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83rd FIDE Congress Begins in Istanbul Print E-mail
By Franc Guadalupe   
September 2, 2012
Franc Guadalupe
I arrived in Istanbul on August 29th for my second FIDE Congress and my first visit to a World Olympiad.  After picking up my baggage, I found the FIDE reception booth where the volunteers were very helpful and arranged for transportation.  There were no complications with trip or hotel check-in, and that is always a big plus!

The official USCF delegation is composed of members of the International Committee:  USCF President Ruth Haring, USCF Delegate Michael Khodarkovsky, Tony Rich, and, of course, me as the Zonal President.  Also a member of the official delegation is USCF Ratings Officer and FIDE Qualification Commission (QC) member Walter Brown.  In addition to the USCF official delegation and the players participating at the Olympiad, FIDE Vice President Beatriz Marinello, Chairman for the Commission of Women’s Chess GM Susan Polgar, Chief Arbiter of Olympiad Woman and member of the Rules and Tournament Regulations Commission (RTR) IA Carol Jarecki are present in Istanbul.  

Sevan Muradian and Mike Klein are also here as members of the Press.  Sevan is also a Consultant to the Chairman of the Chess in Schools Commission and a member of the RTR.  

Before the Congress, Walter and I participated in the International Organizer’s Seminar and successfully completed the required examination.  During the third day of the Seminar, before the examination, we were visited by the Organizer of the World Olympiad and FIDE Vice President, Mr. Ali Nihat Yazici who shared his experience in organizing the Olympiad and other World events.  This was a very informative presentation.

In the meantime, Ruth and Michael were quite busy handling affairs dealing with the FIDE Statutes.  Ruth requested and coordinated a meeting with the FIDE President and other officials to discuss important matters and to express our concern with issues related to the Olympiad, including the banning of the arbiters from the five federations involved in actions filed against FIDE.  

Ruth, Michael and I were invited to meet with FIDE President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Deputy President Mr. Georgios Makropoulos, Assistant to the President Mr. Berik Balgabaev, FIDE Executive Director and Treasurer Mr. Nigel Freeman, Member of the General Secretariat Ms. Polina Tsedenova, and Swiss Chess Federation President Dr. Adrian Siegel. 

Guadalupe, Freeman, Haring and Ilyumzhinov

This meeting took place in the evening in a very informal and relaxing atmosphere at the seafront restaurant.  The dinner was excellent and the conversation very lively and I believe much was accomplished!

Khodarkovsky, Siegel & Makropoulos

September 1st, was the first day of Commission and Committee workshops.  Walter, Tony and I attended the 4-hour session of the RTR.  Proposed changes to the FIDE Laws of Chess were discussed, some of which were the result of the FIDE/USCF meeting that took place in New York in early June.  Much of the discussion, however, centered on the wording, or clarity of the language, in the Laws.  As with all other proposals agreed to at the Commission and Committee meetings, nothing is final, nor approved, until the end of the Congress, at the General Assembly.  Once specific changes are approved, I will report accordingly.  Sevan was filming these and other proceedings, and I am sure he is making them available for viewing.  That said, organizers and USCF Tournament Directors must keep in mind that effective July 1st, 2013, all events which are FIDE rated must comply with the FIDE Laws of Chess and FIDE tournament regulations.   Since we were not able to discuss all the topics in the agenda, a second session has been scheduled.

In the afternoon, Walter and I attended the QC session.  First, we discussed the Gliko Rating System.  It was decided that FIDE would run a parallel system of Gliko and regular ratings, looking back at a number of years in order to evaluate the advantages of the proposal.  For now, nothing changes since the Gliko ratings will not be published during the evaluation period.  Once the evaluation is completed, results will be announced, hopefully next year, and decisions will be made.  Other issues of importance that were discussed at the QC include the deadlines for registering and submitting FIDE events for rating.  It was agreed that norm events must be registered at least 30 days in advance while other FIDE-rated tournaments will have to be registered at least seven days prior to the events.  

In the past, deadlines have not been “aggressively” enforced, but that is likely to change.  In addition, there is a proposal to delete the specific language in Section B.1.14 which defines specific rates of play, time controls as we know them.  If approved at the GA, this will allow organizers to have norm events with any time control as long as it is G/120 or slower, with or without delay or increment.  With increment, it will continue to be no faster than G/90 plus 30-second increment.     

The QC also has responsibility over the review and processing of norms/titles requests.  Pending approval by the conclusion of this Congress we have the GM title requests for Marc Arnold, Conrad Hold, and Enrico Sevillano; IM title requests for Teddy Coleman and Victor Shen; and the IA title request for Tony Rich.  Now that I successfully completed the seminar, time permitting, I will apply for the IO title at this Congress as well. 

Michael will be preparing the second report on day two of the Congress.  We have the continuation of the RTR, Tony and Walter will be attending the Swiss Pairings Programs Committee (SPP) session, Michael will be at the Trainers Commission (TRG) session, I will be at the Arbiters Commission (ARB) session while Ruth will be busy with the continuation of the FIDE Statutes session.   

For the first three days of the Olympiad, each member of our delegation had FIDE Delegate credentials which did not allow access in the playing area (although we could observe the games from the spectators’ area).  Michael, as Captain of the Women’s team, already had access to it.  For the remainder of the games, it was decided to give Zonal Presidents VIP credentials which include access to the playing area.  Within 24 hours after that, the National Federation Presidents were also granted the same access, so Ruth and I are able to get close to the action.  

I have been the Chief Arbiter and Chief TD at many events attended by our top players and members of our Olympiad teams, but this is the first time I get a chance to see most of the World’s best players in action, “up close and personal”!  It has been exciting walking around the boards and watching the games of GMs Topalov, Aronian, Kramnik, Radjabov, Karjakin, Caruana (who I saw at a young kid playing in the U.S.), Ivanchuk, Grischuk, Wang Hao, Gelfand, Leko, Giri, Tomashevsky, Ponomariov, Mamedyarov, Dominguez, Jakovenko, Adams, Volokitin, Shirov, Bruzon, Almasi, Wojtaszek, Bologan, Fressinet, Naiditsch, Sasikiran, Movsesian and many others.  It is also good to silently support our team members while they are playing.  Today is a rest day for the players, so be sure to follow the action live when they resume tomorrow.  

I will be reporting again after day six of the Congress.  Until then, goodbye from Istanbul!

Also see FM Mike Klein's latest dispatch from Istanbul.


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