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The Milov Case

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GM Vadim Milov posts a long open letter detailing his unsuccessful case to challenge FIDE in court over his inability to play in the Tripoli KO WCh last year. I respect his decision not to play under clearly unequal conditions, but I wish he had continued to call FIDE and Libya's bluff. The entire debacle and attendant debate was covered here in detail, just used the search for Libya and start at the bottom. Milov's plight was covered here.

The choice of Libya was dubious as best, but forgivable considering the lack of alternatives. Discarding the announced alternative venue in Malta was a travesty that led to Israelis and many Americans bowing out of what was the first FIDE championship in three years. Where to next? Does Kim Jong Il play chess as well as he plays golf?


Considering infected relationship between Libya and Isreal, i don't know why it should be a reason to exclude Libya completely from arranging such tournaments.
It's quite natural their citizens are not welcome to Libya, that certainly is not inunderstandable. Despite this, Libya was going to let the Israeli players in. Could more be demanded of them, really?
i think the reasonable answer is no. Think about it.
And how could Fide be at blame here? Regardless of all emotional ideas, in the end Fide can't take sides in private relations of two countries. They did what was required of them, make sure the Israeli players would be allowed.
It's not pleasant circumstances, but facing the existing realities, how could the situation be pleasant?
Just my opinion, which is hardly politically correct.

With the complete lack of evidence for the commonly stated "fact" that Israelis or even Jews (!) were not allowed in, I don't understand what was wrong with Libya. (Yes, except that it's an evil dictatorship like North Korea, huh-huh. Long live the peaceful democracies USA and Great Britain where there's no problem arranging WC's.) If people have prejudices about Arab nations it's entirely their own problem.

While agreeing with Milov's stand to back out, I feel the Judges were right in their ruling. From where am standing, he should have opted to risk going and if not permitted then has a stronger case to take to arbitration. Legal decisions are usually not emotional, fact : he got an IV though late, fact: he didn't use it so we don't know if he would have been denied.
I wish him all the best and urge him to continue playing chess, POLITICS is Ugly everywhere!!

First of all, even non-Jewish, non-Israeli players chose not to go because they felt the would not be allowed into the country due to an Israeli visa on their passport. Even if the Israeli and Jewish players were allowed into the country, it would certainly be into a hostile environemnt which would not have been equitable circumstances. Milov was also not guaranteed that his coach would be allowed into the country, I would say that is fairly inequitable.
Especially with the number of top players in the world that are from Jewish or Israeli descent, I think FIDE's organization of a tournament where they could not provide equal terms for all players is completely unreasonable. Why should some players be allowed to bring their coaches and others not? Why should some players have to travel to tripoli only to find out whether or not they will be allowed in the country while for others they were never in doubt? It seems like the posters here so far would be perfectly fine with the segregation that took place in the US after the emancipation proclamation right? I mean things were "equal"? Why not just host the world championships at a neo-nazi headquarters where they promise to allow jews in? Does this still seem reasonable?

I think what the posters so far have absolutely failed to realize was that this event was supposed to be the world championships, not just some rinky dink tournament hosted by FIDE and the conditions to play should be equitable for all players. Posters seemed to be quite sure foul play occurred in Minnesota because someone fled the scene, but recieving and invitation at the absolute last minute isn't a smoking gun to you? If there was nothing wrong with FIDE's decision then why did so many players decline their invitations? There was pretty much guaranteed money, so if there was nothing wrong, why not take free money?

Or how about this? If Libya is such a welcoming place to Jews and Israelis then why was there the need to for a parallel site to begin with? If someone came up to you and made a very serious threat on your life and then the next day kindly invited you to take a camping trip into the woods would you go? Judging by the thought that seems to have gone into these previous posts, may you would, who knows. What if he "promised" not to hurt you? You think that really makes the situation any different?

"Milov was also not guaranteed that his coach would be allowed into the country, I would say that is fairly inequitable."

If true, I agree.

"Even if the Israeli and Jewish players were allowed into the country, it would certainly be into a hostile environemnt"


"If Libya is such a welcoming place to Jews and Israelis then why was there the need to for a parallel site to begin with?"

There was no need, which is exactly why they cancelled it. They kept it open in case there would be a problem, but there wasn't. At least nobody has shown any reason to think that it would have been.

"recieving and invitation at the absolute last minute isn't a smoking gun to you?"

As you know there is more than one version of that story. See FIDE's reply of June 2004 http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/fide010704.html and the Lausanne ruling.

"Why not just host the world championships at a neo-nazi headquarters where they promise to allow jews in? Does this still seem reasonable?"

What a nonsensical comparison. Libya compared to "neo-nazi headquarters"? Ridiculous. And what's this thing about "serious threat to your life"?

jegutman wrote: "Even if the Israeli and Jewish players were allowed into the country, it would certainly be into a hostile environment."

acirce asked, "Why?"

From Open letter by GM Vadim Milov at ChessBase: "Back to chess, the only document where Libyans mention Israelis regarding the tournament in Tripoli is the press conference of Qaddafi's son's (the President of the Libyan Olimpic Committee) on 5th of May 2004 where to the question of the AP journalist whether the Israelis were really invited to Libya he said: "We did not and will not invite the Zionist enemy to this championship". This was repeated later by a number of newspapers. Such an aggressive comment was not surprising. More surprising was however seeing Fide insisting that Qaddafi's comments were just a misunderstanding, that the Israelis were still welcome, that Fide received guarantees etc. The "guarantees" were, however, not on paper and it all sounded very unconvincing."

Pretending that an Israeli would not feel under duress and in danger while staying in Libya is idiotic. Pick up most any Arab newspaper any day of the week. Bahrain is relatively moderate and the stuff in their newspapers every day was incredibly hostile toward "the Zionist murderers". And those were the English-language papers! Regardless of your political take on the situation, that an Israeli would feel, and would be, in danger there is obvious, even without the organizer of the tournament calling them the enemy on the eve of the event.

There is no denying that Libya doesn't like Israel, of course. But why would that mean an ordinary Israeli citizen would be in danger? I wouldn't recommend running around in the middle of Tripoli waving the Israeli flag, but I don't think that's what they would have been there for either. Sure, there exists antisemitism in the Arab world. Where would you go to avoid any kind of racism or situations that could be described in vague terms as a "hostile environment"? Islamophobic West is hardly better.

I'm glad someone with some common sense finally posted, although it seems that we are still the minority. To answer the question: "There is no denying that Libya doesn't like Israel, of course. But why would that mean an ordinary Israeli citizen would be in danger?" Would you expect an American to feel comfortable visiting Iraq right now? Would you expect a jewish person to feel comfortable visiting one of the many small towns in america run by neo-nazis?
As for the opinion that FIDE has their own side of the story, I feel much more inclined to believe Milov's story than the story of what I see as a very corrupt organization. I really doubt that FIDE dropped the extra site because it wasn't necessary, but rather because so many Israelis had already refused to sign contracts that FIDE didn't feel like having to make arrangements. If you look at Mig's last comment, the wording from the organizer was quite strong. I'm not claiming the West is necessarily less judgemental, but we seem to be more diverse-- in urban areas a person of islamic background would not stand out at all,wheras in Libya a person of Israeli heritage stands out like a sore thumb.

"There is no denying that Libya doesn't like Israel, of course. But why would that mean an ordinary Israeli citizen would be in danger?"

No, of course, they would be greeted as guests of honour. Acirce, it is admirable indeed that you apply your considerable knowledge and mighty intellect to events in different parts of the world. It is especially wise not to burden yourself with the facts of the matter since the harsh reality may not always stand up to your profound theories.

Quoting from the Open Letter to Ilyumzhinov by Lautier http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/acp260504.html

"Despite assurances from the FIDE Secretariat that visas will be granted to all participants, several facts have recently cast serious doubts on this claim.

1) On the 6th of May 2004, Associated Press have quoted Mr Mohammed Gadhafi, the President of the Libyan Olympic Committee, who also heads the Organizing Committee of the FIDE WCC, as denying that Israeli participants would be allowed inside Libya. The wording of the statement was very strong and left no doubt as to its meaning: the Israeli players are not welcome in Libya.

2) Upon inquiry at the Libyan embassy in Paris, it has been confirmed that a person applying for an entry visa to Libya should not have “an Israeli visa or a trace of passage on Israeli territory” in his or her passport, let alone have an Israeli passport. This necessarily implies that visas would be granted in exceptional conditions for the sole purpose of the FIDE World Championship, however, at this point in time, Libyan consular authorities do not seem to be aware of such exceptional measures.

3) For unclear reasons, the participants of the WCC will not be able to obtain their visas at any of the Libyan embassies in various parts of the world, but only upon arrival at the Tripoli airport. This effectively compels the Israeli participants to travel to an Arab country without possessing a visa, a most unpleasant condition given the tense geopolitical situation in the Middle East.

4) The Israeli Chess Federation has been informed by FIDE that only Israeli participants would be granted a Libyan visa, whereas accompanying persons holding the same passport, such as trainers or close relatives, will be denied entrance to Libya. This fact alone contradicts all rules of fair and equal treatment to all participants of a major sports event, it is certainly in breach with FIDE’s Code of Ethics."

The West is certainly less "judgemental." Don't rush to ignore reality in your desire for even-handed liberalism.

While western countries undoubtedly have their share of ugly bigotry, they do not begin to compare to the sheer xenophobic hatred spewed on some of the state-controlled (and privately owned) media in many Muslim countries.

As for Milov, he had to endure see-sawing, yes-you-can-no-you-can't uncertainty as to whether he'd even be allowed to play (granted, this may as much due to FIDE/Libyan incompetence as to actual hostility). After hearing several successive different versions about his eligiblity, can you blame him for not wanting to play? Would you feel welcome under such circumstances?

