Several doleful incidents are overshadowed the recent Chess Olympics in Tromsö.
Two of the participants passed away on Thursday, August 18. An older player from the Seychelles suffered a fatal heart attack during a duel on Thursday evening. Only a few hours later, an Uzbek competitor was found dead in his hotel room. According to a statement of the FIDE, both players died of natural causes.
More stir is caused by the disappearance of a group of tournament participants from Burundi. The women’s team was reported missing on Saturday. Four female and one male player haven’t been seen since Friday. On Sunday, two team captains were also officially reported missing. All of the missing chess players are in their twenties.
The police is evidently not taking into account an act of violent crime. The players have not been accommodated in a hotel, but in a private home in Tromsö. The police has also stated that they have left behind an empty and spotlessly clean house. At the moment, the players are not committing criminal offense by vanishing into thin air. They have all obtained a Schengen visa prior to attending the Chess Olympics and can legally reside in the entire Schengen area for three months.
Burundi is situated in Eastern Africa and borders Tanzania and Rwanda. Several members of the organizing committee are criticizing the respect paid to human rights in those countries. Torture, physical abuse, extrajudicial executions, and homicide driven by local politics are part of everyday life, like child labor, child soldiers, exploitation, sexual abuse, and enforced prostitution of homeless children.
written by Sarah, translated by Birthe