Results of the Executive Board Meeting at the 78th FIDE Congress

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Ilyumzhinov will continue his efforts to make chess an Olympic sports, Kramnik has signed the contract for the match against Anand already but Vishy "raised several points" and the contract between FIDE and Global Chess has finally been signed. These are some of the results of the Executive Board Meeting at the 78th FIDE Congress, held from November 11 till 16 in Antalya, Turkey. The members reviewed the developments of the chess world since the last Olympiad in Turin, examined the work of the FIDE Commissions and offices and communicated their future plans.

The executive board of FIDE

Olympics The Executive Board of the 78th FIDE Congress started with a speech of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, about the activities of FIDE since its last Congress in Turin (May 2006) when he was re-elected as President. In his regular annual delivery, the President mainly concentrated on the issue of chess becoming part of the Olympics. "There are more people interested in chess around the world than some other people are in some sports that are already in the Olympics." He also stressed that it is one of FIDE's main tasks to bring chess into the family of Olympic sports under IOC rules.

Chess houses & museums The President looked back at many FIDE events, like the World Chess Championship tournament in Mexico City, and he also introduced a new project for development, including a package which would create chess houses and museums in cities in all FIDE countries. This project will be guided by Mr. David Kaplan, the newly appointed Development Director.

Anand-Kramnik Ilyumzhinov informed the members that whilst Kramnik had accepted the conditions for the World Championship Match in 2008 and had signed the contract, Anand had raised several points. Deputy President, Giorgios Makropoulos, then briefed the board about the status of the negotiations with UEP, Anand and Kramnik.

As the USCF Delegate to FIDE, Bill Kelleher, wrote on Susan Polgar's blog:

"[Makropoulos] said that Anand had put forward a number of demands before he would sign a contract to play the match. Makropoulos said that he felt all of Anand's demands could be accommodated except one. Anand wants to restore the right of the champion to claim victory if the match ends in a tie. Makropoulos said FIDE should oppose this and the Executive Board agreed. However the delegate from India then spoke and said that there was another sticking point not mentioned by Deputy President: Anand is insisting that the match be played at a ?¢‚Ǩ?ìneutral venue?¢‚Ǩ? The Executive Board did not discuss this issue because of the sensitivity of ongoing negotiations.

And it is clear why. This is a trickier issue than it seems. Prior to the World Championship tournament in Mexico City, FIDE had signed a contract with a German company, Universal Events Productions (UEP), to sponsor the 2008 World Championship Match. It was agreed that this match would be played in Germany. It appears that Anand does not regard Germany as a ?¢‚Ǩ?ìneutral venue?¢‚Ǩ? because Kramnik's manager, Carsten Hensel, is a German citizen and has close relations with UEP. Also there are rumors that UEP gave Kramnik ?¢‚Ǩ?ìextra inducements?¢‚Ǩ? to play the match in Germany. This issue is a potential showstopper."

Global Chess At the Executive Board the agreement between FIDE and Global Chess was finalized and the contract signed. The agreement covers topics including the promotion of chess around the world, the organization of the new world championship system with World Cups and Grand Prixs, and the responsability over the FIDE website. Ilyumzhinov described Global Chess BV as "a child whose milk is quite expensive" and said he'd already spent 5 million euros on the company up to now. "However, it is not the child of Bessel or mine... It is the children of chess. The world is changing and we have to adapt ourselves."

Ali Nihat Yaz?Ѭ±c?Ѭ± After the finalization of the agreement, Geoffrey Borg (FIDE Vice President and CEO of Global Chess BV) resigned from his post in FIDE to ensure complete openness and to prevent any conflict of interest. Ilyumzhinov thanked probably the most dynamic chess politician in the world and suggested the Board to accept the Turkish Chess Federation's President Ali Nihat Yaz?Ѭ±c?Ѭ± as Borg's successor. Yaz?Ѭ±c?Ѭ± was elected as FIDE Vice President and sat down among the Presidential Board in the next session.

Women's events Another topic that was paid attention to, was women's chess. It was agreed in principle that there is going to be more women's elite tournaments in the future. Linares for example is also going to organize a women's event. Furthermore, the Grand-Prix system will also be modified for women.

New Olympiad rules Starting with the coming event in Dresden next year, there will be new rules for Olympiads. Both the men's and women's teams will consist of 4 players plus 1 reserve. (Currently the men's team consists of 4 players plus 2 reserves and the women's team consists of 3 players plus 1 reserve.) The number of rounds will be reduced from 14 to 11. The scoring will be changed from the current game points to match points.

Biddings Then the bidding session for FIDE tournaments was on the agenda. Turkey is going to organize the 2009 World Youth Chess Championship (yes, the tournament that's going on right now, also in Turkey!) and the 2009 World Team Championship. The Women's World Championship will be held in late June 2008 in San Luis, Argentina. There were also presentations of the 2008 Chess Olympiad in Dresden, the 2008 World Youth Chess Championship in Vietnam and a presentation of a "Universal Chess Portal", another project of Ali Nihat Yaz?Ѭ±c?Ѭ± which tries to extend the Turkish Chess Federation's web portal to a universal portal voor global chess.

More on the Executive Board of the 78th FIDE Congress at FIDE and at the Turkish Chess Federation's website. Thanks to ?É‚Äìzg?ɬºr Akman for allowing me to use his material.
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