The ongoing feud between Canadian Grandmaster Anton Kovalyov and organizers of the Chess World Cup intensified after Kovalyov, in his Facebook post, accused European Chess Union President and tournament organizer Zurab Azmaiparashvili of racially abusing the 25-year-old.
It all began when Kovalyov arrived for his third round clash Maxim Rodshtein of Israel on Saturday. The Canadian was wearing shorts, which wasn’t complying with the tournament’s dress code reportedly.
However, Kovalyov said that he was surprised of the sudden development because not only had he worn the same shorts in the first two rounds, but also in the previous World Cup, two years ago. He was then given black pieces to start with but was expected to play with white. The arbiter double checked the pairings at his computer, and told Kovalyov that everything was correct. Then Azmaiparashvili approached Kovalyov and told him to change his attire. When Kovalyov asked why, Azmaiparashvili replied, “Because you look like a gypsy!”
However, his Facebook reveals a different story about Azmaiparashvili.
“Then came Zurab, he was very agressive, yelling at me and using the racial slur ‘gypsy’ to insult me, apart from mentioning several times that I will be punished by FIDE. I told him that I had asked before at the previous world cup if what I was wearing was OK and I was told by somebody from the organization that yes. Zurab, in a prepotent way, said he doesn’t care, he’s the organizer now. At this point I was really angry but tried not to do anything stupid, and asked him why he was so rude to me, and he said because I’m a gypsy. Another point worth pointing out, Zurab never asked me to go and change, the conversation consisted of threats, insults, and agressive behavior from Zurab. He was clearly provoking me.”
The Canadian player left the playing hall and did not return. His game was declared lost.
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