83rd FIDE Congress in Istanbul: A Perspective from Walter Brown
By Walter Brown   
September 5, 2012
I arrived in Istanbul on August 28th after a long trip from Nashville. I attended the FIDE Organizers Seminar starting on the 29th along with Zonal President Franc Guadalupe. The class was held over three mornings with the last part of the third day devoted to a test. The manual used was the new FIDE Organizer Handbook. When I return to the office, I will mail a copy of the handbook to all current IO’s.

Forty-four were signed up for the seminar and thirty-eight passed the test. I believe the other six did not take the test. I have sent in for the IO title request for Franc here in Istanbul and it may be approved within a few days at the General Assembly (GA).

September 1st started the commission meetings. My first meeting was the Rules and Tournament Regulations Committee (RTR). The meeting was scheduled for four hours on Saturday morning, but this was not nearly enough time. A second meeting was held for two hours on Sunday afternoon, and another four hours on Tuesday morning. This finished the rules for regular rated tournaments.
Guadalupe, Khodarkovsky, Haring, Brown and Rich

A final session was held on Tuesday afternoon to finish up with Rapid and Blitz rules. A full detail on the rules will be given after the conclusion of the Congress. Please remember that all FIDE rated tournaments must use FIDE rules starting July 1st next year.

I attended the Swiss Pairings Programs Committee meeting.  The discussion was very technical but useful for those who develop the pairing programs we use (SwissSys and WinTD); therefore, we will send all the information to Thad Suits (SwissSys) and Tom Doan (WinTD). The Technical Committee meeting was interesting as they drew up regulations for electronic scorekeeping devices on what the minimum standards they expect from a device, what it can and cannot do.

The Qualification Commission (QC) is the last for me to report as I am a member of the committee. We met for six hours over two different days. The QC duties include rating regulations and title qualifications. There were some changes made to each. One of the main changes for the organizers to be aware of is that tournaments are to be registered ahead of time, norm tournaments 30 days, rating tournaments 7 days. If a norm tournament is not registered ahead of time, no norms are possible. If a rating tournament is not registered seven days ahead of time, there will be financial penalties. If an organizer wants to have the USCF office register a tournament after it has started, it will be denied. After a tournament, the USCF office will have one week after it ends to submit the results. Late submission will result in penalties. Tournaments not submitted after 90 days will not be rated at all. This takes effect January 1st , 2013.

The QC made some changes involving time controls. They are recommending to the GA to have only two “minimum” time controls, or rates of play as FIDE calls them.  The first one will be Game/90 + 30 second increment and if no increment is used, the minimum rate of play will be 40/90, SD/30, with or without delay. Keep in mind that this is just the minimum.  Anything else will be okay as long as it is slower.  A full report on all changes will be made later.

As far as player title norms go, Conrad Holt, Marc Arnold, and Enrico Sevillano GM title requests were favorably reviewed by the Qualification Commission, and likewise for IM titles applications for Teddy Coleman and Victor Shen.  All titles requests are pending GA’s approval.

I am returning home to Crossville, Tennessee on September 5th. President Ruth Haring, FIDE Delegate Michael Khodarkovsky, Zonal President Franc Guadalupe, and Executive Director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis Tony Rich will report on the remainder of the Commission meetings, the FIDE Executive Board Meeting,, the Continental Americas Meetings, and the General Assembly.