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Chess champ, 7, can’t compete in Tunisia as she’s Israeli

  • SportTOIChess
Liel Levitan, a schoolgirl from Haifa, is unable to accept an invitation to play in the World Chess Championship because host nation Tunisia will not allow Israelis to compete, it was reported recently.
by TOI STAFF | Jul 26, 2018

This is not the first time Israeli chess players have been denied the opportunity to participate in international tournaments because of their nationality.

Israeli athletes often face difficulties when competing in the Middle East or against Middle Eastern countries, because of hostility towards the Jewish state.

“Just a few months ago, a World Chess Championship was due to take place in Saudi Arabia,” chess player Lior Aizenberg told Hadashot news. “It was clear to everyone that outstanding Israeli chess players would not be able to participate.”

Aizenberg has instead founded the World Alternative Championship, which takes place in Israel and extends competition invitations to players from across Europe and the Arab world.

Liel has also been invited to the competition, which counts outgoing chairman of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky and American pro-Israel group Stand With Us among its supporters.

“The time has come to put an end to discrimination against Israelis in chess, in sports and in every field,” said Aizenberg.

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