1) If we play with this statement a bit, we can conclude that not welcome doesn't exactly mean not allowed (i am doing this because that statement was withdrawn (or to that effect) quickly). They don't need to like it that they let citizens of their enemy state in, but they would have allowed it. Does this automatically imply life threatening circumstances? i doubt it.
2) and 3) Do you honestly suspect massacre or mass-imprisonment of israeli players? It seems a bit far-fetched to me.
4) The situation is unfortunate, but just because Israel and Libya can't get along, it doesn't mean one has to be excluded from the list of civilized countries. Or why not then exclude Israel from it as well? Why not exclude USA for not getting along with a lot of countries? Oh yeah, coz USA is always on the good side, right?
Libya was ready to let in israeli players while it is their foreign policy not to let israelis in the country. It should be understood that there are problems and difficulties in doing such a massive temporary alteration to the policy (and do you realize how much more complications there would have been if not only the players but also their entourage would have had to be allowed in? Btw, in that case, just about any Israeli, those also who could've been Libya's enemies, would've gotten easy access, so...).

i repeat that it is perfectly understandable that there are troubles for isrealis when dealing with a country their government doesn't get along with. This hardly means Libya should be viewed by the outside world as hostile and unfit to host a tournament.

But then, some people are not happy before all the world is their mirror image.

First of all, the US doesn't have a policy not to allow muslim people to travel here or to deny them visa on a regular basis, but the argument at hand has nothing to do with the United States. To be honest, given the circumstances, it would probably not be appropriate to hold the World Championship in Israel either. Every attempt should be made for an event calling itself the "World Championships" so that every player can play. It is certainly possible that something horrible could have happened to an Israeli player, don't be so naive that in tense times it wouldn't be possible to take out agression towards a country on it's citizens or "sympathizers" (look what we did here in the US during World War II with the japanese or even what we did more recently post 9/11 with the muslim community). I consider both these cases quite hostile and I see the same situation occurring now in the middle east.

"i repeat that it is perfectly understandable that there are troubles for isrealis when dealing with a country their government doesn't get along with. This hardly means Libya should be viewed by the outside world as hostile and unfit to host a tournament."
Would your view change if no members of countries of the former soviet union were allowed to play? Who is it okay to exclude and who is it not okay to exclude?

"They don't need to like it that they let citizens of their enemy state in, but they would have allowed it."
From everything I have read this is certainly not obviously true and still fails to address the point that trainers were explicitly not allowed to travel with the players if they had an Israeli passport, how can you be so dellusional as to call this equitable? If you don't want to make the cirumstances for a tournament the same for everyone, that seems to be the perogative of the organizer, however, this event cannot be called the World Championships denying many players a chance at both the title and the prize money.

"This hardly means Libya should be viewed by the outside world as hostile and unfit to host a tournament."
Once again, if libya wants to host A tournament, that's fine, but this is THE "World Championships" and while the legitimacy of the title provided is debated, it certainly can't be argued that this is an event that should be open to all players who have qualified.

We will never know what would have happened had Milov tried to go at the very end. Saying that Libya "was ready to let in Israeli players" is simply not true. The only such statements came from FIDE. Every statement from a Libyan source denied this. It was blatantly clear from the start that FIDE wanted it both ways. They didn't want Israelis there, but they wanted to say everyone was welcome. So they dragged it out eternally, put up barriers to discourage them, and in the end tried to make it look like Milov could have played had he wanted. I have no doubt at all that yet another delay would have arisen had Milov gotten on the first plane.

Right, it's not like Israeli athletes have ever been massacred abroad before. How silly! You might try googling "israeli" and "munich" before you take your foot off the keyboard. It's not (just) about the Libyan government. Israelis and Jews are terror targets all over the world and have been for decades. I moved to Buenos Aires right after the Israeli embassy there was bombed and a few years later the Jewish AMIA center in Buenos Aires was demolished in an Oklahoma City-style truck bombing. Libya wouldn't allow the Israelis to enter with family or coaches, or security.

The principle of a sports federation should be equality among members. Countries that do not welcome every FIDE member nation should not be hosting official events. Comparisons to the US make no sense. US doesn't prohibit the entry of members of FIDE. (Occasional visa problems notwithstanding.) Libya IS hostile toward Israel and if this policy carries over into their ability to host a chess event with participants from a FIDE member federation, it makes them unfit. Imagine if they didn't allow in Russians, or Christians, etc.

If a country prohibits their members from GOING, that's their sad problem. But if you're the host of an official FIDE event you have to accept everyone in FIDE. FIDE sold out one of their most important federations, especially when they discarded Malta at the last moment.

The ignorance exhibited by acirce in his posts is plain scary. Since I have visited Israel, I would not be allowed into Libya. Even if I arrived in Libya, and was told that I could stay, I would rightfully feel that I was in grave danger. Please understand that Arab hatred of Israelis and Jews is NOT based on anything rational or reasonable - in fact, the propoganda shoved down the throats of arabs is so inflammatory, it is no wonder that they harbor such hatred. As hard as it is to fathom, an ordinary Israeli citizen, or non-Israeli jew, is in serious danger of being harmed or killed just for having entered Libya. That is a fact.

Bottom line, any site that cannot comfortably reasonably accommodate all players should not host a world championship. Think about how harmful Olympic boycotts have been over the years...

Hah Mig, we made so many of the same points!!!

Kismet, indeed. Yes, and 99% of these points were made last year in this same forum. We all just like the sound of our voices. I should just start posting links to what was said last year with "ibid" every few hours.

It is likely that Libyan authorities would not have themselves harmed Israeli players (butwho knows?). But there is no shortage of independent loonies who might have, especially in a country like Libya. The least one could expect is to be allowed to bring security.

That's what you get when cultural relativists like acirce begin with a ridiculous preconception (all countries are equally tolerant) without bothering to compare it to the little thing called reality.

"Please understand that Arab hatred of Israelis and Jews is NOT based on anything rational or reasonable - in fact, the propoganda shoved down the throats of arabs is so inflammatory, it is no wonder that they harbor such hatred."

Sigh. I guess it was just a matter of time until these stereotypical anti-Arab racist rants should start coming in. So, fine, enjoy those lovely colonial attitudes towards Arab countries, but keep them to yourself.

Israel and Munich just shows that if such a tragedy is to happen, it could happen everywhere. The key is security, and Libya didn't offer any worse security than any other country. So that argument is not relevant. And Israelis aren't the only ones who have been attacked either.

But nobody is saying that everything was unproblematic. It was a mess. Just that singling Libya out as a particularly problematic country isn't constructive. Especially not when coupled with the standard Western colonial outlook. Recall the Iranian Maghami not getting visa to play in Las Vegas.

There are actually three separate issues -
(a) security, with Milov being denied security which he would have undoubtedly needed (yes, Germany shows that it could happen anywhere, but Libya is a bit still riskier than your average locale, eh what? Like an order of magnitude riskier?)
(b) outright discrimination, with Milov being denied the right to bring seconds, etc.
(c) most importantly, as Mig pointed out, it just seems like the Libyans weren't going to let Milov in, or at the very least, it was in considerable doubt whether they would.

It would be interesting to hear substantive replies to those issues, but I doubt acirce will do any better than further name-calling, e.g., "colonial."

U.S. HAS prohibited entry of FIDE members based on race and religious bias. That's exactly what happened in the 1999 FIDE KO tournament in Las Vegas. Muslims were denied entry into the U.S. for anti-Arab reasons (including Maghami of Iran). Two others (one from Iran and one from Syria) forfeited their 1st round matches. I also know of many Africans who have also been denied visas in the U.S. regardless of whether it was a "friendly" country.

Macuga said, "especially in a country like Libya." What do you know about Libya? Have you visited or talked to people who have been there? Do you know any Libyans? I believe your comments are based on preconceived notions cast by the Western media. You may disagree with the government (and the FIDE situation), but don't cast the whole lot of Libyans into the fire.

eddie f said, "... Arab hatred of Israeli and Jews is NOT based on anything reasonable or rationale." How do you determine when Arab hatred is a reasonable reaction or not? What is your measurement? He also says, "The ignorance exhibited by acirce in his posts is plain scary." Despite the fact that you've visited Israel, I'm sorry to say that you are ignorant of the geopolitical issues (and history) of the region. How can you be totally oblivious to what the Arabs are angry about? Amazing.

There is an interesting bit of trivia as to why there were two Olympiads in 1976... one in Haifa, Israel and one in Tripoli, Libya.

Daaim Shabazz is kind to assume what my background is, without knowing anything about me. As it happens, I have read a fair bit about the history of the region, and took a semester of Arabic in college. I also had an Arab advisor in grad school (from Iraq, actually) who told me a lot about life in the region.

When I talked about "a country like Libya," I did not refer to all Libyans, who I'm sure would be gracious hosts, etc, blah blah. (Although I can't say the same for the Libyan government; I'm sure you're aware of the Lockerbie flight, among other things).

What I meant, though, is that in an environment of hatred for all Israelis and Jews (justified or not) there is likely to be a tiny but significant fringe group who might decide to attack hated foreigners. Thus, even if the official position of the government is one of grudging tolerance (which has not been established outside of claims by FIDE), there is still a considerable risk from fringe groups. That is why security is indepensible. And it is this security that Milov was not allowed.

"U.S. HAS prohibited entry of FIDE members based on race and religious bias. That's exactly what happened in the 1999 FIDE KO tournament in Las Vegas. Muslims were denied entry into the U.S. for anti-Arab reasons (including Maghami of Iran)."

Could you please enlighten us of the religious affiliation of the following Las Vegas participants:

Al-Modiahki M. QAT 2553
Sadvakasov D. KAZ 2468
Bouaziz S. TUN 2372
Kasimdzhanov R. UZB 2603
Mohamed E. EGY 2455
Hamdouchi H. MAR 2529
Adianto U. INA 2607

"Muslims were denied entry into the U.S. for anti-Arab reasons (including Maghami of Iran)."

Daaim Shabazz, since you sound like a real expert of the "geopolitical issues (and history) of the region", would you kindly explain how an Iranian player was denied entry for "anti-Arab reasons"? Could they possibly be anti-Russian or anti-Chinese reasons?

