Zonal President’s Report from FIDE Congress in Istanbul – Part 2 Print E-mail
By Franc Guadalupe   
September 7, 2012
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Franc Guadalupe, Photo Luciana Morales

Before getting into the discussion of the last two days at the FIDE Congress, I want to congratulate the U.S.A. Team for their outstanding result yesterday versus the men’s team from Russia.

Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky, had very impressive wins on Boards 1 and 2.  Worth noting is that Hikaru went into this game as the number 5 player in the World and played former World Champion and previously number 4, GM Kramnik.  With the victory, Hikaru moves into the fourth spot, ahead of Vladimir and less than one point from the number 3 spot!  Our team moved into a four-way tie for first place.  Congratulations to the entire team and good luck today versus China!  The ladies were not as fortunate and now have their work cut out for the last two rounds.

As far as the activity in the FIDE Congress is concerned, we had two main meetings:  the Executive Board session and the Continental meeting.   As the Zonal President, I am a member of the Executive Board and, therefore, the USA representative at the session.  FIDE Treasurer and Executive Director Nigel Freeman discussed the financial report.  We also had requests from the Iranian and Turkish federations to accept their two languages as official languages of FIDE.  Nigel’s position is that inasmuch as there are several languages listed, the official FIDE language is English (followed by Spanish).  Most of the topics to be addressed were moved for discussion at the General Assembly, including recommendations by the Commissions and Committees.

The FIDE Calendar was discussed.  Among the highlights here (for us), is that the Puerto Rican Chess Federation presented a bid for the 2016 World Youth Chess Championships.   This was interesting to me for two reasons:  First, at last year’s Congress a cycle for this event was approved and, according to it, it will be Europe’s turn in 2015 and 2016, followed by the Americas in 2017.  Second, I had talked to Nigel over dinner the other night and discussed the possibility of the U.S. hosting this event in 2017.  Since, according to the announced calendar, Puerto Rico cannot bid for the 2016 WYCC, their representative wants FIDE to consider the bid for the following year which, of course, is the same year in which we want the event.  I am already in discussions with my friend from Puerto Rico in order to come up with a friendly solution.  Of course, none of this guarantees FIDE acceptance but since it is the America’s turn in 2017, it is best to come to an agreement within our group.  

Speaking of bids for FIDE events, Mr. Freeman had asked me if we would be interested in hosting the 2014 World U20 Championships.  Since that event would require the financial support of other organizations, I discussed this with Ruth and Tony.  On behalf of the folks in St. Louis, Tony seemed interested but, of course, he will need more details to present to his organization.  We will keep you posted on this.

The Continental meeting was very, very friendly and productive.  We reviewed the calendar of upcoming events.  The Continental Team U20 Internet Championship which we were to hold this year has been postponed.  On behalf of our Zone, I talked to the Continental President, the Secretary General, and some of the representatives from other federations about bidding for the 2015 Continental Championships.  That bid is not yet due, but I will be working on it.

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At work at the FIDE Congress, Photo Tony Rich of STL Chess Club

Speaking of the Continental Championship, as soon as I return home I need to finalize my list of players who will be attending this year’s event.  So far, the following players, in FIDE-rating order, have expressed desire to participate:  GM Varuzhan Akobian, GM Alexander Shabalov, GM Alexander Ivanov, GM Yermolinsky, IM Hungaski and IM John Bartholomew.  At this point, pending receipt of requests by others, the Zone’s representatives who will receive free room and meals are the first three.  In this event, the players who finish in the top four positions are selected to participate in the World Cup cycle.  The event also offers a $20,000 prize fund and norm/title opportunities.  Any other interested players should email me NLT September 10th.  

The Women’s Continental Championship is held during odd-numbered years so the next one will be in 2013.   The Continental President was very pleased with the fact that federations have a very friendly rivalry and “fight” to host events. Many bids were awarded at this meeting and all events are listed, or will be listed, on the organization’s website.   Mr. Vega mentioned that he was pleased that the website has received over six million hits!  After the Congress concludes and I return home, I will give a detailed report on the upcoming Continental and World events.  Of course, our players can always go the respective Continental and FIDE websites for this information.  

The Continental Treasurer Allan Herbert presented his report.  It looks like the financial posture of the organization is very good.  There are some items that are overdue payment, but this is being resolved.  At the end of the meeting all the representatives gathered for photos.  This was somewhat funny as all of us gave our cell phones to the ladies assisting with the logistics so that they would take our pictures.  They ended up with over 20 cell phones so this took a while!  This was a very enjoyable meeting in which all participants exchanged ideas and exhibited a tremendous amount of goodwill and friendship towards each other.  

The weather in Istanbul has been absolutely gorgeous!  The organizers and volunteers have been extremely helpful and the hotel staff very friendly.  Of course, I am not used to going through security and metal detectors everywhere I go!  It seems that the folks here are always on a high state of alert and these devices and security personnel are at the entrance of all buildings.  Attendees at the Congress are staying in several hotels and none are within walking distance of each other, nor is the playing area. We have scheduled transportation to go to all the places we need to go.  However, when we have needed other than regularly-scheduled transportation, we have relied on cab rides which are extremely cheap!

Okay…back to the General Assembly. Ruth will be reporting on that, and wrapping things up, after its conclusion.
 
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