The Decline of Europe

One very small example of how the decision to ostracize Russia is going to diminish Europe on the world stage:

The Russian chess body, which started the application process for the transfer in April 2022, joined the Asian Chess Federation (ACF) in a general-assembly vote which saw 29 delegates vote for the move, one delegate vote against, and six delegates abstain. The final transition is scheduled to take place officially on May 1.

This is the first time in history that a chess superpower has switched to another continent. Currently, Russia has 190 grandmasters listed by the FIDE, the most of any country in the world. Geographically, around 77 percent of Russia’s landmass is in Asia.

The influx of those highly rated Russian grandmasters to the Asian region may affect the chances of Asian players, such as those from China and India, to qualify for the World Championship cycle. However, this influx will also increase the quality of Asian chess competitions, which will benefit Asian players in the long run.

Such a change also means the 2023 World Chess Championship has become an intra-continental event rather than inter-continental one. China’s world No.3 Ding Liren will face Russian chess grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi, who is now sitting at second place in the world ratings by the FIDE, in the 2023 World Chess Championship after incumbent champion and world No.1 Magnus Carlsen decided not to defend his title.

Sure, it’s just chess, for now. But how long will it be before other sports follow suit? Quantity has a quality of its own. How long will it be before the big money begins to flow to Asia rather than to Europe? My expectation is that within 10 years, it will be the next Haaland, rather than the next Ronaldo, who will be signing for an Asian football club.

And based on the fact that this article is from Global Times, it is clear that the Chinese are very well aware of the long-term implications of this change of chess federations on the part of the Russian authority.