Below is a brief synopsis of the issues discussed Athens.
Topalov-Kamsky – The match will be played in Lviv, Ukraine from November 26th – December 15th. Unfortunately the timing of this match, just two days after the Olympiad ends, means that it is unlikely that Gata will be playing for the US team. It was the only time available on the crowded FIDE schedule. That said, it will still conflict with the FIDE Grand Prix in Doha, Qatar which will begin on December 13th.
The good new is that the mach will be played at all. The Ukrainian organizers of the match have so far not deposited the required amount of money into the FIDE bank account. However Kirsan in his role as deus ex machina, has promised to guarantee the entire costs of the match. Although he expressed confidence that the organizers will fulfill their financial obligations, it should be mentioned that the other members of the FIDE leadership do not share Kirsan’s confidence. He may very well wind up paying for the entire match.
Women’s World Championship – The Women’s World Championship tournament is now scheduled to be played in Nalchik, Russia from August 28th –September 18th. The tournament was originally scheduled to take place in Argentina, but the organizers withdrew at the last moment due to financial problems.
For those of you who are not professional geographers, Nalchik is the capital of the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria which is located in the northern Caucasus about 100 miles from Grozny the capital of Chechnya. Not exactly the ideal vacation spot. On the bright side, we have had assurances that the area is safe, and the prize fund will be $450,000.
Late Fees – FIDE Rating Administer, Casto Abundo informed me that the USCF owes FIDE approximately $1200 in fees for late rating submissions. He has promised to send us a file with the complete list of late tournament submittals.
Global Chess – The FIDE Presidential Board approved the transfer of 50% of Global Chess stock to the company Chess Lane SA, which is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Chess Lane SA is owned by the somewhat mysterious Russian-Israeli business man, David Kaplan. In my view this is an ominous development. Bessel Kok, though still chairman of the company, has been effectively sidelined and seems to have lost interest in Global Chess. Mr. Kaplan has a lot of energy and some big ideas but his business credentials are very unclear.
World Mind Sports Games – This looks like a very interesting event. It will be held in Beijing, China from October 3rd – 18th. Chess will be one of four events. The others will be Bridge, Draughts and Go. China will pay the participants airfare on Air China plus room and board. One caveat: There will be drug-testing in Bridge and Chess because they are recognized sports by the IOC.
The games will include team, mixed doubles and individual events. The only real cost for the players are the entry fees. These are 300 Euros per (4 person) team, 150 Euros for mixed doubles, and 75 Euros for individuals. FIDE is hoping that a large number of federations will attend, and they will be sending out new information to all federations.
Titles – Ray Robson was awarded the IM title.
Walter Brown and Sevan Muradian were awarded the FIDE Arbiter title.
Sevan was also awarded the International Organizer title.
Congratulations to all.