The Romanian Federation announces a surprising and high-profile change of federations: The Hungarian top player Richard Rapport and his wife Jovana, who plays for Serbia, will change to the Romanian Federation. Sacha Dragic, the owner of the Romanian gambling portal Superbet, is said to be behind this change of federations. Superbet sponsors numerous sporting events, most recently the Grand Chess Tour tournaments in Bucharest and Warsaw.
According to the announcement of the Romanian Chess Federation, the formal process of changing federations has already been initiated. Usually, after a change of federations, it takes two years before you can play for your new federation. However, the old and the new federation can agree on a transfer payment to enable the change of federations without such a ban.
Announcement of the Romanian Chess Federation
“We are honoured and happy that a player of such calibre has chosen to represent our country. World number 5 Richard Rapport is a strong player who we want to integrate into the national team as soon as possible and together we can achieve great results.
At the same time, we want to continue the good professional relations we have with the Hungarian and Serbian chess federations”, says Vlad Ardeleanu, President of FR Chess.
Richard Rapport, 26, was awarded the Grandmaster title at the age of 13. In 2013 he won the European Rapid Chess Championship, and in 2017 he beat world champion Magnus Carlsen at the Tata Steel Tournament. At the end of March 2022, Rapport secured first place at the FIDE Grand Prix in Belgrade.
Jovana Rapport has been a grandmaster since 2009, won the Serbian Women’s Championship in 2014 and has an Elo of 2294.
We’re glad to announce that we’ve started the transfer procedure for Richard Rapport and Jovana Rapport, two great players that have chosen to represent Romania.
📸: Lennart Ootes pic.twitter.com/5CWKoBgBzk
— Romanian Chess Federation (@FrsahRo) May 27, 2022