Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Chess and Terrorism

Source: Shachmat, vol. 11 no. 10 (Oct. 1972), p. 2 (back side of front cover). 
This is not a political blog, and we make it an explicit point not to go into political issues as such. We note that terrorism, now constantly in the news, is not a new concern -- nor is its connection to chess.

In the above article, by Israeli Eshel, the head of the Israeli Chess Federation, justifies the ICF's decision to send men and women's teams to Skopje, since there were serious concerns about terrorism, in the wake of the attack in the Munich Olympics which killed eleven Israeli athletes.

Eshel notes that the decision was made to participate, but only after serious discussion, an 'clear-cut promise' from the Yugoslav organizers to protect the participants, which included also making special arrangements for the Israeli team (Olimpbase too notes there were, in general, 'extraordinary security arrangements' made due to Munich's shadow). He also notes that the ICF as well as the participants cooperated fully with the Israeli security authorities.

The Olympiad, we now know, passed without any (security) incidents, but it was not an easy decision to make.

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