"Let nothing human be alien to me"- Terence

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Grand Chessboard

Or the little one

MOSCOW, Sep. 22 (Saba)- Yemen ambassador to Moscow Mohammed al-Hilaly denied on Wednesday reports over the Yemen national chess team played against the Israeli team within the framework o the World Chess Olympics in its 39th edition currently taking place in Russia.

In his statements to Saba, al-Hilaly said that the Yemeni chess team was surprised by the first round draw which placed it in front of the Israeli entity.

He added that the team withdrew from the game which made the organizing committee to set the Yemeni team as a loser and announced win for the Israeli entity team.

The ambassador emphasized that the news which circulated that the Yemeni chess team played against the Israeli team are false and baseless.
Because, you know, that would be awful.  

Look, I am ok with Arab solidarity and defending the Palestinians, especially with a far-right government in Israel (though the timing of this is a little off).  But sports, or at least competition, should generally be removed.  There is no need to punish the participants.  

This is one of those stories where you either get angry or shake your head and laugh.  I am leaning toward the latter, mostly because of the terms "false and baseless", which is a level of outrage normally only seen when another candidate circulates rumors that you might, in fact, be running a child sex ring.   Although I suppose that the late Bobby Fischer would approve of this tactic.  Perhaps the Yemenis were just paying homage to one of the best?

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