LONDON, Reuter: Top Romanian Chess Grandmaster Mibai Suba said on Friday he was defecting to the west with his teenage son because life in Romania had become 100 difficult.

Suba, in London for the Loyds Bank « Masters Tournament, said he had applied for British political asylum for himself and his 14 year old son Christian.

“I was in conflict with my Chess Federation and with various organs. They wanted to punish me,” he told Reuters.

“I have had many problems in the last year about my participation in tournaments, to get visas, to get the possibility for my wife and son to join me this is perhaps the last chance I have,” he said.

Suba, ranked 78th in the world, said he had called his wife Sanda, whom he left behind in Romani a with their younger son Victor, 9, and she had agreed with his decision.

Earlier, Suba, who is also a Mathematician, said that the Romanian authorities and the country’s Chess Federation had threatened and blackmailed him. He was recently forbidden to attend a tournament in Spain. “Life in Romania is difficult because of the hard regime. When you are not in a political job, or a communist party member, you have to fight very hard to get any rights, and there is oppression,” he said.

Article extracted from this publication >> September 2, 1988