FIDE and the French

by ChessBase
7/4/2002 – It started with an angry press release by the French Chess Federation, attacking the FIDE leadership and calling for change. During the Third European Championships in Batumi FIDE officials and participants issued a reply. Now the French have sent out a second press release to clarify their position. More

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To understand the following you should read the oiginal press release of the French Chess Federation.

National chess federations answer


As the owners of signatures listed at the end of this press release, we wanted to declare our opinion for the press release of French Chess Federation which has been dated and sent to public on 19th of June 2002.

For us as presidents, players and representatives of different chess federations, the language used on the press release of FCF against to FIDE President is not suitable with the motto of FIDE “Gens Una Sumus” and with sportsmanship.

We can not understand from FCF’s public release that its language considers critics instead of different aims. First of all, if you read this letter as a the person in family you may not match the critics with the realities.

Accusing the president of FIDE with the disappearing of FIDE handbook and FIDE Forum may only be suited with the old-fashioned approach of people to the new technologies, if their critics are innocent. FIDE handbook or FIDE Forum may be accessed daily by address which is given here that maybe people does not know such as excellent site (!). Moreover a website offers a much faster means of spreading the news.

All FIDE events given to countries to be organised are administrated by biddings of organisers and it is aimed that the best conditions for players are provided. The new time control was reacted at the first implementations in 2001, but in the FIDE General Assembly in Halkidiki in Greece was mostly agreed by the delegates who participated. The final decision will be given by GA 2002 in Bled. The ironic thing with these critics is that the president of FCF, who is also the president of Zone 1, who criticise this time control was absent on this Assembly.

As far as we and the general public know the reunification plan was managed directly by the FIDE president and it is very close to success. Probably this public release by FCF is a kind of secret variant with bad moves to challenge unfairly this plan.

To speak about president personal wealth and the origin of it, is a direct harassment to human rights and not kind to a person who is the president of a republic and not only of FIDE. How any person may think that after spending millions of dollars in chess and supporting prize funds for different important events and still his efforts are not finished for further chess development. Nowadays if we compare with impartial and analytical thinking the situation we have achieved in chess with the situation 7 years ago we see following developments:

  1. Not only top level players start to get some professional support by playing chess but also other players become professional grand masters.
  2. Chess became more commercial and more product than any time before. Internet sponsorships created new ways and media for advertising and it has been used for getting revenue for chess to support professional players.
  3. Continental championships have became more attractive and the number of rated players has been folded many times during these years.
  4. Chess has been accepted as a sport and doping control procedures were applied into chess events. IOC is more close to accept the chess as Olympic sport which will change the variant we are on nowadays to a clear winning position for the whole chess family.
  5. In the 2000 Summer Olympic Games chess was a demonstration sport for the first time and the result of this is very clear for every one.
  6. It should be clearly noticed that the companies involving into chess activities by long term contracts are providing reasonable good finance to continental and to world events which were not existing in chess 7 years ago.
  7. When someone speaks about the situation as it was mentioned on this unlucky press release of FCF about the approach of national federations to the president of FIDE, the best answer, we believe in that, is going to be given by the highest authority of FIDE, by the General Assembly, to this part of our family.
  8. Most important success done by FIDE President is the agreement achieved in this year in Prag. All of the top players of chess world agreed on that World Championship title will belong to FIDE and will be given by her.

We may not accept the language used by the words of “intolerable image for Chess” in reality it was never ever was so respectable. Therefore we protest this language.

We again want to declare our respect and full support to the FIDE President. We can not understand to use such as language which is beyond criticism to a person whose name must be written by Golden Letters in Chess History not only because of his financial and unlimited support but also because of his big success on reunification plans which was an old and chronic problem when he was first elected in Paris(!).

We think that the reason of this unlucky press release is not so innocent by the approach of criticism for further improvements. The reason is very clear to make some challenges on this reunification plan and to get some compromises for the next elections in Bled.

We hope that all national federations and their delegates will see this badly prepared trap and will make their best move to answer it in a suitable way.

