MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. The Council of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) has approved a previously submitted application from the Chess Federation of Russia (CFR) asking to join the Asian Chess Federation (ACF) as a new member, the FIDE press office said in a statement on Wednesday.”The FIDE Council reviewed yesterday, February 21, the report prepared by the Constitutional Commission on the request made by the Chess Federation of Russia (CFR) to join the Asian Chess Federation (ACF),” the statement reads.”The Asian Chess Federation is expected to decide on this request at its General Assembly, which will take place in Abu Dhabi on February 28. Its acceptance would automatically imply that the Chess Federation of Russia withdraws its membership to the European Chess Union, since a federation cannot belong to two continents at the same time,” the statement continued.The world’s governing body of chess added that following the examination and consideration of all legal aspects regarding this issue, the FIDE Council made two major decisions.Firstly, “To rename Zone 1.6 (Russia) as Zone 3.8, as part of Asia, effective May 1, 2023, given that the Asian Chess Federation confirms it accepts the Chess Federation of Russia as a member in their General Assembly.”Secondly, “To adopt a series of additional measures to protect those players who decide to leave the Russian Chess Federation at this point and join any European chess federation. Players previously belonging to the CFR will be allowed to represent their new federation with immediate effect, from the next day of submitting their application, without any restrictions. All transfer fees, to FIDE or CFR, are waived.”Among the ACF’s member states are national chess federations representing Australia, China, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Singapore and many others. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan is the reigning president of the Asian Chess Federation.On March 16, the FIDE barred athletes from Russia and Belarus from participating in international tournaments. The organization, however, allowed representatives of these countries to play individually under the flag and logo of FIDE.On February 28, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments referring to a special military operation in Ukraine.Following the IOC recommendations in late February, the majority of global sports federations decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from all international sports tournaments.