Ehsan Ghaem Maghami: Expelled

Chess grandmaster refuses to play Israeli

New York Times — One of Iran’s top grandmasters was expelled from an international chess tournament on Tuesday after he refused to play a match against an Israeli opponent, the director of the tournament said. The Iranian, Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, was scheduled to play Ehud Shachar in the fourth round of the Corsica Masters, a pairing determined by computer. The director, Léo Battesti, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Maghami had asked him to change the pairing, but was told that doing so would violate tournament rules. Mr. Maghami then failed to appear at the scheduled time to play Mr. Shachar. Mr. Battesti said Mr. Maghami should have told him beforehand that he would object to playing an Israeli. Given that five of the 186 players in the tournament were Israelis, the likelihood that he would face one during the tournament’s nine rounds was “99 percent,” Mr. Battesti said. “I told him, you cannot involve your rules in my tournament,” he said >>>


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What a loss

by BacheShirazi on

What a loss for the Israelis, not they get to progress to the next round without a challenege. I'm sure they where deeply upset and concerned when they heard the news.



Seriously, this is so dumb. I know that it was the Iranian government who didn't let him play and he had nothing to do with it. But even from the Islamic Republics point of view, wouldn't it be better to actually beat the Israelis in chess? Wouldn't that look like more a victory than acting childish and getting kicked out of a tournament? Letting him play, and winning, wouldn't that be better?  But no, they are to stupid to think of that. 


The Islamic republic is a joke. This is beyond ridiculous. 

Oon Yaroo

Mr. K. Nouraee, I second you in that!

by Oon Yaroo on

Note! Principal is meant to imply this chess competitor was following his order handed to him by his IRR handler (i.e., Principal = Modeer and NOT Principle = Ossool!)

Kaveh Nouraee

F*** this jerk

by Kaveh Nouraee on

and anyone who goes along with him.

There is no such thing as "principle" (correct spelling) when it comes to this.

This moron is a gutless coward, plain and simple.


Understandable for my 2 cents

by Rea on

Had he not complied with his country' politics, he'd probably never play again in any international chess tournament. Or, worse even, he would've become just another exiled person. 

Let's pause and think before we all throw the first stone.



by hirre on

The iranian athletes are cowards, what would a defeat against Israel imply?

Dr. Mohandes

The "let's Intimidate Israel" grass movement??

by Dr. Mohandes on


I wonder if this lack of participation and competing against the isreali athletes has been so damn effective and powerful strategy, perhaps we we should have seen at least some positive outcome by now. Have we?

 So amazing that Despite all these Boycotts! The zionists in israel continue doing what they have been doing and have not shown an ounce of remorse or regret. 

Also, Apparently the rest of the world do see something so totally repulsive and ineffective in applying such tactics! hence not following through and supporting those who do!



Israel and Islamic Regime should both be boycotted

by aynak on

by the international community.

The islamic regime, and the state of Israel, are two sides of the same apartheid coin.   They should be both boycotted, for routinely --descriminating-- against a portion of their population, and for dividing their citizens to first and second class.

But it is laughable that a state, itself guilty of  so many violations of basic human rights, is boycotting another system, guilty of crimes of same nature.






A Prejudist

by statira on

 it was a right thing to expell him. Kaseyeh az ash daghtar ke migan hamineh.


Another Idiot who should have represented Palestine NOT Iran

by IranFirst on

If this was his own decision, then he (and other Arab-lovers of his
kind), should not compete in Iran's name and should participate under
Palestinian Flag if that's what their allegiance is. If he and other
idiots think they do  this kind of un-sportsmanship behavior for some
human rights cause, then they should boycott all games  with SYRIA and
Sudan and China ...(all IRI allies and much higher level violators of
human right).


I bet that was not his

by alx1711 on

I bet that was not his decision not to play againt Israel! On the other hand why are they mixing politics with sport.

On the contrary Arab - Israel war is non of Iran's business.Iran is more likely to be attached by Arabs rather than Israelies.

Azarin Sadegh

He was probably scared of losing...:-)

by Azarin Sadegh on

I think the Iranian player took the easy road because of his lack of confidence in his own ability as a chess player. If he had lost the game, the consequences could be terrible. But now, by not showing up, he doesn't have to prove anything...

