The General Assembly (GA) of the 79th FIDE Congress has finished its three-day work. After the meetings of the Commissions held between 11/17-11/19th, the delegates of 136 federations listened to the report of President Ilyumzhinov the main points of which you may find in the report on FIDE website. He also emphasized growing interest of the media toward chess events in year 2008 and their good coverage.
The Treasurer reported a stable financial situation in FIDE despite the on-going financial crisis in the world economy.
Under changing circumstances, FIDE devotes special attention to secure the organization of planned events: first of all the World Chess Championship cycle events. Having noted the difficulties that arose in connection with the Grand Prix event scheduled for December 2008 in Doha and in order to eliminate future uncertainties, the GA decided to strengthen the World Championship cycle and its finances. It approved a Candidates tournament in which two players are from the ongoing Grand Prix series, two players as finalists of World Cup 2009, the defeated player from the World Championship match 2009, the defeated player from the Challenge Match 2009, the highest rated player provided that he is one of the top six players based on the rating list, and the player nominated by the organizer with a rating above 2700) in two formats for the organizer to choose from: a./ an eight-player round robin tournament or b./ knock-out matches of four games for the first and semifinal rounds, respectively and six games in the final match. The winner under either format will be the challenger for the world championship match scheduled in September 2011. Full regulations will be drawn up by the FIDE World Championship Committee. The bidding process will open on the 1st of December, 2008 and will close on 31st January, 2009.
Beyond the usual administrative matters, during the Congress, more attention was given to the recommendations of the Rules Committee regarding the Laws of Chess where several changes were suggested including zero default time for games in all events. The recommendations of many Commissions have been approved by the GA and some are to be studied further and may be finalized by the next Presidential Board meeting.
The delegates thoroughly discussed the report of Global Chess and that of the PR and Marketing Director. They called for more active and professional work by these units and emphasized the need of written contracts for FIDE events. Many delegates expressed concers over the uncertainties threatening the future state of the Grand Prix series. The GA has acknowledged that FIDE and chess players appear positively and more frequently than before on the pages of the leading newspapers and magazines. The GA also reviewed the proposals sent by World Champions Anand and Kosteniuk on improving the conditions of the Championship Match and on initiating a full Women World Championship cycle.
After the presentations of the Turkish Chess Federation and the Montenegro Chess Federation on organizing the 2012 Chess Olympiad in Istanbul and Budva, respectively, the delegates voted for Istanbul by 90-45 votes.
The GA decided on the organization of several FIDE events: Junior and Girls Championship 2009 in Argentina, Junior and Girls Championship 2010 in Poland, Youth Championships 2009 in Turkey, Youth Championships 2010 in Greece, World Team Championship 2009 in Turkey and decided to invite bids for other events (on the FIDE website you can see the bidding opportunities).
The GA reviewed the decision of the Executive Board of 2005 on the Belfort case and accepted a decision :" As there has been no repentance for the gross mismanagement in the organizing of the World Youth Chess Championship in Belfort in 2005, the General Assembly confirms the decision of the Executive Board in Dresden 2005, to suspend Jean Paul Touze.... As the maximum suspension provided by the (FIDE) Code of Ethics for the most serious offence is 3 years, the GA decided, without diminishing the substance of the ECs decision in anyway, that a similar sanction should apply in this case."
The GA took note of the fact that the FIDE logo has been newly registered in many countries. Several new federations became full member of FIDE: Sao Tome and Principe, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon and Solomon Islands. The GA approved the recommendation of the President to open a new FIDE office in Abu Dhabi as of January 1st, 2009 and appointed Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim, President of UAE.Chess Federation as CEO- Commercial Affairs of FIDE.
Public Relations and Marketing Director