Iranian chess player gives the pass to the Israeli rival
CHENNAI: The fourth round of the course Junior World Chess Championships saw the international master of Iran Aryan Gholami taking a walk to his Israeli opponent Alexander Zlatin on board 22 in New Delhi on Thursday.
According to the tournament rules, if the participant does not show up for more than 15 minutes, then his opponent receives a full point.
While the official reason for Aryan's absence has not yet been announced, sources said the 18-year-old's decision to stay away could have been politically motivated, since Iran does not recognize the state of Israel. We have awarded Alexander a full point since Aryan did not appear. We still have to know why he was absent, said one of the organizers. I think sport needs to unify the world, but unfortunately that does not seem to be happening at this time, the organizer added. Aryan has been in good shape in recent times when he finished fifth in the recently concluded youth world championships in Mumbai.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that Aria does not appear in a confrontation against an Israeli. In the Ritz Cup Blitz tournament held in Stockholm earlier this year, Aryan decided to give up his seventh round match against Israel's Ariel Erenberg of Israel. At that time, Aryan had mentioned that he had no negative feelings for his Israeli counterpart, but moving forward with the party would have received sanctions in his country. Not surprisingly, Aria's decision has been acclaimed by the Iranian government and the young man even had the opportunity to meet Ayatollah. Ali Khamenei , The supreme leader of Iran.
Another instance of an Iranian player who refused to face his Israeli counterpart occurred during the Grenke chess game in April this year. Iranian GM Alireza Firouzja decided to quit his match against Or Bronstein of Israel. Firouzja's decision proved costly as he lost a crucial point and with it his chances of winning the tournament also vanished.