Andrey Filatov, President of the Russian Chess Federation, has expressed his gratitude to the U.S. law firm Quinn Emanuel for assistance in resolving an incident with the Organizing Committee of the Tromsø 2014 Chess Olympiad, which illegitimately attempted to prohibit the Russian women’s national team from taking part in the key international chess tournament.

“We are grateful to the American lawyers from Quinn Emanuel for their prompt and highly professional work,” President of the Russian Chess Federation Andrey Filatov stressed. “Together we established a legal precedent that will serve as a good lesson in the future. Chess players from any national team must be confident that they are protected, while chess officials must act in strict accordance with legal norms and avoid arbitrariness. I would also like to say thank you to everyone who supported the Russian chess players in this situation during the competition. I am grateful to officials and rank and file representatives from the national federations of the United States, Canada, France, and many other countries for their kind words and moral support that we experienced over the course of all the difficult and tense days of the Olympiad.”

On July 16, 2014, the official website of the World Chess Olympiad in Tromsø (Norway) published an open letter of the Organizing Committee stating that several teams would be denied access to the Olympiad on formal grounds, including the Russian women’s national team. On July 16, the Russian Chess Federation sent a protest to the head of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) noting that the Organizing Committee does not have the formal grounds to adopt such decisions and announcing its intention to appeal the decision with the organizers of the Olympiad in court. The U.S. law firm Quinn Emanuel represented the interests of this Russian Chess Federation as part of this incident. On July 18, the Olympiad Organizing Committee received letters and claims with a request to allow the Russian women to take part in the Olympiad. On the same day, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov confirmed the illegally removed teams would participate in accordance with FIDE regulations, however the Russian Chess Federation continued court proceedings to ensure the protection of the national team. On August 14, 2014, the Olympiad Organizing Committee sent official apologies to the Russian women’s national team for the negative impact and unintended consequences of this situation. The Russian Chess Federation thus now regards the incident as closed.

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18 August 2014

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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