Chess federation says Israel excluded from Saudi-hosted match

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Israeli players have been denied visas to participate in a speed chess championship hosted by Saudi Arabia this week, a vice president of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) said on Dec. 24.

Seven Israeli players had requested visas for the tournament on Dec. 26-30.

FILE PHOTO: A chess player looks at the board during a game against Israeli grandmaster Alik Gershon at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, October 21, 2010. REUTERS/Nir Elias/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: A chess player looks at the board during a game against Israeli grandmaster Alik Gershon at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, October 21, 2010. REUTERS/Nir Elias/File Photo

It would have marked the first time Saudi Arabia had publicly hosted Israelis as the Gulf state does not recognize Israel and there are no formal ties between them.

FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer, speaking in Athens where the body’s Secretariat is based, said visas for the Israeli players “have not been issued and…

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