Communiqué of the Presidential Board meeting in Morocco

Lausanne, 2 March 2000


The Presidential Board of FIDE met 26-27 February 2000, at the hotel Kenzi Farah in Marrakech, Morocco, during which it carried out inter alia, a detailed analysis of the FIDE project on commercialisation as well as examined proposals on the 2000 World Chess Championship and the progress report on the 34th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul.

Regarding the project on the commercialisation of FIDE, the Board noted the various comments and remarks from Federations and well-meaning individuals of FIDE and in some ways, adopted a lot of the ideas, which effectively changed some of the text as contained in the Memorandum. It noted further that the Memorandum of the FIDE President on the Commercialisation of FIDE, which was earlier circulated to all National Federations and members of the Executive Board, represented a more concrete approach at addressing the urgent problems of the funding of FIDE.

President clarified the issue of the structures of the World Chess Foundation and FIDE Commerce PLC. He explained that it was his personal initiative to create these structures with the support of Mr. Artiom Tarasov in the case of FIDE Commerce PLC with a view to testing the possibility of marketing chess on a global scale. He explained further that during this test period both the World Chess Foundation and FIDE Commerce PLC fulfilled their obligations without any financial cost whatsoever to FIDE. He added that in spite of the difficulties of the last World Championship in Las Vegas, all players had been paid their prize money and steps had been taken to put FIDE on a sound financial footing.

Consequently, the Board noted with satisfaction efforts made by the FIDE President to address the financial problems of FIDE. It further noted that in line with the provisions of the FIDE Statute, FIDE was now faced with an emergency situation as a result of the unclear situation with respect to the venue of the World Championship and the absence of any commercial income, except for the financial guarantees from the FIDE President through the World Chess Foundation. Therefore, pursuant to Article 7.1 of the FIDE Statutes, the Board resolved to mandate the FIDE President with powers to create the necessary commercial structures and finalise these structures along the lines of the amended text of the Memorandum, to be presented to the Presidential Board meeting in London, 12-13 May 2000. The Board maintained that it would be in the best interest of FIDE for FIDE Commerce PLC to operate within the aegis of FIDE and resolved to recommend the admission of FIDE Commerce PLC as an affiliated member to the General Assembly in Istanbul. The details of the decisions and recommendations of the Presidential Board on the Memorandum on the Commercialisation of FIDE will be published shortly.

One of the far reaching decisions taken by the Board was its adoption of the proposal of the FIDE President, which represented a new strategy in the coming years to strengthen National Federations, including the provision of commercial income from sponsorship as the basis for the strengthening of FIDE under the theme "Strong National Federations - strong FIDE". The proposal also includes the compulsory requirement of top rated players' participation in their National Championships, in order to enjoy whatever rights have been provided for their participation in the World Championship.

As an additional measure towards improving the quality of the rating system the Board directed Qualification Commission Chairman Mikko Markkula and FIDE Executive Director Emmanuel Omuku to re-examine the performance of the rating office in Elista and take whatever measure is deemed necessary to implement a more efficient service.

With respect to the 2000 World Chess Championship, the Board mandated the FIDE President H.E. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to finalise the discussions regarding the interest shown by China, Kazakhstan and Morocco by the first week of April, following which the venue for the World Chess Championship and Women's World Chess Championship will be announced. The Board reconfirmed the decision of the Executive Board at the 70th FIDE Congress in Doha, Qatar, not to change the Regulations for the 2000 World Chess Championship.

FIDE Vice President Emrehan Halici of Turkey presented a progress report on efforts by his country to host the 34th Chess Olympiad concurrent with the 71st FIDE Congress in Istanbul in the period of 27 October to 13 November 2000. The Board noted with satisfaction that letters of invitation would be sent to all National Federations by April 2000 in line with the Regulations of the Olympiad.

At a reception hosted in his honour by the Honourable Minister of Sports of the Kingdom of Morocco, H.E. Ahmed Moussaoui, the FIDE President noted that the Board meeting coincided with the visit of FIFA's inspection team for the possible hosting of the 2006 World Cup in Morocco. He added that the Board was convinced that Morocco was eminently qualified to host such a global event and said that he was also looking forward to working with the Kingdom of Morocco in hosting a major FIDE event at world level in the future. He conveyed the gratitude of the Board to H.M. King Mohammed VI, the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Morocco, host President of the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation and President of the Arab Chess Union Mr. Ahmed El-Jaafari, for the excellent hospitality.

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