We've gone into this before, Daaim, and there is no proof whatsoever of any categorical denial of entry to the US of any of the participants. I talked to the organizers about this at the time. There were problems getting visas in time, hardly unusual. It can take months to get visas from Iran and other countries with mutually hostile relationships. You compound this by implying that were Maghami a Christian he would have had an easier time getting in, which is ridiculous. How would US immigration know his religion? Hundreds of thousands of Muslims come in and out of the US every year without the US having any awareness of their religious beliefs. We have enough hyperbole around here from people who don't know better, but you do.

well acirce, today there is no safe place. Yourself once mentioned about the Police brutality in your own country. In another thread in the past, you posted anti-jewish messages. Enough of this propaganda. Get to know the reality and hope you keep peace.

FIDE quoted from the FIFA report when they had inspected Libya in their race for the World Cup in 2010:

"Safety and security in the country

Statistics indicate that Libya is an extremely safe country, with a fully-fledged internal security system. Its people are always friendly, outgoing and courteous. Everything to do with internal security is managed by the justice Department through the police and army.

In the opinion of the Inspection Group, if the 2010 FIFA World Cup were granted to Libya, there would be no cause for concern for the safety of the FIFA family and spectators"

I have no idea why Libya should be especially risky. FIFA's assessment is pretty much in line with what I have understood about the country. There is virtually no strife, there is little violence at all and they have an efficient security system. In short a very civilized country.

There _is_ of course, just like in every country in the world, always a small risk that some isolated maniac will attack someone and that the security forces don't manage to stop it. Ooh. Better stay inside my apartment for the rest of my life.


Ryan, you must have me confused with someone else. I never posted anti-Jewish messages. But thanks for confirming my point that no place is entirely safe.

"...they have an efficient security system. In short a very civilized country."

For once, acirce is spot on. Lockerbie alone is an ironclad proof.


I must say that I am very familiar with the region and have studied its history intensely. I have traveled a bit to that region as well. I also hold a Ph.D. in International Affairs if you care to know. That's not to say I am an expert on international chess affairs... I'm merely giving my opinion like everyone else, but I do have knowledge of the chess cases.

OK Mig...

You're right. We have gone down this road before and I hate to be redundant, but I was simply pointing out a double-standard. We know that the Iran-US relationship has been hostile, and likewise Libya-Israel relationship has also been hostile. Let's not pretend that Libya set a precedent with FIDE 2004.

I don't want to get too deeply about the conflicts raging in the Middle East, but the sporting aspect of these conflicts is secondary to the geopolitical overtones. Munich (1972), Haifa/Tripoli (1976), and Tripoli (2004) are no different.

Daaim Shabazz, I am impressed with your credentials, thank you for taking the time to participate in this forum. Since not everyone is fortunate enough to be a Ph.D. in International Affairs, maybe you could try to answer the specific questions posed to you? Just for the sake of simple folks, like myself...

That cheerfull security inspection report doesn't address how adding a group of obviously hated Israeli's to the mix might alter the mood of this Libyan paradise. Since that's not considered the report doesn't seem to mean much in this case.

Thoughts provoked:

There is nothing wrong with FIDE trying to make money. Milov's first paragraph makes a slight implication to otherwise. There is however a major problem wrong with FIDE allowing unethical sponsorship so as to make money.

Milov really does his homework--the references are impressive. However, what is unimpressive is his case. The scenario outlined while not particularly pleasant for the GM and definitely discriminatory should not have prevented him from being able to play. Players should be able to play without coach if necessary. Arriving in the city a few hours before the game is not nice but it's not exactly asking Milov to run a five hour marathon beforehand.

Ilyumdzhinov's personal letter to Milov with offer to pay for travel makes it seem like FIDE was going out of its way to enable him to ultimately play. However, considering FIDE and Libya's unacceptable treatment of GM beforehand (no invitation, no coach) it is far more likely that they figured at this point he would be bound to say no and they would look better than "not letting Israelis into the country". Makes points for the new pro-West initiative of Gadhafi too.

FIDE is not guilty of preventing Israeli GMs from participating in the events. It did however force them to participate (if they so desired--in all fairness we don't actually know if it would have been possible to) under discriminatory terms, thereby failing to create a tournament fair to all participants regardless of their nationality. Thus, they failed as a sports organization.

sacateca, control yourself and stick to the topic. For the record, that's not epic rants about how evil America is. Milov. Libya. FIDE. Chess. Try to include at least one.

And as much as I liked Yuriy's post, I think that lets FIDE off too easily. They conspired to create the result. They could have maintained Malta, they could have admitted early on that Israeli's couldn't play instead of waiting until the one guy who called all their bluffs was finally fed up with their tactics. FIDE behaved reprehensibly throughout and still refuses to admit there were any mistakes or shenanigans.

I simply don't count that final hour crap as "maybe Israelis really could play". They could have gotten a concrete answer right from the start, but they tried to politick it to have it both ways.

Fair enough, it's just hard to resist sometimes!

So, why was the Malta sideshow cancelled, btw? i agree that would have been a fair alternative, but perhaps there was shortage of money or something?

I'm really not sure of the real reason. The reason FIDE gave was that Libya had decided to allow "everyone" to play (they never expressly said "Israelis", part of the game). You can go through the amazing timeline of this as it happened in the old threads on this story. Some players, Milov and I think one other, had already sent in their agreements when Malta was still going. Then, when FIDE discarded it and published the latest list, no Israelis were on it! After a few letters, they reappeared, soon to be taken off again.

Basically the Libyans freaked when "Israelis to play in Libya" hit the headlines. Khaddafi's son, who was in charge of the event, came out and made his "no Zionist enemies will come" statement after that. Spectacular mess, and tragic. The field was already weakened because so many top players didn't like the "winner to play Kasparov" part.


Our exchange doesn't add anything to the discussion. Iranians are not technically considered Arabs, but of course in post 9/11, those with Muslim names, from Muslim nations, or those from nations with sizeable Muslim populations will be given greater scrutiny. You may deny this, but it is certainly true.

Of course, even if religion is not known, there are other criteria that are used to determine who gets a visa and who does not. Who really knows the religion of the six Israeli-Russian players? Is that REALLY important? What is important is the fact that if you are representing a country, you may have certain sympathies and support a particular position. Thus, religion is not as important as where your allegiances lie.


To show how geopolitics affect chess in strange ways... you could be an Englishman who does business in Cuba and be denied a visa to the U.S. (Helms-Burton Act) On the other hand, if we go back to 1966, Fischer was able to play in the Cuba Olympiad during U.S.-Cuba hostilities. Fischer also played Fidel Castro and scored 15/17 on board #1 for the U.S. Strange.

These cases are interesting, but getting back to Libya, it was compounded by the conflict in the Middle East and again, the Libya/Israel issue seemed to have little to do with chess than geopolitics. The hostilities are bilateral and according to GM Emil Sutovsky, Israel law prohibits Israelis from playing in Libya. He cited that (at least twice) as one of the reasons that he declined the invitation (when Malta was withdrawn). It's quite a complicated matter from both sides and not as simple as saying "the Libyans did this or that."

Sorry... I believe there were three Israeli players (not six) who's participation was in dispute. Milov carried an Israeli passport (as did Gulko and others), but his case was separate.

Daaim Shabazz, you are right, this "exchange" does not add very much. Just a reminder: you made a couple of ridiculously wrong statements (Muslims were denied U.S.entry; an Iranian player was denied entry for anti-Arab reasons) and when asked to clarify, the only thing you were able to bring in was your Ph.D. in International Relations. Well, good luck in your research.

BTW, if I am not mistaken, you have also given the wrong name of the Iranian player who was "denied entry" (as you allege) - I think, it was Bagheri (not Maghami.)

OTOH, I salute your breakthrough assertion that "Iranians are not technically considered Arabs". That makes at least some sense, congratulations! I could add some more: "Chinese are not technically considered Japanese", etc.


That was not the flow of the discussion.

When I mentioned my credentials I was referring to your snide comment of "since you sound like a real expert on the geopolitics..." Your sarcastic response was met by me mentioning to you that I do have some credibility to speak on these issues. Of course, you couldn't have known this.

My comment had nothing to do with you asking me to clarify (which I did in the post timed 12:21pm). Did you read my response addressed to you? You're going back to my 8:56pm post, but I'm at 12:21pm. You've read what you wanted to read in my statements.


In FIDE 1999, I believe there were two Iranians and one Syrian (Hakki) who had visa problems. Their countries of origin were listed by the U.S. Department of State as STATE SPONSORS OF TERRORISM. This is a fact. These issues complicate the visa process... of course. Whether it was Bagheri or Maghami, you apparently understood the point, so why the correction? In fact, you've done more to affirm the point I was making.

We are discussing issues of players being denied visas and the impact of geopolitics. Apparently, you do not believe that the U.S. denied visas to players from Iran and Syria. They did... two players had to forfeit. This is a fact. Are you claiming that they were treated like the rest of the players from countries NOT on that list? If so, you are more naive than I thought. These complications are especially prevalent in post-9/11.

Certainly, Libya views players from Israel differently given the nature of the geopolitics. This is a natural reaction. Should Libya view Israel the same as all other nations and vice versa? Well... that can be debated ad infinitum. It's not a simple answer.

Daaim Shabazz, I could indeed be quite naive, you have a point here. As a matter of fact, I am not familiar with your area of research, so I was operating under a naive assumption that being factually correct is actually expected in relevant discussions. Your "credibility to speak on these issues", as established in the course of the conversation above, is not very high, in my view.

I guess, I would be equally naive when having a conversation with someone who claims that 7 * 8 = 52 and when confronted, goes on to assert (with a certain dose of idignation): "How dare you, I am a Ph.D. in Mathematics!" At the same time, people who are able to admit honest mistakes (which we all make occasionally), always deserve my respect.

I am done with this discussion, thank you for your valuable insights.


Sorry I missed your post.

We all pretty intelligent here. I cannot assume anything about your background, but can only base my comments specifically on your post. When you say "a country like Libya" instead of "the Libyan government," it gives quite a different connotation. I have a clearer idea of what you meant after your post. Thanks for clarifying.


