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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024

Chess Pro furious over fine for “strange shoes” at world championships

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Anna-Maja Kazarian faces FIDE penalty for Burberry trainers

In a controversial incident at the 2023 FIDE World Rapid Chess Championships, professional chess player Anna-Maja Kazarian was fined 100 Euros ($161) for wearing what was deemed “strange shoes.” According to Kazarian, an arbiter approached her during the event on December 27, objecting to her Burberry trainers and requesting her to change into different shoes. Subsequently, FIDE issued a fine and an official warning.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Kazarian posted a picture of the yellow card she received, expressing her frustration: “Update: I got fined. This is absolutely ridiculous. @FIDE_chess please revert this warning. My shoes are NOT sports sneakers.”

In a YouTube video addressing the incident, Kazarian explained, “I was approached by one of the arbiters, and they told me that my shoes are strange shoes, they look like sports shoes. I barely ever wear them because they are fancy and they’re not everyday type of shoes.” She argued that the shoes were not sports sneakers and emphasized her disappointment with how the situation was handled.

Embed from Getty Images

Kazarian mentioned that the arbiter asked her to change shoes, but she did not have any alternatives with her. After returning to her hotel to switch into heels, she described the experience as “absolutely devastating” and “embarrassing.”

The chess player expressed her hope that FIDE would reconsider the fine, addressing those who accused her of exaggerating the situation: “Besides my entire tournament being ruined by FIDE, I slept very poorly and had no appetite all day. Just for some stupid shoes issue. This is not a joke, and if you consider me bringing attention to this ‘milking’, you’re inhumane just like FIDE.”

Notable figures in the chess community, including YouTuber GothamChess and former women’s chess world champion Susan Polgar, criticized the decision, with Polgar highlighting potential double standards in enforcing footwear rules.

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