International Chess Federation
Saturday, 13 Jun 2020 22:27
FIDE condemns racism in the strongest terms


During the past few days, we have received a few inquires about what is FIDE's policy regarding racial discrimination, and how we deal with such cases.

FIDE condemns racism in the strongest terms, and we stand for non-discrimination as one of the founding pillars of the Olympic Movement, to which FIDE belongs. This is reflected in the Olympic Charter, Fundamental Principle 6: “The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Olympic Charter shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

Chess players tend to travel a lot, and the more you travel the more you are exposed to racism and xenophobia. Sadly, that has been the case for our colleague Pontus Carlsson and many others: we have heard their testimonies, and we would like to offer them our support. But most incidents occur outside the chess competitions: at chess tournaments, we are proud to say that the incidents are minimal, and we will stay alert to prevent this from happening. In fact, no one has filed a complaint about racial discrimination at any of our official events at least since the current administration took office in 2018. The Chess Olympiad, where players of 180+ countries live together for two weeks, is a true celebration of the unity of humankind in all our diversity.

We believe there is something truly beautiful about chess: it makes us focus on what we have in common as human beings, rather than in what makes us different.

The reason why is that when you play a game of chess with someone, it is like if you could see his/her thoughts. You get into your opponent's brain, and you establish some kind of communication, even if both players don't have a language in common. At the chess board, differences in age, sex, religion, color, or economical status become irrelevant: they simply vanish. You immediately develop some respect for a person you are exchanging ideas with at such a deep level.

We could even say that chess is the ultimate equalizer. It is for this reason that chess is gaining so much popularity as an educational tool. The educational benefits of chess are not limited to intellectual development: the game is also a formidable tool for social development in children.

The best contribution FIDE can do to fight racism is to keep working to bring this game to schools, and to honor our motto: "gens una sumus". 




For more information, please contact the FIDE Media Relations Team:
Tel: +34 623021120, email