You have continued only to attack without addressing points. Besides your ridiculous mathematician analogy, here's one of your gems:

"Acirce, it is admirable indeed that you apply your considerable knowledge and mighty intellect to events in different parts of the world."

How condescending! You make sarcastic remarks throughout your posts attacking all those who disagree, but then you don't respond directly to the poster's comments.

You asked the religion of players participating in 1999 FIDE KO. Your point was to prove that players from Muslim nations received visas and played in 1999 FIDE KO. Someone can use the same argument about Jews playing in Libya.

Roman Parparov, who sits on board of Israel's Federation, identified a number of players of Jewish descent participating in Libya. Again... we are talking about governmental relations more than the religion of select players.

I don't really feel like any of this addresses the point. If the US denied access to players from foreign countries to play and FIDE did not make proper arrangements, AGAIN they were wrong. This is not a debate about whether or not Libya is right or the US is right, it's about whether or not FIDE is right, and by every account they seem to be wrong. I think Mig's point has not been addressed at all, the only statements that Israeli's could enter Libya came from FIDE, Milov was waiting for some indication from the Libyan government, he never got it. Why? Well, probably he never got it because FIDE's claim was bullsh**, they didn't realistically believe that Libya had any intention of allowing entry to these players and should have kept their accomodations. The problem was not just with Israeli's either, players who had VISITED Israel or whom were Jewish were not able to secure the same conditions, again, I do not want to discuss whether or not Libya is right or wrong on this or whether the US would have done the same thing, etc. The point is this again is bullsh**, another group that openly endorces such policies is the neo-nazis which I'm sure FIDE would love to be compared to. The second location could have turned this Knockout tournament into a world championships, but with so many players left out of the competition, this seems impossible. What if Kasparov wanted to play and someone informed Libya that he was born Garry Weinstein, was he also to be excluded from the event if he desired to play? Who/what was FIDE's bottom line? This entire event was a mockery and I believe FIDE owe's AT LEAST some formal apology to these players.

Dear friends,
US definitely can't be considered a friendly country. There were numerous occasions when Russian sportsmen were denied visa, when Cuban or Vietnam team was denied visa, when Muslim sportsmen were denied visa. All these cases happen at official championships. DHS authorities policy is not to explain the reasons for denial. Only in case of high profile sponsors or high profile scandal, they can change their mind.
Does thgis mean USA SHALL BE DENIED a right to organize competitions?
By the way, about 2 month ago Ivanchuk had troubles obtaining Cnanadian visa but Canadian Open organizers were able to successfully resolve the issue.

You seem to be confusing past and present, and stop with the "Muslims denied" myth. Were those nameless denied Cubans also Muslims? If not, why not say that Catholics were denied? Silly.

Of course the US should be denied the right to host an official FIDE event if they do not allow the players of a FIDE member nation to enter the country. But that is not the case, so what's your point? There will always be cases in which an individual visa is delayed or even denied. This can happen in any nation to anyone. That is not the same thing as the players of one nation being allowed into a host country.

The next time someone declares political asylum from a former soviet republic in Libya, let me know.

Daaim Shabazz, this exchange is no longer chess-related and so does not belong here. Feel free to follow up by e-mail if you wish, I will respond. I doubt that you will, though, since your last post leaves me in doubt as to whether you can actually read.
Best regards.

Has US not allowed players of a FIDE member nation to enter the country? Are Muslims generally not allowed in the US? If either is the case, that seems rather stupid, but the more important question is, whether the policy is political or racial or justifiable.


Please, this country is run by crazy conservatives who could justify any form of police action that increases "security" by 0.0000000000001%.

Please, this thread is political enough as it is. And give an explanation/excuse for is not the same as justify.

well, jegutman, these days we have no choice. For security sake, almost any type of police action is justified. Atleast since 9/11, we did not have any incident and let us continue to trust our leaders and hope for safety.

Well, this is certainly an example of why talking religion and politics is bad manners at the dinner table. Peace to all. The Ghost intends no disrespect to anyone.

I do not understand why the quick, emphatic jump to make this issue an “anti-Arab” or “anti-Islamic” discussion. Milov did not file a complaint against the Libyan government, sports ministry, organizers, president, or any other individual or group within Libya. Milov filed a complaint against FIDE because FIDE abrogated their responsibility to demand all competitors be treated equally at such an event.

Does the Libyan government retain the right to restrict or forbid any individual or group entry into their country? Absolutely. They are no different than any other sovereign nation. However, FIDE took at least a million dollars off the top from the Libyan government to allow Libya to host this event knowing Libyan policy strictly states Israelis, Jews, or individuals who have a passport stamp from Israel are not allowed entry.

This is not new. This is and has been Libyan policy. FIDE knew this policy and took the money anyway. FIDE paid lip service to a parallel event in order to avoid a huge backlash and maybe boycott by other players. When the contracts were signed and travel arrangements were made, FIDE canceled the parallel event and published a list of competitors absent any Israeli/Jewish names who had signed and submitted their agreements to play.

The players protested and FIDE had no choice, by contract, to add their names to the list. News of this action prompted Libyan Minister of Youth and Sports, Qadhafi, to publicly state in the most inflammatory language the “Zionist” enemy would not be allowed to enter.

No retraction by the Libyan Minister was ever made nor any statements softening this position was made by any representative of the Libyan government or President Qadhafi. The Libyan position became crystal clear and no amount of placating tones from FIDE would change this position. Since Kirsan had already pocketed his share of the million(s) the event could not be canceled or changed.

FIDE’s response was to “give assurances” to the players they could enter, but, their trainers, coaches, and family could not come. How is this equal treatment? Nakamura’s family was present. And Kasimdzhanov had his family, trainers and coaches. As did many others. As for Libyan authorities: They remained mute.

Milov called FIDE’s bluff on this issue down to the last minute, but ultimately decided the venture was too risky. Should he arrive on Libyan soil without a passport, Libyan law required he be arrested as a spy. Who knows whether he would have gotten that far. Most likely he would have made it to Rome or Palermo and been denied entry onto the airliner. Perhaps the aircraft would have developed “mechanical difficulties” or a “visa” problem, delaying Milov until after the aircraft left. Milov’s family no doubt convinced him the risk was too great.

At issue in Milov’s complaint was FIDE violated the Player’s Undertaking signed by both parties. FIDE managed to cover their collective butt just enough (the “pay for travel expenses” probably was the deciding factor) to avoid losing this court fight.

All members of FIDE and ACP should be concerned. To any casual observer (as I am), it seems abundantly clear Kirsan knowingly sold out the Israeli/Jewish members for money from Libya. No claims of “anti-islamic or –arabic” rhetoric changes these facts. What amazes me, as a casual observer, is the apathy by individual members and national organizations to this type of abuse of its members by Kirsan/FIDE. I am no longer a member of the USCF for this very reason.

And for Allah’s/Jehovah’s/God’s sake, let’s all try to be less defensive. Just because I am diametrically opposed to G. W. Bush’s policies does not make me anti-American. FIDE dealt in bad faith with its Israeli and Jewish members. I would feel the same way if the situation was reversed (World Championship tournament in Tel Aviv) and members of Jordan, Syria, or Iran were treated similarly.


MG, it so refreshing to listen to the voice of reason once in a while. Pity you don't post more often...

The Milov case was heard by a court with a lot more information than what we have on this board. They granted a ruling. Why was FIDE found not to be liable? Where the judges who sat the case also biased? It would be interesting to read the court transcripts of the case, but where can we find them?

While I commend Mozart's Ghost on the spirit of his post, there is one issue that we have skirted. Several players of Jewish faith apparently participated in the tournament, so perhaps religion does not appear to be the main issue here. Many of the top players who were missing did not participate for a multitude of reasons, not all of them related to the Libya/Malta geopolitical embroglio.

I believe the 1976 Haifa/Tripoli parallel Olympiads are interesting cases with a similar twist. In the aftermath of the Middle East war and subsequent oil crisis, tensions were very high in the Middle East. FIDE decided to hold the Olympiad in Haifa, Israel. Many nations decided to boycott and a parallel tournament was held in... Tripoli, Libya. Haifa drew 48 teams while Tripoli drew 38. Olimpbase.org has a couple of interesting stories on these Olympiads.

What a chess world we live in!

Peace to you, Shabazz

I was not referencing the term “Jewish” in a religious sense, but a racial sense. Specifically, those Hebraic individuals descended in an ancestral line beginning with Abraham/Ibrahim through Isaac and the twelve sons of Jacob. I am also aware Israeli citizens can be different ancestries and religions including descendants of Ibrahim/Isaac/Esau of the Islamic faith, as well as others who are Christian, Hindu, Buddhists and maybe a few Rosicrucians to boot.

I am aware of no Americans of Hebraic ancestry or Jewish faith who attended the event although several, including Boris Gulko, would have attended a parallel event should one have been held. He, like Milov, decided without specific statements accepting their entry into the country from the Libyan government (as opposed to FIDE “assurances”), traveling to Tripoli was too risky. After all, he and his wife had already spent too many years in a Soviet gulag.

I am aware of the report you speak, but not knowing any specifics of those individuals, their background or nationalities I am unable to comment. However, your point is well taken. The “religion” of the individual in reference to Libyan policy is not the point. It is the association with the nation of Israel whom was described by the Libyan organizer as the “Zionist enemy”.

My reference, “Israeli/Jewish” in regards to this issue is to highlight Kirsan/FIDE’s willingness to allow a particular group, based on race or national heritage to be excluded from an international event in direct violation of FIDE’s own bylaws. As they say in the American west, “Money talks, b---s---t walks.”

Yes, what a mess our world, and by extension the chess world, we have allowed to come into existence.

Blessings and peace be with you.


MG, a small correction: to the best of my knowledge, Boris Gulko and his wife Anna had not spent time in a Soviet gulag. Unless you mean the Soviet Union itself, of course.

