Timeline of the TCF-ECU controversy
Intro: Turkey has won the case against the ECU, which was
filed due to the claim that the European Chess Union was thwarting the organization
of the three major European Chess events in Turkey. The judicial court in Lausanne
decided that European Individual Chess Championships are cancelled and bidding
procedures of all the major events to restart.
Story: According to the civil court judgment regarding the
trial between the Turkish Chess Federation and the European Chess Union on April
22, 2009, the ECU Board decisions taken during the meeting held in Novi Sad
on August 29, 2007. The court ruled that all of the decisions regarding the
European Individual Chess Championships 2009 (for men and women), European Club
Cup 2009 (men and women) and 2009 European Youth Championship in 2009, are canceled
altogether. This means the results of the European Individual Championships
are canceled and should be held again. The players who won the titles and gained
the right to play in the World Cup lost their rights. Furthermore, the ECU will
pay 6.800 CHF to the Turkish Chess Federation for compensation. Although the
way to appeal is still open, if the ECU makes an appeal and the appeal is rejected
than another chaos is awaiting the chess world. Before viewing the open letter
of the President of the Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat Yazici, let us remember
the chronology of the events.
|24 August 2007
||ECU Board meeting in Novi Sad, the decisions are contested by the Turkish
| 3 October 2007
||The TCF sues the ECU in the Judicial Court in Lausanne
|12 October 2007
||TCF President Ali Nihat Yazici publishes an open letter to announce that
TCF was suing the ECU
| 3 November 2007
||The ECU General Assembly takes place in Heraklion/Greece
|22 November 2008
||ECU General Assembly held in Dresden/Germany during the FIDE Congress
|30 March 2009
||The last trial of the course
|22 April 2009
||The court in Lausenne partially ruled for TCF. The organization of the
all upcoming major European events are in question as well as the European
Individual Championship which was already organized is cancelled.
||Open Letter, Court Decision
Open Letter to all Chess Federations and Media
Law is just and justice prevails
By Ali Nihat Yazici, President of the Turkish Chess Federation
As is well known, from the open
letter [full version in PDF]
that was presented to the chess world on 12 October 2007, I invited Boris Kutin,
the President of the European Chess Union (ECU) to resign. Together with the
invitation, I also explained the reasons of the unfortunate obligation that
TCF had to sue ECU in Lausanne, Switzerland.
I explained that from 24 August 2007 to 2 October 2007 we had tried to find
a solution with the ECU but starting from the dear President, the majority of
the ECU Board did not take our rights or reasons into consideration. This was
not only the first time and not the last time that the ECU was violating our
TCF President Ali Nihat Yazici
I also underlined that ECU lost objectivity in their decisions starting from
2006, since all the tournaments were being given to a group of countries from
a specific geographical region, while ECU was behaving as if there was an unwritten
convention that countries like Turkey, Greece and Georgia were not to be given
any tournaments. As a leading national federation, the Turkish Chess Federation
could not be silent against this double standard and therefore we opened a law
suit against ECU.
After the letter had been published, on November 3, 2007, during the ECU General
Assembly held in Crete, these issues were heavily debated during a long session
and it was registered in the assembly that the decisions of the ECU were not
in line with the bidding procedures and the rights of our Federation were not
Our common friends tried to end the suit between the TCF and the ECU. The FIDE
Deputy President and President of the Greek Chess Federation worked a lot to
find a peaceful solution. I agreed with his views that these kind of problems
should be resolved under the roof of FIDE through diplomacy, however the entirely
consciously biased decisions against our Federation were not acceptable.
ECU President Boris Kutin
Mr. Kutin, continued his explicitly biased and hostile attitude during the
ECU General Assembly in Dresden, 2008.
During the Is Bank Atatürk FIDE Women Grand Prix held between 5-20 March
in Istanbul, Mr. Makropoulos again tried to assist as a mediator between the
two parties and showed enormous effort to find a compromise. The TCF accepted
to conditionally drop the case, unwillingly I must add, but respecting the motto
of Gens Una Sumus. However, ECU rejected these reconciliation efforts.
Actually, the inability to administer by the ECU Board was clear after the
2007 and 2008 ECU General Assemblies. The ECU Board could not pass any of their
propositions. Furthermore, during the 2007 Assembly the authority of the ECU
Board, on deciding the organizers of annual events, was reduced by the GA and
by 2008, except for the youth championships, all other events will be decided
by the GA. This shows a de facto distrust of the ECU Board.
It is sure that law is just and justice prevails eventually. This was proven
true once again.
After the last trial was held on 30 March 2009 in Lausanne, the court ruled
for the TCF, with the decision taken on 22 April 2009 as their decision written
in French (and our
translation in English) is attached.
According to this judgement, the decisions of the ECU Board on 24 August 2007
for the three tournaments of 2009, were cancelled and became void. So those
three decision given below are now void! Furthermore, it was decided that ECU
should pay 6.593 CHF for legal costs to the Turkish Chess Federation as compensation.
And also they will pay 3.686 CHF for the court expenses in total the amount
will be 10.279 CHF.
