ARBITRARY ACTIONS BY FIDE BOARD- SIMILAR TO USCF?
Press release of the German Chess Federation:
German Chess Federation enters protest against new time control
The Board of FIDE in it's meeting 26.12.2000 in Teheran has, without consulting the commissions or the federations, decided on a new time control that will be applied for all FIDE events starting 1.1.2001: 40 moves in 75 minutes, rest of the moves in 15 minutes, each move additional 30 seconds. The new time control needs an electronic chessclock.
According to this decision the time for a player will be:
· for a game of 40 moves 1 hour 35 minutes
· for a game of 50 moves 1 hour 55 minutes
· for a game of 60 moves 2 hours
· for a game of 80 moves 2 hour 10 minutes
· for a game of 100 moves 2 hour 20 minutes
As the Chess Federation of the Netherlands in a letter dated 8.1.2001 states, rapid chess would become the official form of chess.
We assume the FIDE-Board is expecting more interest from the media and easier organization of tournaments (less hours and perhaps two rounds a day).
In the letter already mentioned from 8.1.2001 the Chess Federation of the Netherlands has entered a protest against the decision. The federation states, that the time control has not been discussed in the FIDE-Congress at Istanbul (a proposal of GM Shirov supported by GM Torre was in the documents). Der Executive Council had proposed to ask the players in the Olympiad for their opinion, but that was not done, instead the participants in the Worldchampionship in New Dehli have been asked regarding shorter time, but without any concrete proposal.
The Chess Federation of the Netherlands refers to contradictions to several valid regulations of FIDE, so it would not be possible to have title norms with the new time control. But the decisive argument against the decision is, that according to the statutes the FIDE Board is not authorized to take such a decision. Because of this the Chess Federation of the Netherlands states, that only General Assembly of FIDE, that will meet in autumn 2002 in Bled / Slovenia, after a thorough discussion concerning the future of chess can take a decision reaching that far and touching the core and the level of chess. The federation asks the President of FIDE to cancel the decision and to put the issue on the agenda of General Assembly in Bled 2002.
With a letter dated 21.1.2001 the German Chess Federation has fully supported the protest of the Chess Federation of the Netherlands. The federation points out that federations have been informed only by a press release distributed in Internet and that no German top player has supported the new time control for serious chess in a meeting of the German national team in Düsseldorf 17.1.2001.
It is the position of the German Chess Federation that the decision of the FIDE Board is not valid, because the Statutes of FIDE do not cover it. So the time control as defined in the FIDE handbook still has to be applied.
German Chess Federation also objected to the intention of the FIDE Board to have the qualification for the World Championship in continental tournaments. This decision will destroy the zonal tournaments and by this the function of the FIDE Zones. In this case neither national federations nor - as to our knowledge - the Zone Presidents have been consulted. Since there has been no emergency as demanded by the statutes, the FIDE Board is not authorized to decide in this case, too.
"We shall not tolerate the violation of the statutes", so Egon Ditt, "We have to remind the FIDE Board that only General Assembly, the body composed of delegates of the national federations, has unlimited authority to decide, and the Board has to stay within the framework of the decisions of General Assembly".
Bremen, 24.1.2001 Egon Ditt, President of the German Chess Federation
Editor's comment: As we reported in our previous coverage of the FIDE time control controversy, FIDE responded to previous criticism of this type by issuing a clarifying press release on January 4 stating that the "new time control" would not in fact be immediately required for all tournaments granting title norms. However, that release also suggested that using other time controls would be tolerated only for an interim period.
The objections of the chess federations of Germany and the Netherlands also encompass a larger issue, that the Presidential Board of FIDE has taken an action, without consulting its member federations, which attempts to bypass the necessary approval by the FIDE General Assembly.
Strange, but these developments remind me of some recent USCF events. Consider the following:
1) The FIDE Presidential Board wishes to require organizers of title norm events everywhere to use one time control only, a much faster control than anyone now uses for such tournaments. The Board could raise this issue at the meeting of the FIDE General Assembly at Istanbul, but instead says nothing there, waits until the General Assembly is over and will not meet again for two years, does not consult its member federations, and proclaims that the new time limit is immediately in effect. An outcry results and the FIDE Board modifies its pronouncement, saying that the new control is not in effect yet, but suggesting that it will be after an undefined interim period.
2) The USCF Executive Board and Executive Director wish to have a large increase in TLA (Tournament Life Announcement) fees. The Board could raise this issue at the annual meeting of the Delegates at St Paul (the way former Executive Director Mike Cavallo did at Orlando 1997 with a much smaller TLA fee increase), but instead says nothing there, waits until the Delegates Meeting is over and will not meet again for a year, does not consult the state federations or affiliates, and the office proclaims in Chess Life that an enormous increase (for example, 3 lines goes from $6 to $50, 15 lines from $39 to $140) is going into effect. An outcry results and USCF modifies its pronouncement, establishing smaller but still substantial fee increases (3 lines $20, 15 lines $85, etc). This causes many TLAs to no longer be in Chess Life, hurting tournament attendance and depriving members of a feature shown to be popular in reader surveys.
3) The USCF Executive Board wishes to add "activity points" to the USCF Rating System, as proposed by the "DDDE Committee" in May. The Board could raise this issue a few months later at the annual meeting of the Delegates at St Paul (all previous major rating system revisions have been submitted to the Delegates for approval), but instead says nothing there, waits until the Delegates Meeting is over and will not meet again for a year, disregards the unanimous opposition of the Ratings Committee, does not consult the state federations or affiliates, and announces in Chess Life that "two activity points per game" will be in effect for all 2001 tournaments for players rated up to 2000. An outcry results and USCF modifies this change, first limiting and then perhaps eliminating activity points.
Does anyone detect a pattern here? Have Iljuzhimov and friends been taking lessons on how to run a chess federation from the USCF Executive Board?