They had lived for a few years as refuseniks which was certainly no paradise and in fact Boris may have been arrested and beaten up by KGB goons on at least one occasion. However, I don't think they actually served time in prison per se. I would appreciate if anyone more knowledgeable could comment on the matter.

Thank you dz. I spoke from a faulty memory. Gulko and his wife were refuseniks being denied immigration from USSR. Gulko and his wife were, nevertheless, the subject of heavy-handed anti-semitism as refusenik Jews. Eventually, Gulko and his wife were allowed to immigrate. In searching for any reference to incarceration I ran across this interesting open letter, which I had forgotten. [Being non-corporeal has disadvantages ;-)] It speaks to the subject matter at hand. http://www.gmsquare.com/gulkoletter.html

Peace be with you.

I just find it astounding that anyone would defend FIDE's decision to hold a major tournament in a country that expressly forbids certain races or religions from visiting. Of course there are typical visa problems in any country, but the vast majority of countries do not outright deny visas to specific groups of people. Libya does. Therefore FIDE is automatically in the wrong here. Remember, only FIDE ever claimed that everyone would be allowed to get in. Libya never said this. Milov could have made it into the airport in Libya perhaps, but he would have been turned away right there. And it really doesn't matter if you doubt this, because Libya's policy is well known and puts FIDE in the wrong regardless.

"Only FIDE ever claimed that everyone would be allowed in Libya"? Dear knight_tour, please get your homework done before posting anything like this.

This is the link to the official invitation of the Libyans http://www.fide.com/news/download/InvitGhat.jpg in which the Libyan Olympic Committee clearly states "The Great Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya will pleasantly provide entry visas to all the qualified participants of this great Championship"

So it is obvious who guaranteed entrance to all the participants: it was the Libyan state and not FIDE. And this was the fact which turned the Milov case to FIDE's favor.

This is a little off topic, people feel like 9/11 was caused by bad security, it really was not, FIVE!!!!! of the terrorists set off metal detectors and four had their names on terrorist watch lists, we just needed to use the security we had in place. Also, why is everyone so risk averse. I understand it makes some sense to be risk averse, but I mean it's like paying a million dollars in insurance to make sure you have at least $100,000 income each year, it doesn't make any sense.

i live in egypt which is considered as an arab country yet i find the libyan decision is totaly wrong
the should have allowed and israelis or jews playes to enter the country and treated them like any other players because politic shouldnot be a part of this and it harmed the libyans image and the fide image

I was more referring to vocal confirmation by Libyan officials that all players would truly be allowed to play. "Official invitations" mean little to an airport official. As has been commonly noted, Libyan official statements were quite blatantly stating that Israelis would not be allowed to enter the country. I think that is pretty strong evidence. How would these officials have explained to their people that they allwed them in? Clearly they never had any intention of doing so.

Peace Mozart's Ghost,

One small note... Gulko would've played in LIBYA!

If I'm reading correctly, he mentions having a change of heart only after the comments by Gathafi. He had already made his committment. I'm using your link again...



The timing of Gathafi's comments is strange. I wonder if a recording of Gathafi's comments is available. Is a transcript available? How did the conversation lead to "Zionist enemies"? Who else was at the press conference besides the Associated Press?

Giannis, thank you for the link, a very curious document indeed. I wonder, what does he (Mohammad Qadhafi) mean here: "We are pleased to note that nearly all the top chessplayers of the world will have the possibility..." That "nearly" is rather interesting, isn't it?

And in fact the phrase you quote yourself is a little ambiguous, too, isn't it? "...Jamahiriya will pleasantly provide entry visas to all the qualified participants of this great Championship." "Qualified" participants?

Well, it looks like Mr. Qadhafi (fils) realized that a clarification is required for the term "qualified" as he views it and he duly supplied one in his address a few days after the original document had been issued (May 6th and April 24th, respectively.)

The only trifle he apparently overlooked was to slightly modify the Gens Una Sumus down below. Sorry, Latin is not my first language - where do you insert "minus the Jews"?

Here is again the link given above by Giannis: http://www.fide.com/news/download/InvitGhat.jpg

Mig, I just realized, I quoted you without attribution: http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt/archives/blair_watch_project.htm

As you said above, we have been there before. Sorry for plagiarism...

And here is the translation: http://www.chessbase.com/columns/column.asp?pid=180
Mig, you are all over the place, aren't you?


I find it amusing that somebody challenges Daaim's credentials for speaking on a subject, and then, when met with said credentials, regards this sharing of information as arrogance. Debates work a lot better if people are not being selective with regard to which parts they want to read and which parts they conveniently ignore.

Now, regarding the issue in Libya, I believe that the big issue should NOT be that Libya did not allow Israelis to participate, so much as it is that FIDE knowingly accepted a bid from a country which served its own interests in such a manner as to make the chaos likely. Kirsan deals only with characters who can be described as either unsavory or, at the very least, not the most accomodating or trusted individuals around, for whatever reason (media bias in representation, known attrocities, of what have you). FIDE then went forward and, trying to save face, announced that ALL participants would be allowed into Libya, a move not uncommon from an organization that will guarantee that Elvis Pressley will be at the opening ceremony until the last possible minute. Their guarantees are worthless, like German money at the time of the Great Depression, and it is not outside of the realm of possibility that Libya told them about their misgivings regarding Israeli nationals only to have this covered up by FIDE until the last possible moment. Current FIDE leadership needs to go; that is without question. I have the feeling that Ilyumzhinov would have held this tournament in Apartheid-era South Africa and agreed to restrict all black players to some undergound room if he could have been guaranteed the prize fund he was looking for. The epitome of class and decency he is not.



Maliq, I don't really want to revisit that but with all respect your description of our exchange with Daaim is not quite accurate. I challenged two specific statements he made and only questioned his credentials when he failed to respond to the concrete issues I raised and brought in his Ph.D. degree instead. Please follow your own recipe regarding parts to read and parts to ignore.

As far as your Ilyumzhinov / Lybia analysis is concerned, I think you are right on, I fully agree.


Very well, dz, the issue regarding Daaim is at rest. I apologize if I did not have an accurate read on your exchange with him.




Anyone who is following the discussion knows what transpired. You are mean-spirited in practically all of your posts.

DZ, "nearly all top players" obviously means that Kasparov, Kramnik, etc, were not playing in Libya, remember?

"qualified participants" obviously means that the participants qualified through continental championships, zonals, etc. to play in Libya.

It's incredible that you are still trying to find holes in a very clear invitation, written by Qaddafi in the most official way possible... Prejudice in its full form...

Giannis, as I said, the document we discuss is ambiguous - that is to say, it allows different interpretations. Yours is definitely a valid one, although it would have been much more "obvious" if Qadhafi himself had employed the clear formulas you use in your explanations.

BTW, how would you explain the statement made by the same Qadhafi just a few days later? That one was anything BUT ambiguous - it stated that Israeli players would not be let in. Had Mr. Qadhafi suddenly forgotten the document he had signed just 12 days before? It looks like your interpretation makes Mr. Mohammad Qadhafi a bold-faced liar, whereas I try to find some consistency in his behavior. Who is "prejudiced" here?

DZ, there was no statement made by Qaddafi about never inviting the "zionist enemy" in Libya. The Libyan Chess Federation officially reported that this statement was never made.

If you check, you will see that most of this trash was published only in some right-wing Israeli media. I'm surprised that you're not aware of the propaganda methods used by nationalistic hardliners in both the Israeli and Arab world...

That we don't have any Arab speakers amongst us doesn't mean it never happened. It's exactly the sort of "say one thing to the locals and another internationally" stuff that goes on everywhere, especially in places with largely state-controlled press. There are all sorts of crazy statements in national papers that they hope don't make it far and wide. And Haaretz is hardly the right-wing press.

A quick google check delivers quite a few of media outlets all over the world that reported the statement made by Mohammad Qadhafi barring the "Zionist enemy". Here is a sample:

Malta Today (Malta): http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/2004/05/09/t10.html

ABC (Australia): http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2004/s1140243.htm

The Daily Telegraph (UK): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/06/20/wpawn20.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/06/20/ixworld.html

The Moscow News (Russia): http://english.mn.ru/english/issue.php?2004-27-17

Rusnet (The Netherlands): http://rusnet.nl/news/2004/06/03/report01.shtml

A few more in Russian:

La Stampa (Italy): http://www.inopressa.ru/print/lastampa/2004/06/03/12:59:43/shahmaty

Gorod.lv (Latvia): http://www.gorod.lv/index.php?cat=1&rubid=9&subrubid=86

Sportcom.ru (Russia): http://sportcom.ru/sport/shahmat/news40d2bb54.htm

All that is just "some right-wing Israeli media", right, Giannis?

The published comments by Gaddafi's son were of great help to FIDE during the court case because they were able to use the defence - explained by a senior FIDE official to Milov the day before the tournament when it looked as if no visa would be granted - that FIDE was "tricked" into believing that Israelis would be granted visas when Gaddafi had never intended to do so.
That FIDE eventually talked Gaddafi around to (apparently) agreeing to grant Milov (but not his second) a visa at the last minute was no doubt important in the eyes of the Court of Abritration for Sport; it is probably one of the reasons why FIDE earned an honourable draw in the Court (both sides paying their own costs) - the CAS ruled that Milov would have been disadvantaged but FIDE had made efforts to reduce that disadvantage to the minimum possible under the circumstances and should not be punished.

DZ, the international media of course copied the reports which were originally posted in Israeli media. No discovery of the Americas here.

But as long as you insist to back your arguments by rumours and suspicious journalist reports, there is no need to continue this conversation. To my taste, official documents are more legitimate than rumours and gossip.

The original reports were carried by the AP and only then copied in international (including Israeli) media. You can call that gossip, of course, or collective hallucination if you prefer - but, I agree, it is mostly the question of personal belief. Likewise, you can claim (with equal success) that any event in history in fact never happened. For instance, how about a rumour that a war allegedly started in Europe on September 1, 1939 - isn't it just a fruit of Jewish propaganda trying to besmirch the honest German people?

I also agree that "there is no need to continue this conversation".