Chess regards

Gaguik Oganessian, President of Zone 1.5
Jaan Ehlvest, President of Zone 1.7
Zurap Azmaiparashvili, President of Georgian Chess Federation
Ali Nihat YAZICI, President of Turkish Chess Federation
Panagiotis Nikolopoulos Chairman of FIDE Arbiters Council
Players Who has Participated to 3rd European Individual Chess Championship

Batumi, 26 June 2002

The call of June 19th has brought a big hope.


The National Federations have responded favourably from all parts of the World: Africa, the Americas, Asia, eastern and western Europe. Chess personalities, players, and journalists have sent many messages of support.

A recent press release would make you believe in personal attacks against Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and an attempt to sabotage the reunification plan.

The reality is completely different and we repeat today: it is the putting into place of a real alternative to the present leadership of the FIDE and this alternative is the best way to bring to fruition the reunification plan.

Humour, the signatories would have wanted us to be satisfied to talk about these problems at the Bled General Assembly… But rightly, this assembly must elect a new FIDE leadership for 4 years, a 5-person ticket.

And there is a candidacy limit, around August 7th, about which, FIDE has been completely silent! (These days, transparency is an absolute necessity and this should be a characteristic of the new FIDE.)

After this date, the present team would have been unanimously re-elected, even though the Federations, the international press, and ordinary players world-wide know that unfortunately, FIDE doesn’t work and has absolutely no credibility.

Today, the desire is strong for an International Federation which deserves this name, which like in all sports, is capable of structuring the Chess world, to introduce dynamism and innovation, to promote and prepare the future of Chess. A strong movement is forming in this direction and the Federations are giving their contribution.

Taking into account the present deliquescence, the first goals are modest: guarantee stable rules, put into place by competent commissions, establish a calendar early with dates and places of competitions which don’t change all the time, assure a transparent bidding procedure for organisers, inform correctly and regularly…

Beyond that, FIDE must show a real political will. Sport is the privileged path: FIDE should shift all its weight towards governments to help Federations which have not yet received official recognition as a Sport receive it. A recognition which will bring them much.

The continental organisms should receive a real independence, like in all sporting Federations. There are enough competent people, in Africa, in Asia and Oceanic, the Americas, in Europe, to take their destiny completely in their hands.*

And FIDE should stop to unduly charge a tax on entry fees on these competitions which are organised at a continental level (for example 60 SF for every youth participating at a continental championship). For each his responsibilities … and his finances!

Sporting power should be independent of financial powers. A counsel of 20 to 30 persons, representing various continents will know how to take good decisions and avoid the polemic on the time control for the World Championship (which the Grandmasters Steering Committee has returned to normalcy) or the ridiculous qualifications for this same championship by internet, with computers or Grandmaster help.

The World Championship should become again an event which is capable of promoting Chess. The last classical World Championship, in New York and Lyon, in 1990, had $3,000,000 in prizes and strong publicity… Confidence regained, the sponsors will come back and financial partners are already prepared to invest.

Publicising the game, the use of internet, grass roots development for youth… the task is immense: I call on all the Federations to continue to pool their ideas for this new FIDE.

The time has come to form a team representing the 5 continents, motivated only by the good of Chess and capable to respond to the immense expectations of the Chess World.

Montpellier, June 28, 2002
Jean-Claude Loubatière
President of the French Chess Federation

Fédération Française des Échecs : Tél. : +33 (0) 4 67 60 02 22
Fax : +33 (0) 4 67 60 02 25
E-mail :
Web site:

Original text:

2ème appel aux Fédérations

L’appel du 19 juin a suscité un immense espoir. Les Fédérations Nationales ont répondu favorablement de toutes les parties du Monde : Afrique, Amériques, Asie, Europe occidentale et orientale ; et les témoignages de sympathie ont afflué, de personnalités échiquéennes, d’amateurs, de journalistes.