I do not count the money we spent for the law suit, the money spent by ECU
for travelling, accommodation and for lawyers in Lausanne. All those monies
were spent to the detriment of the chess world due to the illegal decision of
ECU and their behavior of disregarding the views of one of their members.
What were the decisions which were cancelled?
- 2009 European Individual Chess Championship
- The decision to hold 2009 European Club Cup in FYROM, Struga.
- The decision to hold 2009 European Youth Championship in Italy, Fermo.
What are the probable consequences?
With the court decision regarding the European Individual Chess Championship,
the European Individual Championships held in Montenegro and Russia for
men and women respectively are both void. Any of the players that participated
and qualified from those events cannot play in the World Cup (that is the
opinion after consulting lawyers). Those tournaments should be held in 2009
again! ECU is responsible for all the expenses of those events spent by
players and organizers. FIDE, as the body controlling the World Championship
cycle, should convene quickly and decide about it. It is an absolute mess
ECU decision to “legally” hold the European Club Cup 2009
is also cancelled. A new bid procedure should immediately start for the
organization of this event. Until 2007, ECU Board was the deciding body
about the incoming bids but now ECU General Assembly should convene as soon
as possible with a new bidding procedure to decide for this event.
The ECU Board’s decision taken on 24 August 2007 to hold European
Youth Championship also cannot be hold in this country without a new
decision. Since the event is being planned to be held in August, the bidding
process should restart immediately and a new organizer should be determined.
This is only the beginning. The ECU President has created a real mess in the
chess world, despite our and all other intermediaries’ suggestions. This
issue is not about losing one or three events, but we will resume our struggle
until the decisions are taken lawfully according to the procedures, since our
rights were unlawfully violated.
We immediately invite all of the ECU Board starting with Mr. Boris Kutin
to resign and believe that is the time to convene immediately an Extraordinary
General Assembly with elections.
We are proposing following:
All the ECU board must resign. We know that some members of the
board did their best to persuade the President but they could not change
his rigid opinion. However, considering that the decision belongs to all
board, we ask them all to resign.
Turkey is ready to organize an extraordinary ECU GA in Istanbul in order
temporary to elect a new President and board members until the next ECU
GA in 2010 in Khanty-Mansiysk
The TCF is ready to do everything possible to help in the negotiation
between all affected parties to find right solutions to avoid serious problems
which we are facing today.
ECU Board created a real mess in the chess world after our and all the intermediaries’
suggestions. We are candidates to organize all of these three organizations
under the best conditions. This issue is not about losing one or three events,
but we will resume our struggle until the decisions are taken lawfully according
to the procedures since our rights were unlawfully violated.
We immediately invite all of the ECU Board starting with Mr.Boris Kutin to
resign and believe that is the time to convene immediately an Extraordinary
General Assembly with elections.
It is the time that ECU should be administered in the right hands.
I should stress that this was never a personal issue regarding my relations
with Mr. Boris Kutin. During the 2007 General Assembly, the ECU Board suggested
that the President should be paid an amount of 1.500 € and the General
Secretary of an amount of 750 € monthly stipend. As can be seen from the
minutes of the assembly, with my proposal and the approval of the General Assembly,
this amount is increased to 3.000 and 1.500 €, eventually accepted as such.
Furthermore, I never had a personal statement against the dear president; however,
he tried to cooperate with the opposition during the Turkish Chess Federation
elections and attempted to contact our Sports Minister, which was left unreplied
by our Minister. Could you believe that a continental president is trying to
contact a national government bypassing the the national federation and trying
to influence the elections of the national chess federation by cooperating with
It is time to stop this bad situation. European chess needs a much better
leader than this person.
This board, which could not manage to find any sponsor, not achieved any corporate
success so far in great and important continent like Europe could only organize
events thanks to the FIDE’s granted rights that enabled them to raise
money by entrance fees, which is paid to the President and the General Secretary.
I invite the honorable friends of mine in the ECU Board to resign. Let us
resign and convent the General Assembly.
Gens Una Sumus
Ali Nihat YAZICI
Turkish Chess Federation
What is next?
The Turkish Chess Federation, which is one of the most active and prosperous
chess federations in the world, is continuing to organize important international
tournaments. Currently there are two important youth events in the agenda:
- The World Under 16 Chess Olympiad in Akhisar, Manisa in the beginning of
- The World Youth Chess Championship in Dünya Yas Gruplari 12 –
24 Kasim 2009 Antalya
Ali Nihat Yazici vs. Boris Kutin: A bitter rivalry in chess politics
This not the first time that the President of the Turkish Chess Federation
and the Vice President of FIDE Ali Nihat Yazici and President of the European
Chess Union Boris Kutin are struggling against each other.
During the FIDE
Congress held in Antalya in 2009, for 2009 World Youth Chess Championship,
Kutin supported Montenegro’s bid against Turkey’s. Turkey got
the organization with 20 votes against 15.
During the FIDE Congress in Dresden another milestone in this rivalry
was the election of the bids regarding the candidacy for 2012 Chess Olympiad.
On November 24, 2008 Turkey won the voting with 95 votes for Istanbul’s
candidacy against 40 votes of Herceg Novi.