Yes...AP ran the story first which was then picked up by "stringers" of different agencies. However, these stories are often circulated by agencies without factchecking the content. In journalism there is a saying... "News burns in your hands." So hot stories are often run without proper screening.

I used to work for a very large media organization and we used to get stuff hot off the wire. When writing stories, we factchecked with three independent sources, but the AP was considered a reliable source and given a higher weight. I haven't checked your links, but they are probably cite the story as coming from AP. However, I have seen many AP stories with countless factual errors. These errors are then circulated and taken as fact.

As I said earlier, we need to find out who else was at the press conference and whether there is an authentic record. The "Zionist Enemies" stories has never been corroborated. Why weren't there any reports circulated by other independent agencies with a different account? All accounts of what he said are exactly the same. Was AP the only agency there? I would doubt it. Even the context of Gathafi's statements are very strange indeed and could only have hurt Libya's image at a time when they were making inroads to diplomacy around the world.

Initially, no one has ever questioned the source and in a charged atmosphere these statements take a life of their own... as they have here.

Daaim Shabazz, I am not really sure what is your point here. If you are busy researching who else was at the press conference, the only thing I can help you with is that I myself had not attended it and so have no first-hand knowledge of what exactly was said there.

That said, I can only repeat myself and reiterate that (like with any event you have not witnessed in person) it becomes a matter of personal belief as to which sources you trust and which do not. In this case, the choice is quite clear: reports in dozens of media outlets citing the AP wire versus the statement by Giannis citing the Libyan chess federation. Everyone is certainly entitled to his/her choice in the matter. Hard as it is, I have made mine.

We can debate these things till we are blue in the face and never get anywhere, it is not really productive. If I may, I would like to give you another example. There is a theory popular among some people in Russia that the "common" chronology is totally wrong. I hate to mention that, but at one point a very famous grandmaster was fond of toying with it, I don't know if he still is. The subject is debated to no end in numerous Russian publications. The conclusion, however, is always the same - some people believe it, many others don't. History (even modern, as we see in our case) is not mathematics, there is no such thing as proof there.

C'mon Daaim Shabazz, I understand Libya has taken SOME undeserved scrutiny in this thread, but your arguments are starting to sound like a man in utter denial. I have no reason to believe those statements were falsified nor do I believe you have any reason to believe they were falisified that doesn't amount to a conspiracy theory. On a related note, the Holocaust did happen, Neil Armstrong did land on the moon, and we are not living in the Matrix. I believe relatively blindly accepting printed facts is a lot more rational than blindly denying them. I don't believe the former is what dz is doing, but I feel the latter is what you're doing.

Nice to see someone finally admit that there is no proof that the "Zionist enemies" statement is more than a rumour.

It's always impossible to reach total certainty in matters like these so I agree with the approach that in the final analysis you just have to decide what sources you want to believe in. If you believe that the statements are true, go ahead. But this is not proof and you should not pretend it is.

Acirce, I am glad that you agree with me, at least partially (a meta-agreement, if you will). I guess, there is a first time for everything.

Sorry, I can not respond to your full statement. I have been already condemned for "mean-spiritidness" after my exchanges with you, I have to behave now...

Who admitted there was "no proof"? I don't think anybody "admitted" anything. There is EVIDENCE!!!!!! Where's your proof that you have a brain? I can take an X-ray, but that's just evidence, let's cut off your head and see for sure. That is exactly the type of argument you're providing here. This is you: "Oh well, all these reliable news sources mention this happening and no reliable news source is denying it, but what about all those reliable news sources that don't mention it at all? It must be a conspriacy and a cover up. There is very little that can ever be "proven" to the extend you apparantly require. I mean we all see you typing in English, but maybe these are just random keystrokes that just happen to form words in English. Now you might say that if we ignore capitalization the odds of you forming a sentence that makes you sound rational is extraordinarily slim, but the probability is not zero, hence this is a possibility. So now my claim is that acirce is a monkey tapping randomly at a keyboard and not a person with rational thought capabilities and you cannot "disprove" this theory from the post however absurd it may be. It is not unreasonable to accept that something that is 99% true is fact until there is a FACT given to contradict this. I mean we could all be like you acirce, why would anybody want to require that things be logical? In fact, why would anybody presume the logical conclusion above any other? Why should we guide our principals based on past experiences? Each time we breathe should we question why we take action now believing the air is poisonous? I'm telling you acirce, you'd make a great scientist. So what is Milov's agenda if he's lying? What's the purpose of all of this? He didn't want to get paid and play in the world championships? Please acirce, with your amazing power of deduction and reasoning, explain.

Don't be ridiculous, jegutman. Everybody knows that what media reports say are often wrong. You comparing this to the Holocaust, the moon landing and me knowing English as apart from just typing random letters that happen to turn into English words show that you have no sense for realistic comparisons. Sorry, won't waste my time on a "discussion" on that level.

Come on, acirce, some media reports are definitely good enough even for the most skeptical among us. The ones dealing with police brutality in Stockholm, for example.

Acirce, you clearly missed my point which was supposed to be slightly exaggerrated. My point was that you don't have any real evidence the statement wasn't made, your only argument is that you don't believe it happened and sometimes the press is wrong. I would say a very higher percentage of news stories are in fact true and the situation is logical. I will ask these questions: So what is Milov's agenda if he's lying? What's the purpose of all of this? He didn't want to get paid and play in the world championships? Is there some conspiracy among Jewish players and Israeli players AND people who have merely visited Israel to bring down Libya in some coordinated act? If this is what you believe, please state your case, but these claims seem a little extravagant with nothing to support your beliefs.

acirce, I am really sorry about my earlier post.


I'm not debating Milov's claim here... a court already ruled on that with more information than we have. I'm questioning the statement that has been used to influence players to boycott an event. That's a serious charge. In such a case, questions should be raised... especially when it was reported that the Israel chess body considered a lawsuit.

My point in mentioning the AP is that the "Zionist enemies" statement has come from ONE source. Is that not a bit strange for a press conference in a major event dubbed the "World Championship"? It is.

I cannot say whether these statements were said or not for the same reasons "dz" has mentioned... I wasn't there. However, with the information we have, the comments were a bit strange to me (as they were when the story broke). Can anyone come up with a rationale to why the AP was the ONLY news agency reporting on this?

In journalism, there is something call "fact-checking." This involves a checking source with a number of different sources to verify its validity and to locate errors in fact. However, in this case, only one source was produced (for the "Zionist statement") and others picked up the same story and quoted AP. I'm baffled that no one else reported on such a statement. This is very strange for such an explosive case that greatly influenced the tournament.

Daaim Shabazz, just out of curiosity, do you have any opinion of the other story mentioned by Milov in his open letter - the one about FIDE taking Libya out of contention for World Cup 2010 for refusing to let the Israeli team in? Does that one also seem "strange" to you? Can we possibly discern some noteworthy similarity here?

The report referenced by Milov is dated, as he points out, May 15, 2004 and can be found here: http://www.news24.com/News24/Sport/SA_2010_bid/0,,2-9-1606_1527597,00.html

OOPS, I meant FIFA, of course, sorry for the fingerfehler...


Yes... there is a similarity. You are attempting to show a pattern of behavior and that's the logical thing for one to do. I read that FIFA story when it broke, but let us remember... the Milov case was heard by a court and FIDE was not found liable for damages. These judges have access to a lot more information and testimony than we do. Courts deal with facts only. Do you believe that Milov used the FIFA argument in his FIDE case? I would believe so.

I haven't read the Milov hearing, but it would be interesting to see the flow of the arguments and whether the "Zionist enemy" statement was admissable as evidence. If so, did the court ask any questions about the statement? One cannot go into a court and say, "I read it off the AP wire, the Internet and other media sources." Where's the Milov case? Is it available for public viewing?

Back to that statement...

I've checked the English sources you listed from that statement. Practically all of them point to the AP, one erroneously accused Muammar Gathafi (Qaddafi) of making the statement and another spoke primarily of geopolitics and mentioned the chess case in a fleeting way. I'm not attacking you for posting these... in fact, it was good you did.

If Israel chess body wanted to sue (as they had talked about) they'd have to answer this same question about authenticity. If this was a press conference, then there had to have been more than one agency represented and some type of record of the press conference (audio, video). Why weren't there independent stories?

I'm more concerned that people don't question things. To me there is no such thing as a conspiracy. Cases can either be proven or disproven. However, to determine this, one cannot rely on a single source when there apparently were many people at the press conference.

jegutman, I haven't even said that I believe the probability that the statement was made to be less than 50%. I just believe in assuming innocence until proven guilty. Media already has way too much power when it comes to influencing people's opinions. There is no reason that we should accept that. As for Milov "lying" about this specific matter, I don't think he is, what he says he thinks happened is probably what he actually thinks happened. But he wasn't there either, so there is no reason to give his words more weight. Other than that I refer to Daaim's latest posts, that I find very good.

Ryan, no problem.

Peace to all.

Has this discussion become a playground argument? “Yes he did” “No he didn’t” “Yes he did”… ad infinitum.

The Associated Press reporters are not infallible, nor are any of us. However, the AP reporters are considered reliable sources. That is the reason AP reports are carried so often by major news outlets worldwide. Did the AP send a reporter to Tripoli, Libya in order to misquote a government official? Unlikely. Does the AP have a reporter assigned to a “desk” in Tripoli, Libya? Most likely, since it is a major world capital city. Would such a reporter be conversant in Arabic? Very likely, since a permanent post to report news in a country whose language is Arabic would by necessity require the ability to speak and read the language. It is also likely the reporter is a Libyan national as the AP does try to use reporters who are citizens of the country they report from as much as possible. These, of course, are assumptions.

The discussion, heretofore, has focused on three questions: 1) Did the Libyan Minister actually make the alleged statement; 2) Did FIDE deal duplicitously, and violate it’s charter/by-laws, in organizing the event in Tripoli, Libya; 3) Was the Court of Arbitration’s decision in the Milov case fair or reasonable. My position regarding these questions has been stated in earlier posts.

