Spanish player honored by King and Queen
Queen Sofia Award for Fair Play
In December 2017 Spanish Woman Champion Sabrina Vega boycotted FIDE’s World Blitz and Rapid Championships held in Saudi Arabia. This was intended as a protest against FIDE’s legitimizing the oppressive Saudi regime with one of the most prestigious FIDE championships on the calendar year.
FIDE’s actions were in open violation of the IOC regulations, as well as FIDE’s own anti-discrimination regulations. FIDE pocketed millions of dollars in the process.
In recognition of Sabrina Vega’s boycott, in February 2019 the Consejo Superior de Deportes awarded her the Queen Sofia prize for fair play. It was not until yesterday that Sabrina was officially given her award, from the hands of King Filipe VI and Queen Letizia.
FIDE recognized Sabrina Vega’s achievement with a crypic tweet that did not mention that the award was originally based on a protest against FIDE’s behaviour:
There is more to the story…
Back in early 2019, after Sabrina Vega was publically notified that she had won the award, FIDE would not mention (refused to recognize) her achievement on any of its social media sites, nor on its official website. Clearly FIDE was embarrassed because of Sabrina’s boycott.
Later that year (2019) I wrote on this blog about this incident, and especially of FIDE’s childish behavior:
I suppose the saying ”Better late than never.” might be applied to FIDE’s delayed recognition of Sabrina’s award. Perhaps the FIDE leadership thinks that the rest of the chess community will have forgotten the whole Saudi affair…or perhaps it is the FIDE leadership who has forgotten!
In any case, it is not every day that a chess player is so rewarded, let alone in their own country! Sabrina is an excellent role model. More chess players should boycott and protest whenever FIDE goes too far…
For those readers who would like to read more about FIDE’s outrageous history of ignoring its own regulations regarding discrimination, just do a search on the front page of my blog. Type in Saudi Arabia and/or Iran. There is plenty of FIDE hypocrisy, intrigue and double standards to read about…