Chess champ denied Norway visa over terror watch-list
Local chess champion Taffin Khan has been refused a visa to travel to Norway to participate in the 41st Biennial Chess Olympiad after his name turned up on an international terrorist watch-list when his team travelled to Suriname to apply for visas.
The Guyana team, which consists of Anthony Drayton, Haifeng Su, Maria Thomas, Ronuel Greenidge and Coach/ Manager Wendell Meusa left for Norway last Wednesday for the games which are scheduled to run from August 1st to 14th. Among the competitors in Norway is Norwegian reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen.
President of the Guyana Chess Federation, Irshad Mohamed told Stabroek News yesterday that the team travelled to Suriname two Tuesdays ago to apply for visas pursuant to the trip to Norway.
While his fellow team members applied for and received their visas, Khan was red-flagged because his name turned up on an international terrorist watch-list. Incidentally, the date of birth of the individual cited on the list coincides with Khan’s own birth information. Mohamed said that Khan’s team members returned home after receiving their visas but that Khan remained in Suriname pending the results of a review that was requested.
Khan returned to Guyana last Thursday after being informed that the review sought had not changed his situation and that he would still be denied a visa. Khan’s fate may be connected with the perceived threat of an attack on the Kingdom of Norway.
According to a July 25th Wall Street Journal report, Norway could maintain a high security level for several weeks following warnings of an imminent terrorist attack at an unspecified location.