Nevertheless, since the discussion seems to have moved in the direction of question 1, I am compelled to make some observations: Which was the bigger news story? The story quoting the Libyan Minister, or the story FIDE had included Israeli citizens on the list of participants in Libya and were apparently going to be allowed into Libya to play. And which came first? If I recall correctly, when news sources became aware Israeli citizens were to be admitted into Libya for the tournament, newspapers throughout Western and Middle Eastern countries ran banner headlines. Why? Because such action was seen as a major shift in Libyan government policy. The statement by the Libyan Minister a few days later left no doubt the Libyan government had no such change in policy. No clarification, no retraction, no claims of misunderstanding were ever, ever, ever, ever, issued by any Libyan government official. The only source claiming Milov (or other Israeli citizens or those with an Israeli stamp on their passport) could enter Libya was FIDE. And considering FIDE’s history, I do not consider their leadership reliable sources of accurate information.

Finally, in deciding whether the report of the Libyan Minister’s assertion was accurate, one must look at the policy of the Libyan government, including statements made by other officials, including the President. The term “Zionist Enemy” is one which is commonly used to refer to the State of Israel by Libyan state officials and press. The Libyan government’s position remains the State of Israel exists illegally on land belonging to the Palestinians. Furthermore, until such land is returned to the Palestinian government, a state of war exists between the two countries. Specifically, “Zionists” is a term referring to Israeli nationalists, and “enemy” is commonly used by those at war when referring to each other. Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable to accept the accuracy of a news report stating the Libyan Minister referred to Israeli citizens as “Zionists” and “enemy”, when making an official statement affirming and consistent with long-standing Libyan government policy.

Peace to you all.

Mozart’s Ghost

I am sorry, Daaim Shabazz, I thought I asked you a specific question. Let me try to rephrase it. What do you think about the story (as reported by the South African news site referenced above) of the Libyan bid to stage the World Cup 2010 rejected by FIFA after Libya had stated that Israeli players would not be allowed to enter the country? Suggested choices:

(a) suspicious

(b) credible

(c) no opinion

(d) don't want to answer

(e) none of the above

Either one is perfectly fine with me, but, I guess, not all of them at once. Would you be willing to take a shot?

Mozart's Ghost,

Your post articulates well what I've been trying to point out for a few posts now. People talk about "innocent until proven guilty" like this is some 100% sure fire system in the United States and this is clearly not even close to the case. If the AP misquoted Libya at a time where the country was trying to reform, why wasn't this a scandal? If the Libyan authorities didn't see Israeli's as the "Zionist Enemy" then why couldn't they even claim to make arrangements for the player's seconds?
Was FIDE wrong? Absolutely. Daaim Shabazz keeps mentioning that the court knew more than us, but in fact, is it possible that the court still didn't know enough? There are cetainly tons of trials where someone is found "not guilty" in the US, but this is not being found "innocent". Does this make sense? No. Does it work? Sometimes. Is there anything obviously better? I don't think so. However, is it possible for the courts to be upholding the law, FIDE to have acted incorrectly, and Milov's claims rejected? ABSOLUTELY.

I think it is just plain wrong to make assumptions regarding the facts based on a court's verdict. The cases are routinely decided on technicalities and that is, I believe, exactly what happened in Milov's case. See, for example, an explanation given above in this thread by Tassie Devil.


As I stated, there are similarities in the two cases and if I were the plaintiff, I would also try to present this as proof, but ONLY if the second case had similiar credibility. The first case is widely known and reportedly by a number of different news agencies... that's the difference. That report appears credible, but the circumstances between the two cases are different.

I've re-read Tassie Devil's interesting response and the points are well-stated, but what are we arguing here? That the case was decided on a technicality? What was the technicality? We need to get the court transcipt otherwise this is all speculation on the Milov case.

Mozart's Ghost,

I appreciate your well-articulated post. Thanks for taking the time and effort to add to the discussion. I understand the geopolitics of the region and the history of Zionism (although I have not read Theodor Herzl's "The Zionist State"). I understand how it is perceived by the Arab/Muslim world. However, in THIS case, I'm merely raising questions.

1. Who were the other agencies at the press conference?

2. Where is the transcript of the press conference?

3. What else did Mohammad Gathafi say during the press conference?

4. What was the reaction to his "Zionist enemy" comment?

5. Did people walk out or challenge him?

6. Was there a follow-up question?

7. Were there any post-conference comments?

If the AP got the "Zionist enemy" quote, they must've gotten the other questions and answers of the press conference. Why was the "Zionist enemy" the only statement quoted? Not even basic journalistic details existed in these AP reports. The following report is one of the first ones that ran, but it erroneously attributes Muhammad's brother, Saadi as making the ill-fated statements.


AP is not always credible and there must be another account of what happened. In addition, the AP DOES NOT have a bureau in Tripoli; Egypt and South Africa are the only African nations with a bureau. The Middle East has only one with a bureau... Israel (with two). Now you can make of this what you want, but you presented this argument and I've only presented the data.

As for Milov's case, we can speculate whether one party is guilty or innocent (after the verdict), whether the trial was fair and whether all the data are in. What I'm trying to point out is that there is a record somewhere and answers exist. We cannot go with one source for such an explosive statement, but that's what the chess world has done. Elsewhere in this thread, someone wrote that Libya asserted the statements were not made, but of course those who are looking at Libya's background would never believe this.


I am not arguing what Libya should have done about the arrangements for seconds. I'm raising a questions... that's all. The whole case centers around one statement. AP seemed to be the only source for this statement. For that to be the case at a major press conference (for a World Championship no less) is strange indeed.

You're questioning whether the court had all the facts and that's fine, but until we read the case, it's hard to assume the court didn't have all the facts available. I'm sure Milov had an astute attorney and presented the case as best as he knew how. Why wouldn't Milov present all the relevant facts if he is suing?

Daaim Shabazz, thank you for answering my question. I agree with you that reports of FIFA rejecting Libya's bid seem credible. However, some of the doubts you have articulated with regards to the notorious statement made by Mohammad Qadhafi seem to be equally applicable to the football story. Quoting from your earlier post:

"Even the context of Gathafi's statements are very strange indeed and could only have hurt Libya's image at a time when they were making inroads to diplomacy around the world."

On the contrary, the context is anything but strange and Libya's image as reflected by these two episodes is quite consistent and in fact can hardly be harmed any further.

I also agree with you that the data we currently have at our disposal is incomplete. Your numerous questions are well put and knowing answers would certainly help us understand the matter better. I don't have any of the transcripts handy; if you come across any, please share them. Meanwhile, we have to work with whatever facts we have at this time. Which is, I would add, a perfectly normal thing and happens all the time. Scientists create theories (call them speculation if you prefer, that does not matter) that must cover all the known facts and when/if new facts contradict the theory, the latter must be updated (or scrapped altogether.)

So my "speculation" is mostly based on Milov's narrative which I find credible and consistent with the facts as I see them. I also base my theory on my familiarity with other factors; for example, I had been following Ilyumzhinov's career for years before he became FIDE president. My speculative theory goes as follows (the order may not be strictly chronological):

(1) On April 26, 2004, Libya issues an official document (signed by Qadhafi's son) purporting to guarantee visas to all participants. The document is full of holes in my view, although this factor actually works in Libya's favour because it provides some consistency.

(2) On April 27, FIDE announces that the whole tournament will take place in Tripoli - no more Malta.

(3) On May 5, Qadhafi Jr. declares that "We did not and will not invite the Zionist enemy to this championship." (AP)

(4) FIDE goes ahead with the tournament.

(5) On May 15, it is reported that FIFA rejects Libya's bid to host World Cup 2010 after "Libyan officials had stipulated that every nation was welcome except Israel" (news24.com)

(6) Milov sues FIDE.

(7) FIDE gets off on a number of technicalities. Such as "the current Regulations do not oblige the organizers to invite the accompanying persons." (Milov's open letter.) In short, the FIDE's treatment of Milov (however discriminatory) was found by the court not to be in contradiction of Regulations.

There are, of course, many more reported relevant episodes that did not make it into this abbreviated timeline. Such as Ilyumzhinov granting Qadhafi (Moammar, of course) the title of grandmaster. Or (as reported by Sutovsky) Israeli players not receiving personalized invitations, unlike everyone else. However, the selection above in my view presents a sufficiently clear and consistent story.


Interesting post. We've covered a bit of ground.

I still take issue with point #3. In fact, the more I dig, the more I'm finding out that the AP is not an objective source in this matter. That's all I will say at that. You can conduct your own research on this. In addition, how can the AP report on Libya/Israel/FIDE be reliable when there are basic errors of fact therein (i.e., Saadi instead of Muhammad)?

I still would like to know the flow of the discussion of the press conference. How do we know Gathafi's statement was not taken from a press conference referring to the FIFA case? Could someone at AP had gotten confused between the two concurrently-running FIFA/FIDE negotiations? The reporter is not always the one who edits these stories and the editor could've gotten confused (apparently). Could this be the reason the Libyan chess officials asserted that the "Zionist enemy" statement was never made at that particular press conference?

Finally, would someone deny having said something if it were being recorded by different news agencies and a room full of witnesses? They do it all the time and they are exposed quickly by a variety of evidence. The problem is... we have only one source and it's not reliable.

Seems like we have more questions.

Daaim Shabazz, the football/chess confusion is a nice conjecture, of course. However, even FIDE agrees that the subject under discussion was invitations sent (or not sent) to Israeli chessplayers. FIDE's clumsy denial can be found here, for example: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=1634

Curiously, FIDE says it was an interview, not a press conference. Could that indeed be the reason that AP is the only source available?

The most convincing thing I heard so far is Mig's explanation in this thread - statements made in Arabic and English routinely differ very drastically.

Again, I am unable to contribute anything new to this "playground argument", to use MG's apt description. If you come across any new information that would shed a different light on this subject, I would be most interested to hear about it. Otherwise, it does not make sense to restate the points already made many times over.


Interview makes more sense if that is indeed what it was, but the sources I have read refer to it as a press conference. Even Milov in his statement refers to it as a press conference.

