Egypt’s Adly denied travel to World Cup!

Egypt Egypt Egypt

GM Ahmed Adly
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BREAKING NEWS! In what is clearly a disappointing development for Egyptian chess, GM Ahmed Adly was unable to receive clearance to participate in the 2013 World Cup which starts on August 10th in Tromso, Norway. Adly was prevented from traveling due to an obligatory service to the Egyptian Army.

There was apparently no way to delay the filing of military application for service. Adly told The Chess Drum that he had exhausted all efforts including the submission of an official letter from the Ministry of Sports. After trying various channels, today’s deadline to receive a concession for travel has passed. The other Egyptian players (GM Bassem Amin, GM Essam El-Gindy and IM Samy Shoker) were not affected.

Adly graduated from Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime in February and is required to submit papers to report for military service on next Sunday. The service would be one year if selected. Egypt has been gripped in a tense period of political instability following the removal of President Mohammed Morsi from power. Adly did not mention any political issues in his case.


  1. Letter sent to organizers by Adly:

    Dear sir:

    Really was hoping to play in your great country,,had a lot of hopes for this world cup,,,,but unfortunately as i just graduated from university and we have forced army social service and they army didn’t give me traveling permission although i had an official letter from sports minister supporting my issue. So i Officially give my apologize that i won’t be able to arrive or play,,i swear to god i have been working for 14 hours per day for last two weeks to finish papers and documents to be able to travel but unfortunately thanks to Bureaucracy. again i would like to apologize and wish you a great successful tournament.

  2. I contacted FIDE VP Lewis Ncube who has responded and referred the case to African Zonal President Lakhdar Mazouz of Algeria. IM Mohammed Haddouche would be next in line to replace Adly if such arrangements can be made at this late hour. It is doubtful but we shall see.

  3. Adly has had a number of challenges in his career. He contracted malaria after the 2003 African Championships in Nigeria and had to miss the 2003 World Youth tournament in Greece when he fell ill at the tournament, but still went to the Pan-African Games the week after. Had to forfeit a game against Bu Xiangzhi in the 2011 World Cup due to a kidney stone. Now he has to miss the 2013 World Cup totally. Let’s hope the former World Junior Champion will keep his encouragement for chess!

  4. Here is the response from Lakhdar Mazouz:

    Dear All

    On the 30th of July 2013, I got the information that Adly Ahmed would not participate to the World Cup. I immediatly reacted by sending a message to Fide and asking the Egyptian Chess Federation. The answer I received from Egypt, the same day (30th of July) was that all the Egyptian players qualified to the World Cup, including Ahmed Adly, will participate to the Event.

    I am also disappointed (maybe not as much as Adly himself) that he is not taking part to this World Event. I am sure the leadership of the Egyptian Chess Federation; particularly its President, Mr Hesham Elgyndi, did everything they could, until the last minute, for the participation of Ahmed Adly to the World Cup. I am sure they did not expect this outcome.

    Of course, if it had been known for certain that Ahmed would not be able to be present in Tromso, he would have been replaced by Haddouche Mohammed, provided that the pairing was not done.

    The whole matter is sad for Adly, for Haddouche, his would be replacement, and most of all for Africa.

    Best regards
    Lakhdar Mazouz
    African Chess Union

  5. Yes… it would have been difficult. Normally, FIDE would have to reformulate the pairings (as they did in 2011 when Judit Polgar and Hou Yifan were to face each other). However, Haddouche and Adly ratings are 100 points apart. If a replacement were allowed, would they merely insert Haddouche in Adly’s slot or go through the trouble of doing the pairings over? It may be too late, but it is an interesting question.

  6. Just received an e-mail an hour ago from Dr. Hesham El-Gendy, President of Egyptian Chess Federation (ECF). It was addressed to Lakhdar Mazouz (President of African Chess Union) in response to his letter concerning the issue. Mazouz was informed by Lewis Ncube, FIDE Vice President, who was informed by me (Daaim Shabazz).

    Dr. El-Gendy details the saga in a letter. I will not post the letter here, but below are some of the main points.

    Firstly, there was an issue with Adly’s passport being full except for two “remarks” pages. Those of you who have traveled extensively will know that embassies require at least two “visa” pages which differ from “remarks” pages. Getting a new passport (or pages added) was not an option. Apparently, any adjustment to Adly’s passport status would require the completion of his one-year service! So the Egyptian chess officials spent eight days of discussion with the Norwegian Embassy in Cairo attempting to convince them to issue a visa stamp in the old passport. Finally the Norwegians complied and the visa was issued on Tuesday, August 6th (yesterday).

    Secondly, there was the required approval from the Ministry of Defense (Obligatory Military Services Department). Adly has to report for his one-year stint next Sunday. While getting the visa issue resolved, the ECF were also seeking permission and secured an official letter from the Ministry of Sport to allow Adly to travel thereby postponing the service for one week. On Tuesday, August 6th, the request was DENIED! On today, Wednesday, August 7th another attempt was made and also denied.

    Adly told me that today was the last day to resolve the issue. Thursday is the Eid ul-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan so everything is closed. Players are traveling on Friday, August 9th. The tickets were purchased weeks ago and Adly’s will have to be returned for a loss. IM Haddouche Mohammed of Algeria would have been the replacement, but there was simply not enough time to make arrangements.

  7. An unfortunate situation. “Zugzwang” before a pawn is pushed! Best wishes for the GM Adly going forward. His disappointment must be really profound.

  8. Actually its very true that ECF supported me so much in this issue,,and actually they did a lot of effort with me during last two weeks,,,,but unfortunately bureaucracy here is tooo much to fight!!
    and actually that is a funny story to tell for all players around the world who think that life is too hard for them and they keep complaining they are not being supported ENOUGH from their country!!!!!!!!

    1. Yes… it seems that ECF did everything they could. It is surprising that they did not approve this. I have always been impressed by the support that ECF gives its players.

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