Gentlemen, life is not so easy!

by ChessBase
7/8/2003 – A month ago there was a great deal of controversy between some of the players at the 4th European Championships in Istanbul, Turkey and the organisers. A protest letter was published, then a reply by the President of Turkish Chess Federation. Yesterday the struck again and now TCF president Ali Nihat Yazici has sent us a detailed reply with an daring new proposal...

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Background information
  • Problems in Paradise
    187 participants sign a letter of protest to the President of the European Chess Union and threatened to boycott the next event. Nigel Short puts it into perspective.

  • 'Another day for you and me in Paradise'
    Open Letter to Chess Players and Media by the President of Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat Yazici.

  • Problems in Paradise continue
    The players strike back with a second open letter and by forming an Initiative Group. The reply below addresses the complaints formulted in this letter.

To the Chess Public

“When a building is constructed on weak foundations it is condemned to collapse from the outset” – Ali Nihat Yazici, 7th July 2003

Today I have seen again a tragic letter on the ChessBase site quoting me in several instances. I will not bother to answer all the unrealistic claims made in that letter. The mathematics displayed in this letter is really amusing as they point out …. or let me say amazing!

Any child graduating from primary school may check that these calculations are only dramatic. Dramatic but sad, since these players should be expected to reflect the truth of a matter rather than portray matters in a light they only deem fit! I again refer them to the majority of points made in my last letter, which they conveniently gloss over. They should take their points up directly with their National Federations who paid for their tournament costs, in the first case. They should also remember that National Federations are made up of amateurs who subsidise these same tournament costs for these top players and who want chess in their country to progress and do not try to get involved in negative petty issues.

  • Before tournament there were accusations and bad publicity without even seeing the hotel. But my unexpected answer explained clearly and openly the organization of these tournaments.

  • Before this last letter, at least the players were accepting some stupid hotel cost for full board like 35 USD per day, but today I saw that they estimate the hotel cost for the organisers were … absolutely free! This way we make around $200,000 profit according to them.

  • From bowling, drinks at the bars and from entry fees we have not got any money, my friends. I am afraid that in the next letter we will have claims that the Turkish Chess Federation (TCF) got some commissions also from flights, tips for hotel staff, newspapers or something we are not even aware of.

  • During the tournament, without any proof we had some unstable claims. On the 9th of June we received first a claim in writing that “35 USD for the same services was paid by Russian tourists compared with 80 USD in single room.” (Answered by TCF, by the hotel general manager and by the organisers as “please prove it … this rate is not possible”). Then on the 13th June, what they presented as same services was described as half board in a double room. Wow! There is no such thing as a free lunch!! On the 7th July the situation is now changed and it is claimed that we purchase the hotel rooms for free, we do not pay for arbiters, we do not pay for invited guests, we do not spend anything for bulletin team. Ohhhh my god!, life is so cheap and free, wages are so low in Turkey … come and enjoy it! Hey that is paradise…

  • Very bad manners and approach to the ECU President, Mr Boris Kutin, in the meeting of the 13th June. Some of the players who signed this last letter informed us that we have to decrease the number of arbiters and organisational staff. Can you believe that? They did it in front of 300 players.

  • Now this association of players kindly invites people to support them whilst attacking again the ECU, national federations of the ECU and the organisers.

  • Tomorrow? It depends on how creative these guys are.

But enough is enough! We will carry this issue to FIDE and will ask them to substantiate the accusations. Some guys want to make political gains, they write the same letters after every tournament, all organizers are cheating them and they are angels! Is this freedom? Is this ethical? This is not possible. Somebody should pay for this damage! My sponsor does not want to be the sponsor again for such tournaments; this is real damage done to European Chess.

I have never given a simultaneous exhibition to nine GMs especially such famous ones as have signed this last letter but I will endeavour once again to explain the basic facts to them. These gentlemen and lady’s idea of scale is fantastic.

Today there is a new circular letter, which has been distributed to European Federation by the ECU. In 2005 we see that there is no bid for 6th European Men Individual Championship and also none for the 6th European Women Individual. It is not so easy to find sponsors – they do not grow on trees, and more so when organisers get hit with unwarranted negative publicity.

I propose that this very smart group may organise these prestigious tournaments.

I will be very happy. I will send players to this tournament and will pay their expenses since I am sure they would like to see beautiful Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Moscow or any city where these tournaments will be organised by these persons.

What should they do? Go to and follow the link to the offers/bids; also they have to take note of the tournament regulations. Given their free flowing criticism we should expect as a minimum:

  • A five-star hotel better than has been offered with a price lower than 80 USD per day for a single room full board. (…of course all the staff must speak proper English!!)
  • Prize fund (net 155,000 USD to players, for women higher than 35,000 USD will be appreciated!)
  • Large conference halls to house players comfortably whilst they are playing.
  • Free bulletins, Internet, coffee, tea, water etc…
  • At least the same organisational quality and standards shown in Silivri.
  • We propose around the hotel some bowling facility that cam give these nascent organizers extra commissions.

I will work as an arbiter and as a webmaster voluntarily. The TCF will even pay my accommodation, so that these people understand that the majority of organizers do these activities for the love of chess.

I have one vote on the board of ECU and will use it openly if they give proper proposal.

Come on gentlemen life is not so easy!!

Ali Nihat Yazici
7 July 2003

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