Robert von Weizsaecker's Team for ECU Leadership

6/12/2010 – "For a Brighter Future" is the campaign slogan, the mission statement includes the fair allocation of tournaments, transparency, sustainable sponsorship, chess in schools and on the Internet. The German Chess Federation President, Prof. Robert von Weizsäcker (pronounced "fon why-tsecker"), is running for the European Union presidency, with a team of four grandmasters. Details.

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A Brighter Future

Robert von Weizsaecker's Team for ECU Leadership

  • A strong, unified, pan-European team
    We are a highly-qualified group, representing Central, Eastern and Western Europe, with expertise in finance, economics, business, law, journalism and especially chess. We stand for credibility, integrity and sincerity.

  • Chess for the chess-playing community
    Our goal is to lighten the burden upon the whole chess-playing community – preventing, e.g., their exploitation by tour operators. We will therefore take control of ECU events and only outsource them to local partners. This will bring benefit to many – particularly the smaller federations.

  • Fair allocation of European championships
    We represent the interests of all federations irrespective of size, level of chess proficiency and financial power.

  • We guarantee transparency and correctness, especially in financial matters
    No dealings and private profiteering behind closed doors.

  • We will bring in sustainable sponsorship

  • We will promote chess in schools

  • We will promote chess on the Internet
    We will vigorously promote chess on the Internet, the natural place for the game. Discussions are underway to create a “Youtube” and ultimately a “Facebook” for chess enthusiasts.

  • We support Anatoly Karpov’s campaign for FIDE President
    We are the only team to support, and be supported by, the twelfth World Champion.

  • We embrace necessary change, but we respect the game’s traditions
    Uniquely among the ECU Presidential tickets our team possesses four Grandmasters. Not only do we know all the game inside-out, but we respect all those, whether amateur or professional, who love the game as we do. Ultimately our joint skills, expertise and commitment –“aggregate human capital” in the economic parlance – far outweigh that of our competitors.


To all
European Federations

7 June 2010

Dear Presidents,
dear Delegates,

The German Chess Federation is pleased to announce that its President Robert von Weizsäcker will run for ECU President. He has been asked by a lot of federations and players to form a ticket representing all parts of Europe.

He has succeeded in creating the following strong team:

President: Prof. Dr. Robert von Weizsäcker (CC-GM), Germany
Deputy President: Nigel Short (GM), England
Vice President: Ivan Sokolov (GM), Bosnia & Herzegovina
Secretary General: Johann Hjartarson (GM), Iceland
Treasurer: Dr. Yuri Kaplun, Ukraine

As according to the ECU Statutes the Board should comprise representatives of different federations, the current ECU Secretary General Horst Metzing cannot be included anymore into the Board. In the interest of the future successful work for European chess he should be appointed as Executive Director and should continue to run the ECU Office in Berlin.

Enclosed you will find short curricula vitae of all Board members as well as a first mission paper of Robert von Weizsäcker’s team.

We would like to ask all European Chess Federations to support this team and to vote for this new European leadership.

Best regards,

Dr. Hans-Jürgen Weyer
Deputy President


Robert von Weizsäcker’s Team for ECU Leadership

Curriculums vitae

President: Robert K. von Weizsäcker, Germany

Robert K. von Weizsäcker, born in 1954, studied Mathematics and Economics at the University of Bonn, received a Ph.D. at the London School of Economics / University of Bonn in 1985, and attained the Habilitation at the University of Bonn in 1990.

Since 2003 he is Professor of Economics, Finance, and Industrial Organization at Munich University of Technology. He is also a Faculty Member of the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law. Previously he had research and teaching positions at the University of Bonn, the Humboldt-University of Berlin, the University of Halle-Wittenberg, and the University of Mannheim. He was a Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University, Université Catholique de Louvain, London School of Economics, Stanford University, Oxford University, and the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C.

Prof. von Weizsäcker is Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London, the Ifo-Institute for Economic Research in Munich, and the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn. Since 2003 he is Board Member of the Carl von Linde-Akademie in Munich. He was a Heisenberg Fellow of the German National Science Foundation and a Member of the German Scientific Council.

He has published numerous books and articles, particularly in the fields of public finance (public debt, tax reform, and social security financing), corporate finance (corporate valuation and risk analysis), population economics, the economics of education, and industrial organization.

Robert von Weizsäcker is a Correspondence Chess Grandmaster. In the Correspondence Chess Olympiad 2008 he won both, the team and the individual gold medal. He is the President of the German Chess Federation.


All part of a team: Garry Kasparov, Robert von Weizsäcker, Anatoly Karpov


Deputy President: Nigel Short, England

Nigel David Short, born in 1965, a former World Championship Finalist (against Garry Kasparov in London 1993) is considered to be the strongest British chess player of the 20th century. He won the English Championship in 1991, the British Championship in 1984, 1987 and 1998, the Commonwealth Championship in 2004, 2006 and 2008 and the EU Individual Championship in 2006.

He has finished outright first, or tied for first, in dozens of other international tournaments including Geneva 1979, the BBC Master Game (1981), Amsterdam OHRA (1982), Baku 1983, Esbjerg 1984, Wijk aan Zee (1986, 1987), Reykjavik (1987), Amsterdam VSB (1988, 1991, 1992, 1993), Hastings (1987/88, 1988/89), Parnu (1996), Groningen (1996), Tallinn/Parnu 1998, Dhaka 1999, Shymkent 1999, Pamplona(1999/00), Beijing 2000, Malmo (2002, 2009), Gibraltar (2003, 2004), Budapest 2003, Skanderborg 2003, Taiyuan (2004), Tastrup 2006, Bazna 2008 and London 2009.