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Dear Disenchanted

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Why should Iranians be taking the torch for Palestinians. For the sake of argument let us say you are right. Their right is being trampled and they are victims. Remember the Palestinians volunteers for Saddam in the war.

Why should we now be the ones who stick our necks out for them. It is not as if we don't have any problems. I rather fix our own problems. Then if there is time help Tibet; Africa; Chechnya .... Nations that at least did not fight against Iran!


These kind of sacrifice eventually will bear fruits!

by Disenchanted on


           Israel should be boycotted by the whole world community for its barbaric treatment of Palestinians. Unfortunately Iranian athletes are carrying more than their fair share of burden. This is an ultimate sacrifice for a athlete/champion.

       Thanks to Bavafa for clearly stating the facts.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

It is not

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


his fault as Faramarz said he must do what IRI tells him. Just as the rest of Iranians he is a slave to the Hizbollahi goons. I don't know him but doubt he wanted to be thrown out. What do you think he could do?

Remember he is in a dictatorship that hangs people off cranes. No freedom; no choice must do what VF says. At least until VF ends up as Ghaddafi did. Meanwhile he must obey 

By the way. I know many Israeli people and they are aware of this. None of them showed any prejudice against me. They know Iran is in a *** hole and sympathize with us.

G. Rahmanian


by G. Rahmanian on

The funny thing is IR allows contact with athelets from the US or as they call it, "The Great Satan," but not Israeli athletes. As DM and Faramarz have noted, this man has not acted based on any principles. He was forced not to compete because of orders from IR authorities. He, personally, didn't mind competing against Israeli players. At the end of this piece of news Mr. Ghsem Maghami is quoted as saying, "Let's not talk politics," which implies a great deal about his personal feelings with regards to playing against all athletes regardless of their nationalities!


Iranian douchebaggery at its finest

by cheshmetroshan on

Wow, really?

This asshat Ghaem Maghami affirms yet again how far a once proud people have fallen. I can understand getting upset if a computer eats your Ph.D. thesis, but pouting until you're blue in the face because IBM's Watson chose your randomly selected chess opponent is, well, pretty f**kin' lame.

At least, before letting the door hit him where the good Lord split him, he wasn't a total jerk off and gave the competition's director a parting gift.



by Faramarz on

The athletes or the chess player in this case have no say in this matter. It is the Regime's policy to avoid any contact with the Israelis. Meanwhile, the athletes suffer. There is no glory in this behavior. If Mahmoud Abbas prefers to sit down with Netanyahu and talk peace, the Regime should mind its own business and deal with Iranian issues.

hamsade ghadimi

are there any cases in which

by hamsade ghadimi on

are there any cases in which an arab, or for that matter a palestinian, refused to compete with an israeli in a tournament?  i think that ghaem maghami had no choice in this matter and had to obey iri's policy on this matter, or else!

Sheila K

Stupid immature behavior!

by Sheila K on

how many Israelis act like this or chant death to Iran?

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

I agree with DM

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


This is a freaking Chess Game! Keep your politics out of it and play your assigned opponent. Does anyome think now Israel is shaking in fear! No; they just got a win by default. The Israeli are laughing their heads off.

If you go to a game obey the rules. Or don't sign up at all. I will assume that he was pressured by IRI so I won't blame him. But it is stupid and pointless. Just as Carter boycotting the Olympics was. 

The whole point of international games is to go beyond hatred. Not to bring your problems with you. I still don't understand why Iran should worry about Palestine. IRI boycots Israel except when it needs arms in fight against Saddam.

Dr. Mohandes

Putting his Foot down

by Dr. Mohandes on

And laying down the damn law. 

Thank you mr. battesti. This nonsense BS must stop and There is no need on philosophizing why and how and based on what principles it was done.

This needs to be gotten through their heads. You participate in a god damn international tournoment you shout your mouth and obey by the rules.

OR do not participare at all.. Mage Majboorin???  



by Bavafa on

I consider this and similar act as a civil disobedience protest against the occupying and criminal regime in Tel Aviv and to bring attention to their criminal behavior.

  If this is done based on his own principal and not solely as a result of pressure from IRI, then my salute and admiration to him for giving up perhaps a lifelong dream for his principal


'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory