FIDE suspends Ukrainian ratings

4/17/2016 – Shocker: after the Ukrainian Chess Federation failed to pay the full amount due to FIDE from the Women's World Championship last month, the FIDE Presidential Board, at its meeting in Moscow, decided to suspend its services for the UCF – temporarily suspended. The most visible consequence is that top GMs will be appearing as unrated in events – e.g. Pavel Eljanov at Norway Chess 2016 on Tuesday.

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Services for the Ukrainian CF are temporarily suspended

Thursday, 14 April 2016 10:59

Following the decision of the FIDE Presidential Board at its meeting in Moscow, 28-29 March 2016, the services for the Ukrainian Chess Federation are temporarily suspended, as the full amount in respect of the Women’s World Championship match in Lviv has not been paid within the set deadline.

The ratings will be withdrawn at the date of the next publication of the rating list, downloadable FRLs and the players will not be able to participate in the events organised under the aegis of:

a) the World Championship & Olympiad Commission or Events Commission,

b) Continental competitions that provide qualifiers to any of the aforesaid competitions.

The Federation will be published in the list of arrears -

Below you can see some examples of top players who have (temporarily) lost their ratings. This is somewhat problematic when you consider that Tuesday will see the start of the Norway Chess 2016 super GM tournament, where Pavel Eljanov is one of the participants. Will he be playing without a rating and will the performance of his opponents in the games against him be ignored? (We assume not).

In addition the FIDE Women's Grand Prix in Batumi is starting on Tuesday, with two Ukrainian players (the Muzychuk sisters). Let's see how that is handled.

FIDE ID Name Fed. Title Rating
14114550 Muzychuk, Mariya UKR GM 2561
4128125 Kosteniuk, Alexandra RUS GM 2557
14111330 Muzychuk, Anna UKR GM 2555
13601903 Dzagnidze, Nana GEO GM 2535
8601283 Zhao, Xue CHN GM 2504
4167570 Gunina, Valentina RUS GM 2497
13602640 Khotenashvili, Bela GEO GM 2493
13601458 Javakhishvili, Lela GEO IM 2489
13602993 Batsiashvili, Nino GEO IM 2476
13900145 Skripchenko, Almira FRA IM 2453
13300210 Danielian, Elina ARM GM 2445
4195752 Girya, Olga RUS WGM 2442

Other chess federations in arrears

1 Bermuda
2 Bhutan
3 Botswana
4 Burkina Faso
5 Cambodia
6 Cameroon
7 Central African Republic
8 Comoros Islands
9 Congo
10 Dominican Republic
11 Egypt
12 El Salvador
13 Ethiopia
14 Gabon
15 Kenya
16 Laos
17 Lesotho
18 Madagascar
19 Maldives
20 Namibia
21 Nigeria
22 Pakistan
23 Panama
24 Philippines
25 Rwanda
26 Sao Tome/Principe
27 Seychelles
28 Sierra Leone
29 Solomon Islands
30 Sudan
31 Thailand
32 Timor-Leste
33 Turkmenistan
34 Uganda
35 Ukraine
36 Venezuela
37 Yemen
38 Zambia
39 Zimbabwe

Incidentally, if you download the Full Rating List (FRL) for April 2016 from the FIDE site you will not find any Ukrainian players in it. So better keep your March files for a while.

Topics: FIDE
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michaelriber michaelriber 4/20/2016 10:18
lajosarpad: No, players shouldn't be punished as such, but I'm not entirely sure how they are punished. Is anything preventing them from entering tournaments? No, they can't enter the WCC cycle, but in reality that has very little impact and the issue will probably be resolved before it becomes an issue anyway. And yes, Ukraine was apparently excluded from the next Olympiad, which seems fair to me.

Also, if you go to FIDE's website and look at the April rankings, it seems they have done a complete 180 (surprise!) and reinstated the ratings anyway. And Ukraine doesn't figure on the arrears list anymore, so I guess they either paid up or were "pardoned". Good old reliable and consistent FIDE, huh?
lajosarpad lajosarpad 4/19/2016 04:40
James, I did not know about that list before reading this article. I believe no player should be discriminated for being a player of any given country.

Michael, switching federations is not always an option, especially if the player is low on money or when someone is patriotic. So all those chess players should be discriminated because their federation was unserious?
James Satrapa James Satrapa 4/19/2016 02:27
There are 37 other countries that are in arrears and on the suspended list. Ukraine is merely the latest of them. The only thing that seems notable is that Ukraine is a major chess power, unlike all the other countries that are owing money.

michaelriber michaelriber 4/18/2016 03:44
Far be it from me to defend FIDE in any way, but this is clearly the most effective way to punish a federation that doesn't live up to the standards set by the international governing body. And the Ukrainian players represent the Ukrainian Chess Federation internationally. If they don't think the UCF is worth representing, they can always switch. We all know how ridiculously easy that is in chess compared to almost any other sport...
lajosarpad lajosarpad 4/18/2016 12:14
At first I thought this was a joke. The Ukrainian Chess Federation did not fulfill its duties, therefore it is right to punish it, however, the players have nothing to do with that. Denying the right to participate at the Olympics for Ukraine until they pay (with interest) would have hurt the Ukrainian Chess Federation enough to motivate them to fulfill their agreed responsibilities. And then Ponomariov, Ivanchuk, Eljanov and the other great Ukrainian players, including beginners could have been playing chess tournaments without problems.
firestorm firestorm 4/18/2016 12:07
From the Batumi grand prix tournament website, regarding Hou Yifan's world title:

"During the Moscow Presidential Board Meeting the decision to have a Grand Prix series with five events in total was made. Each of 20 participants in the GP Series has the right to play in three of the five events.
Current World Champion GM Hou Yifan from China withdrew from the Grand Prix cycle and she has now only one option to keep the title - to win the title again in the next Women’s World Championship with a knockout system."

Doesn't really seem likely she'd play in the KO, does it? She could be over 2700 by the time that comes around.

firestorm firestorm 4/18/2016 09:34
Just for info, the hyrvnia is the Ukraine currency and the UAH is the preferred value when calculating exchange rates, according to some website I found on google.
GregEs GregEs 4/18/2016 08:10
This Super GM's of Ukraine are now unrated and can play on 1800 and below tournaments at Europe and earn thousands of dollars.
ff2017 ff2017 4/18/2016 03:57
Interesting, no Hou Yifan appearance in the 3rd leg of the Women's Grand Prix. If she's not careful she could permanently lose a crown that probably isn't all that important to her anymore.
A7fecd1676b88 A7fecd1676b88 4/18/2016 02:53
The info in the article is a little sketch. Here is the rest of the story:


"According to Ukrainian media, the Ukrainian debt is estimated at EUR 60,000.

Following a game in Lviv in March, Ukrainian chess player Mariya Muzychuk lost the title of world champion to Chinese player Hou Yifan.

Lviv local online edition Gal-info said tournament participants were promised high fees: EUR 120,000 for a win and EUR 80,000 for participation. But the chess players have not yet been received their money because Ukraine has failed to pay EUR 60,000 to the FIDE.

Of the planned budget of the match for the world chess crown, FIDE received EUR 345,000 out of EUR 405,000.

"We are concerned about this situation. After all, the city [of Lviv] for its part has invested UAH 7.1 million while [Lviv] region has given UAH 5.1 million. But the Ukrainian Chess Federation has not invested a single hryvnia. We do not understand why it has not paid this sum yet," Lviv's Deputy City Chairman Andriy Moskalenko said.

The Ukrainian Chess Federation represented by its president, Viktor Kapustin, posted an official letter on its website, saying that the remaining EUR 60,000 should have been financed by Lviv City Council, rather than the Ukrainian Chess Federation."

thlai80 thlai80 4/18/2016 02:53
Why penalize the players? This is federation at fault at best. Is this the way Russia making sure Ukrainians switch Federation leaving Ukraine?
sotovkin sotovkin 4/18/2016 01:27
If the Ukranian Chess Federation has not kept current with their monies, as FIDE alleges then FIDE does have grounds to refuse future services.

*Future* services. The players ratings are based on their past ELO history which *have* been paid for. Therefore to state the players are "NOT RATED" at all is not true by FIDE's own records.

Freezing the players ratings, with a date stamp of when the UCF allegedly did not pay their dues, , or an "inactive" label, is in accordance with FIDE's own claims, which have now been overstepped.
fightingchess fightingchess 4/18/2016 01:10
i would like to know how ukraine chess federation explains this.
tom_70 tom_70 4/17/2016 11:57
This is why people hate FIDE. A bunch of non chess people deciding who is who on the world chess scene.
Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 4/17/2016 11:42
The only solution is probably to call the IRS.
algorithmy algorithmy 4/17/2016 11:19
haaa..... Eljanov will be the lowest seed at Norway chess tournament!!
firestorm firestorm 4/17/2016 10:29
It would be interesting to know how far behind with the payment a federation has to be before FIDE suspends the ratings of its registered members. Easy to judge the action as being dim by FIDE, but its not clear what attempts they've made to try to avoid having to suspend ratings.
Chessspawnvt Chessspawnvt 4/17/2016 10:13
I suspect that by effectively punishing chess players by possibly denying them the right to earn a living, FIDE is violating human rights laws of the European Union and engaging in tortious and actionable interference with the economic and emotional well-being of these chess players. FIDE has also left itself open to claims before CAS. We all know how that went for FIDE When Susan Polgar took FIDE to arbitration.

They FIDE people are truly bozos at the back of the bus.
michaelriber michaelriber 4/17/2016 10:01
I guess Karjakin is particularly glad right now that he jumped ship ...
jajalamapratapri jajalamapratapri 4/17/2016 09:56
Solution is for them simply to pay up what they owe.
chronograph chronograph 4/17/2016 09:46
Apparently the interest of the chess players is not as important as money.
Aighearach Aighearach 4/17/2016 08:55
Ratings aren't for politics, and ratings are not intended to be vouchers proving payment of a bribe. Unfortunately, Moscow has decided to pretend that is what they are for.

I think instead of past efforts of trying to create a split via the World Championship title, the approach should be simply to create an alternate ratings body that allows for organizers to hold tournaments without paying bribes, and then different organizers can compete for the roles that FIDE is currently monopolizing; but all these organizers would still have shared ratings, so it would easily expand from competition instead of being diluted.
wowbagger wowbagger 4/17/2016 07:57
Hm, there is an intriguing question to ask: Did they pay everybody less than promised, or did they pay the full prize money to the players, and only FIDE got less? How much did they pay FIDE and how much more do they need to pay?
Denix Denix 4/17/2016 07:51
Appropriate for April 1. Just can't get enough
Pater-Noster Pater-Noster 4/17/2016 05:33
I would say this would be an excellent opportunity for a GM to play in the Class-C event at the World Open. Hey, you get penalized a bit for being unrated in a class section, but still.....
GregEs GregEs 4/17/2016 05:32
looks like politics entering the chess world
bukengdie bukengdie 4/17/2016 05:17
gmwdim gmwdim 4/17/2016 04:48
Will this affect the rating calculations for other players if Ukrainian players compete in tournaments as unrated? They better sort out this situation soon, given the large number of highly rated and active Ukrainian players.
Stupido Stupido 4/17/2016 04:30
What a stupid joke.