Walter Brown on the 82nd FIDE Congress
By Walter Brown   
October 20, 2011
WalterBrown.jpgLast night, USCF President Ruth Haring, Zonal President Franc Guadalupe, Executive Director Bill Hall, and FIDE Delegate Michael Khodarkovsky had a working dinner with Continental President for Americas Jorge Vega.  They discussed key events and issues related to Continental matters, and reported that they were pleased with the progress made and had an excellent traditional Polish dining experience.

Wednesday the 19th was originally scheduled to be a free day although a few commission meetings held additional sessions as they did not finish their agenda in their first sessions.  However, my morning was free. Others went on the tour of Krakow that was offered. Because of the beautiful weather, I decided to walk up by the river front before I went to see parts of the downtown. There was a lot of minor restoration on some of the buildings in progress. There were plenty of shops everywhere including McDonalds, Subway, KFC and Pizza Hut.
Krakow250.jpgIn the afternoon, I went to the Technical Commission extra session where we were finishing up our work on how to evaluate byes and unplayed games in terms of setting up pairing programs. The recommendation of the commission was basically that if you received a full or half-point bye or win by forfeit, consider it a downfloat. If you received a zero point bye, forfeit loss or simply an unplayed game, it will be considered neither.
There is no change in FIDE rated events and organizers are still allowed to advertise any number of byes they want.  For norm events, players may take up to whatever number of byes they can as long as the remaining number of rounds still qualifies for norms, for example, in an 11 round tournament, they could take two byes.  In “World” events, only one bye is allowed.
The Arbiter's Commission extra session was definitely most interesting. First, it is suggested to have arbiter's pay a once in a lifetime fee depending on their title and classification. An IA in the "A" classification might pay a 300 Euro fee. An arbiter in this class would be one who works events like chief TD of the World Championship Match, or chief TD of the Olympiad. The fee would go down to 80 euros for a FA in the "D" Category. There was also introduced a 20 Euro fee for "National Arbiters" This would be for a TD who wants to become a FA and needs to work FIDE rated tournaments.
If an arbiter becomes inactive, (two years without directing a FIDE rating events) then he/she must pay the fee again to become active.  If an arbiter upgrades from FA to IA, they will pay the difference in the fee. The second more contentious part was the pay scale devised. Fees for those working official FIDE events is pretty well set in the rules and regulations. However, there is a plan that the organizer will have to pay 10% of FIDE recommended arbiter fee.
The problem was that this would apply to privately run tournaments also. At the low end is Swiss tournaments. If you work a weekend Swiss, the rate of pay was set at 500 euros (I wished I got paid that). The organizer will owe an additional 50 Euros to FIDE. If the organizer and myself agreed on say 300 Euros for working, he will still have to pay 10% of the 500 FIDE recommended fee. This fee on private tournaments brought out a lot of discussion. Most of the arguments centered on the point that it would dramatically reduce FIDE rated events in a lot of countries.
In a vote of all those attending, a big majority were against the fees on the private tournaments. All of the these points discussed above and all committee recommendations on any issues are subject to approval at the executive board meetings over the next two days.  We will have a report tomorrow by our Delegate, Michael Khodarkovsky on the events of the first day of the FIDE board meetings.
This evening was the official opening of the 82nd Congress. We were bused to the Hotel Europejski for the ceremony. The opening ceremony included speeches from the Mayor of Krakow, Deputy Mayor, Manager of the Hotel, and head of the Polish Olympic Committee, President of the Polish Chess Federation and others. FIDE President Kirsan Illyumzhinov then made his opening remarks and declared the 82nd FIDE Congress officially open.
Entertainment at the dinner and opening ceremony included colorfully dressed dancers who performed folk dances to traditional music. After a fine dinner, it was time to go back to the Galaxy Hotel. The Executive Board meetings will start at 9 AM on Thursday.