Russian Chess Federation proposal to FIDE

8/4/2016 – The FIDE office in Athens has received a proposal by the President of the RCF suggesting that World Champion should in the future be allowed to "accept the challenge of any player who can contribute to the prize fund and the costs of holding of the match." FIDE would get 50% of the prize fund. The proposal, which is to be discussed in September at the FIDE Congress in Baku, has met with immediate protest from the Association of Chess Professionals.

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Here the proposal sent to FIDE by the Russian Chess Federation:

Click to enlarge. The contents in plain text is given below.

To: Chairman of FIDE Commission for World Championships & Olympiads (WCO)
Mr. GEORGIOS MAKROPOULOS

Dear Mr. Makropoulos,

Russian Chess Federation asks the Commission to consider and (if needed) improve and approve the below mentioned amendments to the current system of determining the World Chess Champion at the 87th FIDE Congress (04–14.09.2016 Baku, Azerbaijan). RCF suggests adding an article to the rules governing World Chess Championship matches stating that the World Chess Champion can accept the challenge of any player who can contribute to the prize fund and the costs of holding of the match.

Herewith a number of basic conditions should be fulfilled:

  • The FIDE President would have the power to veto any proposed match. Any proposed World Championship match would be carried out under the auspices of FIDE and according FIDE rules.

  • 50% of the prize fund will go to FIDE.

  • The match must be held before the end of the current FIDE qualifying round, that is, before a challenger has been determined by the Candidates Tournament.

FIDE Vice President
President of the Russian Chess Federation
[signature] Andrey Filatov


The same evening ACP General Secretary Aleksandar Colovic sent us the following petition of his organisation. "The upcoming Olympiad in Baku may turn out to be historic in more than one way," he wrote. "The official proposal by the Russian Chess Federation to modify the existing rules of the World Championship cycle, if accepted, will turn the world of chess on its head.

We at ACP believe that this proposal is detrimental to chess in more than one way and we expressed our views in the petition that you can see in the attachment. The said petition can be signed on our website. We would kindly like to ask you, if you find it appropriate, to share this information on your site. The more people are aware of these changes, the more informed decisions they can make."

Here the attached petition:

The Russian Chess Federation submitted an official proposal to the FIDE Congress for an addition to the current World Championship Cycle rules: anyone guaranteeing a required prize-fund can challenge the reigning World Champion.

We as ACP believe that this idea is completely detrimental to chess for a number of reasons, among which:

- The World Champion Title must be achieved only through a proper sport cycle, especially at a time when chess is increasingly recognized as a sport. The RCF proposal goes against the chess tradition and against the very spirit of modern chess. Although purchasing the right for the match was common practice 100 years ago, it was more of a sad necessity than a good system.

- Staging a "commercial" match would seriously undermine the appeal of the regular cycle match. As things stand, the Title Match is a unique event which is held every two years and which acts as a catalyst for all the chess world. Even so, it is very difficult to raise proper funds for the World Championship Match - we do remember several examples from the recent past and we are witnessing the same problems right now. Who would be interested in paying for the ‘regular match' if it is no longer a unique event? Who would organize the Candidates under these circumstances? Who would regard chess as a proper sport a company can invest in?

- The World Champion Title would be devalued and, more importantly, the image of chess would suffer greatly at all levels and worldwide. It would also put the players on grossly unequal terms: some would have to battle their chances out against the best players of the world in the regular cycle, others would buy their shot at the title by securing the money. This is outright unacceptable. It could also bring a disrepute to our noble game, opening the door to problems we can't even foresee now.

- The RCF proposal would inevitably mess up the World Championship Cycle. It would also limit the World Champion’s participation in other events, as he would need to spend most of his time preparing/recovering after the matches. Again, this is certainly not desirable.

The ACP strongly opposes changes to the World Championship Cycle that undermine the very sporting sense and the unique value of the World Chess Champion Title. Our opinion is supported by the results of the ACP Poll - 2016, where over 80% of the chess professionals clearly disapproved the idea of purchasing the rights for the Title Match. If you share our vision, please help fighting this proposal and join the ACP stand by signing and endorsing this statement. The RCF proposal could be approved already in September, and we feel the chess world has to take a clear stand on the matter before then.

ACP Board
Sign the petition here.



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