although 'stupid' was my first thought, rather than illegal. One compromise I've seen mentioned is to allow the Russians play, but without Lagno.
But mu main point is that there are rules and there are 'rules', and FIDE and the organisers simply pick what suits them.

Cathy Chua said...

A right mess, at any rate. The Norwegians must be wishing Magus had never been born.

Cathy Chua said...

Well, as things unfold, I'm not sure any more about being on the organisers' side on this matter. The Russians seem to have a good case!