Unification Process of Chess in Korea Print
Wednesday, 09 April 2008 09:17
Memorandum of Understanding

Since South Korea had been admitted as a FIDE member in 1994, several chess organisations in South Korea had laid claim to being the national chess body. After thorough investigation and meetings between FIDE and the several organisations, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov initiated a unification process so as to better further the development of Chess in Korea. Upon FIDE's findings and FIDE President's visit to South Korea in February 2008, he met with three main organisations and subsequently directed FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong to meet them again on 5th April 2008 with the ultimate aim of uniting the three organisations.

The following main organisations were invited (represented by its respective President and key members) and attended he Unification Process held at the office of the KCF(3) on 5th & 6th April 2008:

  1. Korea Chess Association (Mr Ryu Eunseop)
  2. Korea Chess Federation 2 (Mr Lee Hae Beum)
  3. Korea Chess Federation 3 (Ms Hyun In Suk)
In his opening address, General Secretary Leong emphasised the significance of the unification process. The Korea Chess Association (KCA) did not apply for membership to the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) because the KCA was unable to meet the membership requirements of the KOC. With the Asian Games scheduled in 2014 in South Korea, it was of vital importance that the national federation must be a KOC member in order to facilitate the inclusion of Chess in 2014 Asian Games. FIDE General Secretary added that if Chess was not to be included in the 2014 Games, it would not only be a loss for Korean players but a great setback for Asian Chess and FIDE.

"GO" is one of the most popular sport in South Korea and the sport enjoys great sponsorships and government support. Korean "GO" players are among the best in the world. Taking China as an example, General Secretary Leong felt that if Chess becomes popular in Korea, then Korea may well become another major Chess power. However, most importantly, the rise in popularity and standard of Chess in Korea will lead to potentially more sponsorships for Chess not only for Korea, but for the World. He therefore appealed to all parties to show goodwill in their discussions during the meeting.

After 12 hours of deliberations during the two days, the following decisions were taken unanimously:
  1. The unified organisation shall be known as Korea Chess Federation Inc.
  2. An interim Board of Directors which shall serve for only one year shall comprise 6 members. KCF(3) shall nominate 3 members; KCA to nominate 2 and KCF(2) one member. In addition, the non-voting internal auditor shall be nominated by Ms Hyun and the financial auditor shall be nominated by Mr Ryu.
  3. The interim President of KCF Inc shall be Ms Hyun In Suk.
  4. Mr. Ryu shall nominate the FIDE Delegate.
  5. Mr. Ryu shall nominate the Rating Officer to FIDE.
  6. Ms. Hyun shall nominate a PR & Media Executive.
  7. Appointments for other major functions shall be decided by mutual consent at its inaugural management meeting.
  8. It was unanimously agreed to maintain the existing fundamentals of the Constitution of the KCF(3). A sub-committee will study and make final recommendation concerning membership, its rights and voting process in KCF elections. The first KCF elections will be held no later than 5th April 2009.
  9. A task force will be formed to make the formal application into the Korean Olympic Committee.
  10. A task force will also be formed concerning Chess in the 2014 Asian Games and to prepare for General Secretary Leong's visit to South Korea scheduled towards the later part of May 2008.
  11. The Board will consider organising the 2nd Asia Dragons Tournament in 2008.
  12. The Board will consider organising seminars for Trainers and Arbiters in 2008 and the establishment of a Korean Chess Academy.
  13. The Board shall update and, where necessary, invite General Secretary Leong for its board meetings for the current year.
  14. General Secretary Leong will inform FIDE and to formally recognise Korea Chess Federation Inc. as a FIDE member; whereupon, Korea Chess Association ceases to be a member.
We the undersigned agree that the above decisions/recommendations were unanimously accepted during the Unification Meetings held on 5th & 6th April 2008 in Seoul.

Ms. Hyun In Suk
Korea Chess Federation(3)

Mr. Ryu Eunseop
Korea Chess Association

Mr Lee Hae Beum
Korea Chess Federation(2)

Mr Ignatius Leong
FIDE General Secretary

FIDE General Secretary makes courtesy visit to Korean Olympic Committee Secretary General Dr. Kim Sang Woo.

Sitting - Presidents Ryu Eunseop (Korea Chess Association), Lee Hae Beun (Korea Chess Federation 2), Hyun In Suk (Korea Chess Federation 3) and FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong. Standing are key members from the 3 main chess organisations in Korea.

The key directors of the united Korea Chess Federation Inc.; from left Mr. Lee Hae Beum, Mr. Ryu Eunseop, President-elect Ms. Hyun In Suk and FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong.
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