Un communiqué de presse récent voudrait faire croire à des attaques personnelles contre Kirsan ILYUMZHINOV et une tentative de faire échouer le plan de réunification. La réalité est complètement différente, et nous la réaffirmons aujourd’hui : il s’agit de mettre en place une alternative réelle à la direction de la FIDE, et cette alternative est le meilleur moyen de faire aboutir le plan de réunification.
Humour : les signataires auraient voulu que nous nous contentions de parler de ces problèmes lors de l’Assemblée Générale de Bled. Mais justement, cette assemblée doit élire la nouvelle direction de la FIDE pour 4 ans, un « ticket » de 5 personnes.
Et il y a une date limite de candidature, aux alentours du 7 août, dont la FIDE s’est bien gardée de parler ! (La transparence est, de nos jours, une exigence absolue et elle doit être une caractéristique de la nouvelle FIDE.). Passée cette date, l’équipe actuelle aurait été réélue à l’unanimité, alors que l’ensemble des Fédérations, la presse internationale, les amateurs du monde entier savent bien que, malheureusement, la FIDE ne fonctionne pas et n’a aucun crédit dans l’opinion.

Aujourd’hui, l’envie est forte d’une Fédération internationale digne de ce nom, comme dans tous les sports, capable de structurer le monde des échecs, de le dynamiser, d’innover, de promouvoir et de préparer l’avenir du jeu d’échecs. Un mouvement très fort se dessine dans cette direction et les Fédérations apportent leur contribution.

Compte tenu de l’état de déliquescence actuel, les premières demandes sont modestes : garantir des règlements stables, étudiés par des commissions compétentes, établir un calendrier suffisamment tôt avec des dates et des lieux de compétitions qui ne changent pas constamment, assurer des appels d’offre transparents pour les organisateurs, informer correctement et régulièrement…

Au-delà, la FIDE doit montrer une réelle volonté politique. Le sport est un moyen d’unité à privilégier : la FIDE doit peser de tout son poids auprès des gouvernements de Fédérations qui ne sont pas encore sportives pour aider celles-ci à obtenir une reconnaissance qui va leur apporter beaucoup.

Les organismes continentaux doivent obtenir une réelle indépendance, comme dans toutes les Fédérations sportives. Il y a suffisamment de gens compétents, en Afrique, en Asie et Océanie, aux Amériques, en Europe, pour prendre totalement en mains leur destinée.
Et la FIDE doit arrêter de prélever indûment une taxe sur tous les droits d’inscriptions à ces compétitions gérées au niveau continental (par exemple, 60 FS pour tout jeune participant à un championnat continental). A chacun ses responsabilités … et ses finances !

Le pouvoir sportif doit être indépendant des pouvoirs financiers. Un conseil de 20 à 30 personnes, représentatif des divers continents saura prendre les bonnes décisions et nous évitera les polémiques sur la cadence du Championnat du Monde (que les Grands Maîtres ont fait redevenir normale) ou le ridicule des qualifications à ce même championnat par internet, via ordinateurs ou Grands Maîtres interposés.

Le championnat du Monde doit redevenir l’événement capable de promouvoir le jeu d’échecs. Le dernier championnat classique, à New York et à Lyon, en 1990, bénéficiait de 3 000 000 $ de prix et d’une forte médiatisation… La confiance restaurée, les sponsors reviendront et des partenaires financiers sont déjà prêts à s’investir.

La médiatisation du jeu, l’utilisation d’internet, le développement de masse pour les jeunes… le chantier est immense : j’appelle toutes les Fédérations nationales à continuer à mettre en commun leurs idées pour cette nouvelle FIDE.
Le temps est venu de faire émerger une équipe représentative des 5 continents, motivée par le seul intérêt des Échecs et capable de répondre aux immenses attentes du Monde des Échecs.

Montpellier, le 28 juin 2002

Président de la Fédération Française des Echecs
Contacts :
Fédération Française des Échecs :
Tél. : +33 (0) 4 67 60 02 22
Fax : +33 (0) 4 67 60 02 25
E-mail :

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