40 Lawmakers Urge the U.S. to Boycott Chess Olympics in Dubai

Forty members of Congress have urged the United States Chess Federation to boycott the annual Olympics of the International Chess Federation in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, this fall because the Chess Federation of Israel was barred from attending.

The bipartisan group of Congressmen sent a telegram, initiated by Reps. Tom Lantos (D.-Cal.) and Jack Kemp (R.-N.Y.) to E. Stephen Davis, president of the U.S. Chess Federation, at the group’s annual meeting in Somerset, N.J., last weekend.

"It is our view that this action is blatantly discriminatory and is diametrically opposed to the principles upon which our nation is based," the telegram said. Lantos noted that if the American Federation participates in the Dubai meeting, "it tells the world that Americans do not care" about discrimination and bigotry. "If we fail to stand up to our principles this time, another country may be excluded next year;" Lantos said.

The U.S. Chess Federation decided to offer a resolution at the Dubai meeting to remove the regulation from the international group which allows any country to bar another country with which it is at war. The U.S. group also said if its resolution is rejected it will withdraw from playing in the tournament held in conjunction with the meetings of the Federation Internationals des Echecs that will take place in November. (See Aug. 11 Bulletin for details.)

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