FIDE President, Arkady Dvorkovich, has issued an apology for the errors of local organisers regarding the Women's Grand Prix tournament in India. In a letter addressed to the participants of the event, Dvorkovich expressed his sincerest apologies for the problems and inconveniences experienced by the players, which led to the withdrawal of one player. Despite this setback, the tournament will continue with adjustments made for the remaining players. FIDE will also appoint an additional coordinator to be at the full disposal of the participants and provide compensation for any additional expenses they may have incurred. Dvorkovich has also pledged to conduct a thorough review of the guidelines and standards for organising women's tournaments and improve the proficiency of the organisers of future events.
Here is the letter in full. The publishing of the letter has been agreed upon with the players participating in the tournament in New Delhi.
New Delhi, 25 March 2023
On Women’s Grand Prix tournament
On behalf of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), I would like to extend our sincerest apologies for the mishandling of the Women's Grand Prix tournament in India. We deeply regret the problems and inconveniences you have experienced, which has led to one player withdrawing from the tournament.
We understand that this situation has caused great dissatisfaction among the players and has put the tournament in danger. We acknowledge your concerns and frustrations, and we take them seriously. We highly appreciate your openness and would like to assure you that we are committed to addressing the issues that have been raised regarding this tournament and FIDE women events in general. We are also determined to improve the level of communication with the participants.
Considering all the arguments in place, we have decided to continue with the Women’s Grand Prix tournament in India. We believe that such a decision is best under the given circumstances, even though the withdrawal of a player would require all of the tournament participants and organizers to adjust themselves.
In case of postponement, the current FIDE calendar does not allow space for strong assurances when the tournament can be held. It is also important not to create a precedent that the whole event can be terminated and other players’ plans influenced due to the decision of a player to withdraw. Alongside the utmost respect for the comfort of our professional players, we are equally committed to demonstrating our reliability as trustworthy, credible partners to our organizers and sponsors.
We are fully committed to taking swift and decisive action to improve the situation immediately. Above all, our priority is to demonstrate that we truly care about our participants, and we will spare no effort to ensure that they receive the highest level of support and attention. To that effect, FIDE will appoint an additional coordinator to be at the full disposal to the participants of the event. Also, all affected players will be provided with compensation, such as covering any additional expenses they may have incurred or will incur during the event.
In order to manage the tournament under the new conditions, the following schedule and principles will apply:
The broader issues which have been highlighted by the players regarding other events have also been taken into account.
From the very beginning, my team and I have been dedicated to promoting women's chess, and we are proud to have made significant strides in this regard. This includes the creation of numerous new events for top players, the allocation of major tournaments across three continents, record prize funds, and an increasing number of opportunities for female participation. We remain committed to advancing the cause of women's chess around the world. Having said that, I realise there is still a lot we should do to improve.
Concerning women’s chess events and the broader issues raised, FIDE will take the following steps:
Once again, please accept my apologies and thank you for your understanding and cooperation.