In response to an article on the Chess Base web site which stated as absurd the fact that the U.K. could have 5 separate federations in FIDE, Scottish GM Jonathan Rowson attempted to educate the author as to the geographic make up of the British Isles. However, in response to this article, GM Nigel Short rubbishes this view quoting FIDE article 2.1 "Only one federation of each country can be affiliated to FIDE" and goes on to suggest “The English, Scottish, Welsh, Jersey and Guernsey Federations should be kicked out of FIDE forthwith. A newly constituted British (UK) Chess Federation should be admitted. “ I have re read his article hoping that it was a tongue in check reply, but I actually think he’s being serious. I must admit I always thought that Wales, England and Scotland were countries. I suppose it could be argued whether Jersey and Guernsey should be classed the same, but is Mr Short correct in his view? Article Another comment from a Canadian says “The comments of Mr. Jonathan Rowson, regarding the unique geopolitical situation of the British state, are mesmerizing, to say the least. Scotland and Wales are no countries, so why are they treated like that? Saying because FIDE says so is not arguing from reasons”
This has been a bee in the bonnet of Nigel Short for many years. When he originally wrote on the subject in the Daily Telegraph, I had to point out that Guernsey and Jersey are not in the UK. I have yet to look at the posting. It is perfectly true that only a British team would be allowed in nowadays if applying for membership fresh. This is because the more recent regulations require a federation to be represented at the UN. FIDE officials are well aware of the situation, which only exists as a situation in the fevered brow of Nigel Short. The regulations were different on application and the current regulations are that it is satisfactory if the federations were correctly admitted at the original time of application. Officers of FIDE recognise that it is to the benefit of World chess that the federations are separate. Exactly the same applies to Hong Kong, the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and possibly others. Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, Falklands, Greenland and so on would no longer be admitted to FIDE. Some of them have applied. Thus Jonathan Rowson is talking nonsense, The subsections of the UK were admitted in good faith and remain members also in good faith. Amusingly he has personally gained immeasurably from playing for a separate federation from the UK. Ironically Nigel Short is President of the Commonwealth Chess Association. He should resign if he wishes to attack seven (at least) of the member federations of that organisation.