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European Individual Championship 2015
I have just noticed this event on the FIDE calendar <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

European Individual Championship 2015 Jerusalem, Israel 23-Feb-2015 7-Mar-2015

Apparently Jerusalem is now part of Europe??!! I know FIDE have a history of appalling decisions re: tournament locations (Baghdad/Tripoli/etc) but this almost takes the biscuit!

We need to be careful as a nation that we don't "take sides" in international issues.

The ladies and gentlemen chess players of Israel are restricted in tournaments that they may enter.

Scotland rightly supports all nations.

"Gens una sumus"

AIUI, the Israeli football team also plays in the European qualifying sections of the World Cup because the volatility of the region makes for serious safety concerns for players and fans. The Israeli clubs also compete in European competitions in the same way...
Maybe FIDE have the same outlook as FIFA and UEFA? They certainly have figureheads with similar natures...

But i agree, the European Championship should not be held in the Middle East...
From an interview with Moshe Slav, presidnt of the Israeli Chess Federation, given to

"The state allocated money for the event. I called the Chancery of the President explaining this is an important issue... Jerusalem, our capital, is the city of all religions. The entire Europe, the best players will visit it to play chess. It's a spiritual city which spiritally inspires a lot of people; everyone will like the city of culture.

...We want to have two free days at the event, so people will be able to visit holy places - Jerusalem, Nazareth, the dead sea... There will be different opportunities."

Thanks Graham, I'd forgotten the football analogy.

I'd like to play the European Individual but Jerusalem isn't where I'd want to go to do so, and having an extra day added for 'religious sight-seeing' is a joke. Let players add an extra day or week or month to their trip themselves if this interests them! (It's the first time an extra day has been added.)

Not-withstanding human rights/political/moral problems with playing in Israel, I'd have thought it a financially ridiculous decision for the majority of European players?!

Quote:We need to be careful as a nation that we don't "take sides" in international issues.
As a member of FIDE perhaps Robin, but last week's vote further distances Scotland as a 'nation' from having a say in this kind of decision Wink
I have to say Andy, Israel would not be a place i'd want to visit for chess or for any other reason. Might have to duck under some mortars there...
It's only 200-300 miles from Cyprus, an about 1200 from mainland Europe...

On the disputed territory, you only have to watch UK news bulletins to see what's happening there.
Perhaps some might see it as a pilgrimage?
Scotland played in the European Team in Haifa in 1989 and visited Jerusalem/the wailing wall on the free day
I played Haifa junior tourney 1988. Very strong tournament. I did ok but missed some wins against a few 2250's. Visited Telaviv Dead Sea etc. Parts of the country were stunning.

It was a family exchange thing so I stayed with chess family. Really enjoyed the event and I was made very welcome. Security was tight and although there were some no go areas (as there is in Scotland) I actually felt very safe.

I had pre conceived ideas but came away with a very positive experience and learned that you have to see other perspectives before judging.

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