Mig is absolutely right. The fact that English and Arabic differ in context and flow is a given. However, if it's a translation issue, can we rely on it? There are some very amusing stories of translations which end up having nothing to do with what was actually said.

Thus, all we have from a major press conference is the "Zionist enemy" statement from one source... the Associated Press. That's a journalistic oddity.

One major western news service with searchable archives. It's not like Quaddafi fils had a western press core following him around all the time. It would have been remarkable had there been any western service other than AP and Reuters and having only one of them is certainly not unusual. I would assume AP translated it from local sources, in fact, and didn't have someone on the scene.

Another problem is that news is other languages, especially ones not in the Roman alphabet, are not nearly as archived and searchable online. Even if we had the knowledge to find the topic in Arabic it's less likely it would be so well preserved.

Sorry for not having followed this, but what source is there for the denial of the Quaddafi statement about the Zionist enemies? I don't recall any mention of such at the time, only FIDE ignoring it entirely and insisting that "everyone is welcome" over and over but never mentioning Israel specifically until the final hours of the Milov situation.

I just don't understand why people are arguing over unimportant things like what was said in the press conference. Libya is not the issue. The issue is whether our chess ruling body should be allowed to choose a country where known problems exist for allowing all participants to take part in an event. And, by problems I don't mean just typical visa issues, which happen in any country, rather I mean problems of a country not allowing entry to someone based upon race, religion, etc. This is clearly the case in Libya, so FIDE had no right to stage this event there. That is the flat simple answer. It would be the same answer if FIDE tried to hold the event in Israel or any number of other countries where there would obviously be problems. There are many, many countries FIDE could have chosen where the only problems would have been the typical visa problems.

BTW, I just want to commend Mozart's Ghost for the most logical, clear posts I have seen in ages.

Mig, the closest thing to a source for the denial that I have seen is the FIDE press release referenced in my previous post. It is dated May 7 (2 days after the "Zionist enemy" state) and it does indeed mention Israel, however grudgingly.

This document in fact reminds me a lot of the Soviet propaganda output. It clearly aims to deny *something*; however, if you don't know at the start what exactly they are denying, the text is not going to enlighten you, either. It is just some obscure "certain participants" they are talking about. And having performed the actual denial, the document goes on to label the object of its attention as "unofficial reports and rumours" which "FIDE is of course in no position to follow". I wonder if Ilyumzhinov had written this gem himself.

I meant to say "2 days after the Zionist enemy statement", sorry for the typo.

knight tour,

You're right. Mozart's Ghost is someone to have a cup of coffee with. (smile)

In my opinion, the "Zionist enemy" statement is a central argument in this case. It has been used as evidence to note Libya's intentions and used to confirm that they would not allow a certain group based of their nationality. It has everything to do with the case. It is also connected to the chronology of what FIDE knew and whether they were an accomplice.

The issue is whether Israel was to be admitted. The Libyan and FIDE documents said "all qualified participants," but did not specify any specific nations. As Mozart Ghost mentioned, newspapers reported that Israelis would be admitted (a breakthrough), but when the "Zionist enemy" statement hit, it threw into further question FIDE's credibility of having hosted the event in the first place (read Boris Gulko's letter). Mass defections followed after that statement was released.

I don't believe in "typical" visa problems. I don't know where you are from, but there is always a reason for denial and it is not always due to processing... there are a list of reasons and sometimes it boils down to suspicion. I know of too many cases of people from Africa, the Caribbean and the Middle East who have been denied and not given a reason (after having done everything well in advance). When I was in Jamaica the other day, a cab driver told me his story about a U.S. visa denial. They didn't give a reason, but they kept his US$100 fee. Very expensive for a Jamaican.

In the final analysis, what country has the resources and the good diplomatic relations with all nations to pull off such a tournament (in a short time frame)? Are you suggesting the U.S. or Europe? Visa problems are currently tighter in these places (post 9/11) than in Libya... especially for players from developing countries.

No simple answer.

Mr. Shabazz,
I am a US diplomat who has worked in embassies since 1993. I may not work in the consular section, but I have known many consular officers. I can tell you that they don't take their job lightly. They have to make a judgement call in the matter of a few minutes on whether enough proof has been or even can be provided by the interviewee to show that this person will not remain in the US. The burden of such proof is on the person seeking the visa. All this is well documented for the visa seekers. They have to make the difficult decision on whether to put their money forth for a visa they may indeed be denied. You, personally, may know for a fact that a person has no intention of remaining in the States, but a consular officer cannot know that. He or she must examine the proof offered by the visa applicant. So, yes there certainly ARE 'typical' visa problems. I must mention that nothing I write here can be taken as official policy of the US; I am supplying my opinion based upon my observations.

knight tour,

I understand your view and I concur with what you are saying. I'm not a diplomat, so you have access to more information. However, I once did a brief consulting stint with a Canadian Consulate in the U.S. Apart from that, I have also talked to many visa seekers (including students and chess players) about the issue. People from developing countries have nightmares about this.

You're right about the way these decisions are made. They are made quickly because there are so many applicants. However, some of these decisions are made on perceptions in addition to the standard information presented... it's unavoidable because all the details are not available and people are trained on what to say in the interviews.

Someone told me an amusing story recently about an Asian woman seeking a U.S. visa. In the interview, she was asked why she was seeking to travel to the U.S. She said she wanted to study the science of making artificial limbs because her mother was disabled. She received her visa. The next day another applicant came in for an interview. "Why are you seeking to travel to the United States," the interviewer asked. The Asian applicant said, "I would like to study the science of making artifical limbs because my mother is in need."

Of course, the ruse was quickly uncovered as interviewers compared notes.

My point is... someone from Africa, the Caribbean or the Middle East will simply have a harder time (than a European) in getting a U.S. visa because of the 'imperfect' information. Nevertheless, visa cases are obviously influenced by the international relations of the two countries. It's certainly true in the Libya/Israel case.

And that will of course be the case. What else can there be, Mr. Shabazz? People complain about the visa process, but if they spent any time in a consular section examining how it works they would have to conclude that it works remarkably well. They are dealing with human beings, so things will always be imperfect, but they do the best job they can. Anyhow, a remarkably high percentage of people do get their visas. I don't honestly think that the typical problems inherent in visa systems, whether the US's or any other counties can or should be used as a comparison to the Libya decision made by FIDE. It was known ahead of time that Libya did not allow Israelis, Jews, or people with Israeli visas to enter their country. That is it, period. Unless Libya had OPENLY and PUBLICLY revoked this policy, it was ludicrous for FIDE to stage such an event there. It is flat out shameful.

knight tour,

I agree that the issuing of visas is an imperfect process.

According to an Israeli official, Jews apparently played in Libya. We've already been over this particular argument. The point is that Libya stated that "all qualified participants" would be allowed to participate. Later, FIDE released a statement saying the Israelis (specifically) would be allowed. Then the "Zionist enemy" statement broke and turned the tables. My question has been about the origin of that Associated Press statement. At least one Jew (with an Israeli passport) was poised to play in Libya before that statement broke. He then withdrew after the statement was released. That's why the statement is central to the case.

The matter of Milov's case is how this thread started and was being used to demonstrate FIDE's negligence. FIDE claimed they made every attempt to accommodate Milov. Milov apparently received a trial. However, his legal claim was denied. Some people believe that Milov's claim was rejected on a technicality. Others believe that his case was heard and the evidence was presented.

All of these facts make a fascinating case, but as we have agreed, there needs to be more data (Milov court transcript, Libya press conference transcript) to if we are to learn more about the Libya/Israel case.

I believe all of that is beyond the point! None of it matters, in my opinion. What matters is simply that Libya denies entry to certain groups based upon religion/race/nationality and has been doing so for some time. This is known to all. Therefore, based solely upon this, FIDE had no right to host such an event in Libya. I would make the same arguement if FIDE had held the event in Israel. I can forsee a time in the future when things would change in Israel or Libya and it would then be appropriate to hold such events there, but that time was not yet here.

I did not see where anyone gave the names of Jewish players in the event. If they played, I imagine it was because Libya probably did not know they were Jewish. Note that I qualified that statement with 'I imagine', just so you don't jump on me. When they make public statements about Zionists, I think the situation is pretty clear. Whether or not they made this exact statement that you are arguing about is irrelevant given that they have publicly made many other such statements in the past and have not publicly abrogated that position.

knight tour,

The names are listed, but I will not list them here... at least four. However, everyone knows Boris Gulko is Jewish and holds dual citizenry with Israel. He was poised to play in the event, but backed out when the "Zionist enemy" state broke... or at least was influenced by it.

You're certainly right. Libya as well as many Middle Eastern countries have a similar policy because they view "Zionists" as terrorists of Palestinians. Conversely, it is also against Israeli law to travel to Libya (according to GM Emil Sutovsky). These points have been made above.

However, you cannot say that Libya made a statement merely because they have made similar statements before. Using that same logic has resulted in people going to prison for 20-30 years and being wrongly executed because of the same mistake you're advocating. Fallacy of transference is flat out wrong.

We only have a few official documents and a statement from the Associated Press. I agree with "dz" above who stated that until more data are forthcoming, then we cannot add anymore that hasn't already been covered in these 100+ posts... and we've covered practically every point.

If you read what I wrote, I did not say that because they made such statements in the past it means that they made it this time. What I said was that, having made such statements in the past, it is wrong to conclude that they have suddenly changed their policies when they have never publicly, clearly changed them. Thus, it was wrong for FIDE to hold this tournament there.

Point taken.

Of course we are analyzing what has happened not what should not have happened. For example, someone could argue that FIDE should not have gone into Libya. You may not get much argument because hindsight is 20-20. Of course, FIDE did go into Libya, so we have been discussing the particulars of the decision and how it was made. That's where the real issues lie.

Someone on this blog mentioned that Libya denied making the "Zionist" comments... which is what people are using as proof of Libya's banning of Israeli players. The only official statement we have from Libya asserted, "all qualified participants" would be welcome.

We have come full circle.

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