The ECU and Boris Kutin reply to Eric van den Doel

by ChessBase
4/25/2007 – In our final report on the European Championship we mentioned the fact that there were some serious complaints launched by players, most relevantly by GM Erik van den Doel and published on the ACP web site, regarding what Doel calls "the disappearance of money." Now the president of the European Chess Union, Boris Kutin, sent us his reply to the accusations.

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In his open letter, published on the web site of the ACP (and elsewhere), Eric van den Doel launched serious accusation against the organisers of the European Chess Championship in Dresden. The Dutch grandmaster complained that the players were forced to stay in "official hotels" at a fixed rate, which had to be paid to the organisers without any indication of how much they were paying the hotels; and that they were billed 27.50 Euros for lunch and dinner, which were completely inadaquate, since the kitchen chief had been instructed to provide meals for a value of five Euros.

Boris Kutin speaking at the opening of the European Championships

Here is the reply of Boris Kutin, President of the ECU:

Written by ECU President Boris Kutin
Monday, 23 April 2007

This is a response to the Open Letter from GM Erik van den Doel concerning the European Individual Championships 2007 in Dresden published on the TWIC Site and elsewhere.

His complaint is about the cost and quality of food in the IBIS Hotel. He does not mention the fact that this was the most successful ever European Championship with the highest ever prize fund of 250,000 Euros which was played in excellent conditions but chess organisers are, of course, used to hearing only negative comments from some quarters.

He alleges that the ECU received the money for the hotel accommodation, infers that ECU received a commission from these payments and negotiated with the hotels a low standard of meals. None of this is true nor were these allegations raised with me whilst in Dresden which I would have thought would be an elementary courtesy before publishing an Open Letter attacking the ECU.

The facts are:

  1. There was no stipulation that players had to stay in any designated hotel. They were free to choose and to make their own arrangements direct with any hotel of which there are many in Dresden with a wide range of prices.

  2. The Organising Committee (of which the ECU is not part - we only sanction the event) negotiated deals with hotels which players could either take up or not as they wished.

  3. No payments for hotel accommodation were made through the ECU nor did the ECU receive any commission.

A retraction by Erik would be appreciated.

Boris Kutin
President ECU

Eric van den Doel replies:

This is a response to MR Kutin’s response to my open letter. I have to admit that it was too early to put the blame on ECU and for this I appologize. Having said that, the case is by no means closed. The fact that we were not forced to stay in the IBIS hotel doesn’t make any difference.

Erik van den Doel

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