He has won silver medals in Chess Olympiads (1984, 1986, 1988) one bronze (1990) and one individual gold (1986). He led England to victory at the European Team Championship in 1997.

He has defeated Alburt, Sax, Gelfand, Speelman, Karpov, Timman, Gulko, Adianto, Bacrot, Stefansson, Ghaem Maghami and Efimenko in matchplay. He has written chess columns and book reviews for The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Mail, the Guardian, the Spectator as well as articles for numerous chess periodicals.

He has coached the national team of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2006-7) as well as young grandmasters, Pentala Hariskrishna, Sergey Karjakin, David Howell and Parimarjan Negi.

He was President of the Grandmasters Association (GMA), a Director and founding member of the Professional Chess Association (PCA) and President of the Commonwealth Association (2006-8).


Vice President: Ivan Sokolov, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Ivan Sokolov, born 13/06/1968 in Jajce, Bosnia & Herzegovina (then Yugoslavia), he lived in Sarajevo until 1992, graduated in Sarajevo 1st Gymnasium in 1986. He is resident of The Netherlands since 1992, currently lives in Lelystad, his citizenship is Dutch

Chess CV: Learned chess from father in 1974, FM 1985, IM 1986, GM 1987. Yugoslavian Champion in 1988, Dutch Champion in 1995 and 1998. Best World ranking on the FIDE Elo list 12th (several times). Won many GM top events, the most important ones are Hastings, Sarajevo, Selfoss, Reykjavik, Hoogeveen, Lost Boys, Staunton memorial, etc. With the Chess Club Bosna he won the European Clubs four times, with the Bosnian team he won the silver medal at the OL Moscow 1994 and with a Dutch team gold at the European Team Championship in Gothenburg 2005.

In May 2010 he successfully performed in the function of the Tournament Director in Bosna Open (82,500 Euro prize fund) one of the biggest Opens in the World in 2010.


Secretary General: Johann Hjartarson, Iceland

Born in Reykjavík, Iceland 1963, where he still lives. International Master 1984, Grandmaster 1985.

Successes in the field of chess include tying for the first place in the Interzonal tournament in Szirak Hungary 1987, thus qualifying for the 1987-1989 Candidate matches of the World Chess Championship, where he defeated Victor Korchnoi in Saint John 1988.

Qualified for the 1988-1991 PCA World Cup, five times German Team Champion with the chess club of F.C. Bayern Munich between 1989-1995, once European Champion with the same club, Nordic Champion 1997 and five times Icelandic Chess Champion ’80, 84’, ‘94, ‘95 & ‘97. Finished first or tied first in the International Chess Tournaments in Gausdal 1983, Reykjavik 1984 & 1992, Commonwealth Championship London 1986, München 1988, Akureyri 1988, World Open Philadelphia 1991, Linares Open 1995, Wintherthur 1996, Stockholm 1996-7, Copenhagen 1997.

Member of the Icelandic National Chess team from 1980 until retiring from professional chess in 1998 to pursue a career as an attorney. Represented Iceland in ten Chess Olympiads and numerous Nordic-, European- and other international team competitions.

Teaching and training promising chess players in The Icelandic Chess Academy in Reykjavik 1985-1998. Wrote numerous articles on chess in Icelandic and international publications on a regular basis as a freelance writer.

Cand. Juris degree from the University of Iceland 1992. Licensed to practice before district courts in Iceland 1998 and the European Patent Office in 2006 (European Patent Attorney). Johann has been practicing law since 1998 as a General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Directors of a leading international biotechnology company based in Iceland & USA.

Member of Icelandic & EU committee and work groups preparing legislation and initiatives in the field of science policy and intellectual property.


Treasurer Yuri Kaplun

Education: 1983 - Master’s Degree at “Mechanics and mathematics” from Kiev University, 1991 - Doctor’s Degree at “Mechanics and mathematics” from Academy of Science of Ukraine.

Employment: 1983 – 1986 Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery, Sciences division - Engineer

1986 – 1989 Computer center of the Ministry of Health of the Ukraine, Head of Department

1989 – 1991 JV “New Information Technology”, Head of Division

From 1992 Dr. Kaplun resides in the USA (Chicago, IL), in 1997 he obtained a USA citizenship.

1992 – 2004 Comtek International, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA – Co-founder, President Comtek International, Inc. is a leading provider of information technology [IT] services. Comtek integrates onshore and offshore resources to deliver complex solutions spanning from IT consulting services to full cycle of IT application design and development. The company provides services for such companies as: Motorola, Abbott Laboratories, ADP, Experian, IBM, MCI, Verizon, Motorola, ABN AMRO bank, Navtech, Nokia, etc.

Dr. Kaplun sells Comtek International, Inc. in 2004.

2004 – present City-State LLC, Kiev, Ukraine – Co-founder, CEO
The company is focused on Financial Investment, Land banking and Real Estate Development in the Ukraine.
Services provided by the company include all phases of Real Estate Development, such as: Market research, Feasibility analysis / Due diligence, Property acquisition, rezoning, etc., Architectural design, Financing, Construction, Lease / Sale, Property management


Group photo in Berlin: Johann Hjartarson, Yuri Kaplun, Garry Kasparov, Robert von
Weizsäcker, Anatoly Karpov, Ivan Sokolov


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