Grandmaster Richard Rapport, 26, one of the most promising members of the new generation of elite chess players, is changing the federation from Hungary to Romania. The move, unexpected under normal circumstances, appears scandalous because Rapport is set to take part in the Candidates Tournament in June.
The move has been reported by the Romanian Chess Federation and chess-news website and independently confirmed by FIDE, the sport’s governing body. Regardless of the circumstances, Rapport’s move is a huge blow for the Hungarian Chess Federation, which is active in chess politics and will host the 2024 Olympiad. Rapport has always been the golden boy of Hungarian chess. He enjoyed support from Judit Polgar, one of the most respected chess influencers.
Hungary had its share of successful chess players, including the Polgar sisters, Szabo, and Portisch among others, but Rapport was an outlier and was a huge deal for the Hungarian chess community as he prepared to take part in the Candidates. He secured his spot in the World Championship semi-finals, the most important tournament of his career so far, through the FIDE World Chess Grand Prix Series, organized by World Chess, the publisher of this website.