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Peru: National Chess Team Banned by International Federation

On January 5th, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) announced that the Peruvian National Chess Team was banned from all international competitions because of a debt of 7,800 euros owed to the governing body. Even though the national sports scene is dominated by Peruvian football, which has been marred by scandals and failure on the field, the news of the banning was very shocking for the public.

Photo by Mukumbura and used under a Creative Commons license.

Photo by Mukumbura and used under a Creative Commons license.

Chess is increasingly playing an important part in Peruvian society, and many are admiring the talents and accomplishments of especially the young chess players, like Daysi and Jorge Cori, who recently competed in an international competition in Turkey where they brought home awards. Blogger Sonia Luz Carillo writes about the siblings, their family members, and others like them [es]:

Y es un gusto enorme ver a sus padres, sus compañeros de estudios y a sus profesores alrededor de sus logros. Y es esperanzador imaginar el ejemplo que significan para millones de jóvenes.

[…]

Muchas cosas empezarían a cambiar en el país si estas y otras proezas realizadas por los deportistas amateur recibieran no solo el apoyo de las autoridades y las empresas sino también de la prensa. Sus ejemplos de pundonor y decencia son los que necesita una sociedad que por momentos parece víctima de colectiva enajenación. Y no es cierto. Los hermanos Cori existen. Y sus padres, amorosos compañeros de ilusiones y afanes, existen multiplicados.

It is an enormous pleasure to see their parents, their classmates, and their teachers surrounding their accomplishments. It is hopeful to imagine the example that they set for millions of young people.

[…]

Many things will start to change in the country if these and other feats accomplished by amateur sporting competitors receive not only the support of officials and businesses, but also of the press. Their examples of honor and decency are what the society needs right now, which at times appears to fall victim to collective alienation. It is not true. The Cori siblings exist. And their parents, loving classmates with dreams and wishes also exist multiple times over.

This is one reason why many believe that more attention should be given to these competitors instead, such as Kamyla, who writes on Twitter:

que nos desafilien del futbol y nos afilien al ajedrez

Why don't they ban us for football and reinstate us for chess?

Milton Iturry, President of the Peruvian Chess Federation stated that the banning harms the team [es] “because FIDE calculates the players’ Elo ratings, writes the rules of chess, publishes books and awards titles of International Masters, Grand Masters and judges”.

The blog Contacto Informativo Huaral – Perú [es] re-publishes an article about the banning:

Si había una disciplina que nos estaba dando grandes satisfacciones esa era, sin lugar a dudas, el ajedrez. Talentos como los de Julio Granda, Emilio Córdova y los hermanos Jorge y Deysi Cori no podrán ser explotados y sus carreras corren peligro, luego que la Federación Internacional de Ajedrez excluyó a Perú de toda competencia y dejó sin validez los torneos nacionales.

[…]

En las próximas horas el Instituto Peruano del Deporte (IPD) estaría abonando la suma de 2,800 euros para cancelar parte de la deuda. Iturry recordó que el 9 de enero los ajedrecistas Julio Granda, Emilio Córdova, Jorge y Daysi Cori participarán en el Torneo de Ajedrez “COPA IPD”, en el que el ganador se llevará un premio de 10 mil nuevos soles.

If there was a sport discipline that has been giving us great satisfaction, it was, undoubtedly, chess. Gifted people, such as Julio Granda, Emilio Córdova, Jorge Cori and his sister Deysi Cori and their talent could be wasted and their careers are jeopardized, after the World Chess Federation banned Peru from all competitions and declared national tournaments invalid.

[…]

In the next hours, the Peruvian Sports Institute (IPD, according to its Spanish name) would pay the amount of 2,800 euros in order to pay off part of the debt. (Peruvian Chess Federation President) Iturry reminded us that on January 9th, chess players Julio Granda, Emilio Córdova, Jorge and Daysi Cori would take part in the Chess Tournament “COPA IPD”, where the winner will take a 10,000 nuevos soles (about US$ 3,300).

In the comments section of the Lima newspaper El Comercio [es] where the news was broken, people expressed anger and frustration, and many of them compared this situation with what had happened with the football federation:

Carlos: 10:01 January 5th:

Y que hacen los encargados en las Federaciones? se rascan la panza y estan alli de adorno? donde esta el presidente? por favor…

And where are the heads of the Federations? They scratch their bellies and are there just for show? Where is the president? Come on…

Harry: 10:06 January 5th:

En lugar de estar pensando contratar a un entrenador extranjero que seembolsa miles de dolares por un deporte que no tiene futuro como el futbol, debìan mirar a los costados y apoyar a los verdaderos deportistas… ojala y se arregle esta situacion.

Instead of thinking of hiring a foreign coach that will pocket thousands of dollars for the sake of a sport as football, they should take a look at the sidelines and support real sportspeople… I hope this situation gets repaired.

Dany: 11:11 January 5th:

eso es lo que gana un entrenador de la seleccion de futbol en dos meses.

that's what the coach of the national football team makes in two months.

In spite of the banning, the four main Peruvian chess players took part in the tournament scheduled for January 9th, organized by the IPD, but their scores will not be calculated by the FIDE until the debt is paid . On January 8th, FIDE replied to the letter of intent sent by Peru, referring to the payment. Meanwhile, chess players can keep on competing individually if they have scheduled tournaments. However, the Peruvian Sports Institute has not specified when will they pay the debt off.

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