US Virgin Islands Chess Federation is fielding ineligible player for Chess Olympiad: Nigel Short

With the Chess Olympiad set to begin near here next month, former vice-president of the international chess federation (FIDE) has alleged that the US Virgin Islands Chess Federation (USVICF) is fielding a non-citizen/resident to play for its team on the top board.

Curiously, Short resigned as FIDE vice-president a couple of days back after the chess body’s Ethics and Disciplinary Commission (EDC) handed him a three-month suspended ban.

The charge against Short was undermining and discrediting the USVICF.

“The US Virgin Islands Chess Federation continues to register and field ineligible players in breach of the Virgin Islands Olympic Committee and #FIDE regulations. The latest is Connor Eickelman — board 1 for the Chennai Olympiad — who was neither born in, nor resides in the USVI,” Short tweeted.

It is learnt the FIDE will vet the list of players submitted by the chess federations of various countries to play in the Olympiad.

“FIDE doesn’t have the resources to investigate every player. But they should do so when they have received a specific complaint from a FIDE VP. This was not done,” Short told IANS.

“But unless people are born or reside there, they are not eligible. Otherwise this is just a USA second team,” Short added.

According to Short, the USVICF is FIDE and International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognised.

“When asked by FIDE how C. Eickelman qualified to be registered for the USVI, the president, Margaret Murphy (from New Hampshire) replied “by (US) citizenship”. With this logic, the USVI should register and field Shankland, Sevian, Xiong, Robson and Niemann for the Chennai Olympiad,” Short tweeted.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

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