Singapore, 28th April 2009

GM Bartlomiej Macieja

Dear GM Macieja,

We refer to your email to FIDE and the open letter which was published on ChessBase on 28th April 2009 concerning your comments on the K-factor.

Firstly, in order not to create any misconception, we would like to assure you that we are in support of increasing the K-factor. However, in view of such a radical change, we would like that all players especially the top players, understand the consequences of the change. We believe that a full proposal from the Qualification Commission should also include changes in the title regulations if necessary, but unfortunately there was no mention as to whether this was necessary. Moreover, the proposal on K-factor was not even highlighted during the verbal report of the QC at the General Assembly of Dresden 2008.

In Dresden 2005, a resolution was made that when the General Assembly/Executive Board could not discuss reports in detail such reports are referred to the Presidential Board to further decide. Attached (below) is the said resolution “Dresden 2005 Resolution Commission Reports”. Hence our decision to delay the implementation is not “to challenge” the reports made at the General Assembly.

We foresaw a problem when FIDE was informed that at the Amber tournament in Nice, France, that all the top players who were participating there had agreed to sign a protest letter (a draft was already prepared) to the FIDE President concerning the change of K-factor. Surprisingly, among these top players were several young players who supported the protest. This proved that the top players had not been duly informed nor consulted on such important changes.

We understand that publishing a list by calculating past years is an indication to the players. However, we felt it was even better to publish a list which includes events of 2008 to 2009. At the same time, from July 2009, to publish the parallel list using the new K-factor so that the players would be better able to understand and feel how they would be progressing in present time than just in the past. Don’t forget Mr Macieja, FIDE and the Continents use the Rating List to qualify players for events which are included in the World Championship Cycle. With the change in K-factor, some players would be in and some would be out. We want to give the players time to realise how the change could affect their career. This decision offers opportunity to all players, federations, organisers and rating experts to give relevant input and comments.

Even if FIDE has the power to force such changes, we believe it was not the best way forward if we are unable to convince the greater majority particularly so since this serious change would affect the lives and career of especially the top professional players.

The comparison of our top chess tournaments with tennis is not relevant. Most of the top-level chess tournaments are round-robin events where a small group of players are invited. Henceforth, any fluctuation in the ratings of the invited players could adversely affect the category of these top-level chess events. In tennis, most players are invited and any fluctuation in their rankings does not affect the event.

In conclusion, we reiterate that both FIDE and the undersigned are in favour of the change. FIDE as well as the ACP should communicate these changes and convince the national federations and players.

We take this opportunity to commend you for your efforts and that what you have contributed towards rules and regulations in FIDE have been positively considered.

Best Regards,

Signed : Georgios Makropoulos, FIDE Deputy President
Ignatius Leong, FIDE General Secretary

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