The Chess Federation elected a new president, investor and Parliament member Andrei Korobeinik, on Sunday, hoping to leave behind an era of dysfunctional leadership relations.
“[The new] management is just the tip of the iceberg – the main goal is to get everyone interested in chess working together again,” said Korobeinik, who won 34 out of 39 votes. “Let’s take it one step at a time. Next year, we have two primary goals – to mend relations between ourselves as well as with the government and other partners, and develop youth participation.”
In recent years, the federation has become mired in scandals, many of which revolve around accusations of misuse of funding by the organization’s former chairman, Hendrik Olde. This year most of the nation’s top players boycotted the national tournament due to a breakdown in relations with Olde. Only eight chess players competed, the strongest of them only holding the nation’s 18th highest FIDE rating. A number of top chess players have been thrown out of the association and at least one grandmaster, Kaido Külaots, has complained about the lack of cash prizes in Estonian tournaments. Tallinn also lost out on a chance to host the 2008 Chess Olympics.
The federation’s former president, supermodel Carmen Kass, resigned from her post in August after seven years on the job. She will remain in the new board lineup, which also comprises top chess player Jaan Ehlvest, and members representing Webmedia, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Premia Foods and SEB. The management will include, among others, former chairman Hendrik Olde and six-time Estonian Champion Olav Sepp.
Korobeinik cited plans for helping young chess players, who won six medals at this year’s European Championship, and organizing events for Paul Keres’s 100th anniversary in 2016.