The Commission for the Modernization of FIDE (CMF) met between the 6th and 7th of August 2011 in Moscow, Russia to discuss the ideas which would contribute towards the further development of chess and FIDE in the future.
Under the leadership of the FIDE President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the members attending the first meeting were Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos, FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong, FIDE Treasurer Nigel Freeman, FIDE Vice President Ilya Levitov, FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg, FIDE Moscow Director Berik Balgabaev.
Asian Chess Federation President Sheik Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nehyan was not able to attend and was represented by Asian Chess Federation Deputy President Casto Abundo and Asian Chess Federation General Secretary. President of ECU Mr. Silvio Danailov sent his apologies.
The Commission discussed a number of critical areas and reviewed all the suggestions which had been made by a large number of contributors, amongst them Mr. Silvio Danailov, GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov and GM Viorel Bologan to mention just a few.
In summary, the main points which will now be referred to various other commissions in FIDE for a detailed report to be presented in the Executive Board in Krakow, Poland, were as follows :
1. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS AND FORMATS
A large number of suggestions were made regarding the World Championship cycle and these will be reviewed in more detail by the World Championship and Olympiad Commission. The CMF agreed that the WCOC would prepare a detailed structure of events for Rapid and Blitz tournaments in line with the need to develop further these time controls as commercial instruments. Federations and continents would be asked to implement full cycles for these events.
It was recommended that new rating lists would be produced for rapid, blitz and possibly also internet blitz. Whilst the harmonization of these lists could be studied, the new cycles and events would need to run parallel for a period of two years before FIDE would take a decision regarding any unified rating list. The first rating lists for blitz and rapid were targeted for July 2012 so that Federations and Continents could start to build up a database of players and events for the first lists.
The CMF also proposed to remove increments from the time controls for the official rapid and blitz events. The proposal was debated for some time due to differing positions on this matter and the impact on the various events, advantages and disadvantages were discussed. The Classical time control cycles would not be affected and tie breaks would still be played with increments however.
2. METHODS OF SCORING AND DRAWS
A large number of suggestions came from contributors either in forms of scoring results differently or rewarding wins in an accelerated manner. The Commission wanted to make it clear that a draw is an integral part of the game of chess and was not looking at radical solutions. The key issue was to ensure that chess games would not end prematurely and hence the recommendation was for the draw offer to be removed from the rules of chess, allowing only instances of draws to occur following repetition of position, perpetual check, stalemate or inadequate mating material. The Rules and Regulations Committee would be tasked with reviewing this change.
The Commission also recommended that organisers should review the way prize money is awarded and consider incentives for wins.
3. MARKETING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
A number of papers were also presented regarding the requirements to modernize the FIDE website in terms of content management. Additionally the communication regarding the work of FIDE officials needed to be improved.
Regarding marketing and commercial projects, the Commission also reviewed the work of its commercial partner, Chess Lane, and a meeting was planned to discuss a number of different projects including TV and media, event management and sponsorship.
4. OTHER MATTERS
FIDE bidding procedures and manuals for all the respective areas of FIDE were discussed and FIDE Treasurer Nigel Freeman was tasked with co-ordinating this work with the key people involved.
The working Commissions to whom all the above projects have been tasked may request feedback as appropriate for final recommendations in Krakow, Poland.