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Sanctioned FIDE chief to miss New York World Chess Championship opener

November 10, 2016, 16:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The US State Department has denied FIDE Incumbent President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov entrance to the country

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Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

© Sergei Fadeichev/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, November 10 /TASS/. The president of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) is going to miss the World Chess Championship opening ceremony for the first time in the organization’s history, FIDE Incumbent President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told journalists.

Earlier, Ilyumzhinov said that the US State Department had denied him entrance and an opportunity to be present at the world chess title match to be held in New York.

"The match is going to be interesting. It is the first time in FIDE’s history that its president is going to be absent from the opening match for the world chess crown and the drawing of lots ceremony," Ilyumzhinov stressed.

A match for the world chess title between incumbent World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and Russian grandmaster Sergey Karyakin will take place in New York on November 11-30.

A day earlier, on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the US refusal to issue a visa to FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov contradicted a universal principle that "sport is above politics".

"Needless to say, these grounds are grotesque and do not stand any criticism. But for the incumbent US authorities, who have been carried away with imposing sanctions on Russia and its citizens, any pretext is good," the Russian diplomat stressed.

Zakharova noted that she could only regret that today "after a heavy damage had been inflicted on the Russian-US relations, the White House is again refusing to observe the "sport is above politics" universal principle.

"As a result, for the first time in 92 years a FIDE president will be unable to be present at the world chess championship match in New York, which he himself has organized. This does not reflect well on the outgoing US administration," Zakharova stressed.

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