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Francisco Guadalupe on the FIDE Congress Print E-mail
By Francisco Guadalupe   
October 16, 2011
IA Sophia Rohde, IA Walter Browne, Zonal President Francisco Guadalupe, USCF President Ruth Haring, Executive Director Bill Hall & FIDE Delegate Michael Khodarkovsky

Despite the best efforts of the International transportation community in keeping him away from Poland, Tony Rich of the Saint Louis Chess Club arrived this evening.  Now his great sleep and recovery begins!  

While Tony was away, the 82nd FIDE Congress kicked off with a reception presided over by Secretary General Ignatius Leong.  After opening remarks, the Qualification Commission launched the real work effort.  Following some discussions and debate, the QC was in agreement to submit for approval to the EB all outstanding titles earned in the U.S. by the American players.  This concession was accompanied by a September 1, 2011 deadline after which all FIDE Norm tournaments must use one of the five approved time controls, so all organizers must be aware, now, of these changes.   As you may already know, time controls with time delay are not recognized by FIDE for norm events.  It was also clarified that this rule applies only to norm events and does not affect other events submitted to FIDE for rating.  

That said, the USCF Delegation is preparing a proposal to the QC, which, if approved, would allow time delay for all tournaments.  We expect to submit this before the commencement of the EB sessions on Thursday.  It is worth mentioning that the Chairman of the QC remarked about the large USCF delegation in attendance!

The Arbiter’s Commission Meeting went relatively well.  There were no problems with the IA and FA applications submitted by the USCF, although there were a few issues on a few applications submitted by other National Federations.   The issue of inactive arbiters was discussed and there was consensus on the need for retraining.  The time period that constitutes inactivity remains to be defined.  It was interesting to hear that some of the other National Federations do have experience/level restrictions on submission of IA and FA title applications.  In the USCF, those applications are limited to Senior TDs and above and it looks like we are not alone in some sort of National requirement before submission to FIDE is authorized.   

The Chess in Schools Commission presented a very ambitious plan for promoting chess in the schools worldwide, with a pilot program to be held in Slovakia and Slovenia.   In the session following that, IM Martha Fierro Baquero, Secretary of the Women’s Commission, presented the updates covering the events for the past year.  More information may be found at  http://womenchess.fide.com/ .    Lastly, the FIDE Trainers’ Commission began navigating a sizeable agenda that is scheduled to last several days.

Although today was the first day, some of the “work” started last night during and after dinner.  While going to my table, I was fortunate to cross path with the Chairman of the Rules and Tournament Regulations (RTR) Commission, Mr. Geurt Gijssen.  I told him that I read his monthly ChessCafe column,” An Arbiter’s Notebook,” and he seemed delighted.  Jokingly, he mentioned to me that he gets paid by the reader, so we had a good laugh.  This led to a Paul Harvey moment as he told me “the rest of the story” about how he started writing the column.  

Later in the evening, I joined Bill Hall in a very lively conversation with the Chairman of the Qualification Commission, Mr. Mikko Markkula.  As I recall, we did not discuss much chess, but plenty about life in New York!  

Early this morning, at breakfast, I ran into the Secretary of the RTR and Councilor of the QC, Mr. Stewart Reuben.  He looked puzzled when I asked him if he had received my money.  After I informed him that a few months ago I bought his book “The Chess Organiser’s Handbook” we started a very nice conversation.  After a long day, a while ago, Mr. Reuben joined us, some of the USCF members, for dinner.  

I found all three gentlemen to be quite interesting and a pleasure to speak with.  I must add that our host from Poland, Mr. Andrzej Filipowicz, Councilor of the QC, has been very charming and friendly and we have had many discussions.  For me, so far, this has been a very interesting and informative FIDE Congress.  Tomorrow, the work continues with the Swiss Pairings Programs, Rules and Tournament Regulations, Development CACDEC, and the Ethics Commissions.  Also, the Trainers Commission continues its four-day schedule.  Now time for some Zzzzzs – it has been a long day and my body still has not adjusted to the seven-hour difference.  I wonder how Tony is doing on that…