Should delegates to FIDE be required to report any gifts and "prizes" received from FIDE officials?

At the 2000 FIDE General Assembly in Istanbul, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov announced that a tournament was bring held for delegates to FIDE only and that he was donating $10,000 in cash prizes to this tournament.

I found out from other journalists present that this had been a standard deal at several recent meetings of FIDE. In Istanbul, I was told that at a previous FIDE meeting, Steve Doyle had won a prize of something like $500. The journalists in Istanbul thought that this was remarkable, since they could see that Doyle was only a 1500 player, whereas most of the chess journalists, who were not allowed to play in this event, were masters and could have used the money.

In Istanbul, this special tournament took place on November 10, 2000, immediately after the FIDE Commerce Deal had been passed and signed. This may explain why the FIDE Commerce deal passed so overwhelmingly, with only three opposing votes. I have a picture on my website of some of the players leaving the General Assembly meetings and going to where the tournament was to be played.

There were two very strong players: Grandmasters Ehlvest and Azmaiparashvili, both of whom have been in the top 20 in the world. They drew each other and won all the rest of their games. Grandmaster Ehlvest was the delegate to FIDE from Estonia. Grandmaster Azmaiparashvili was the delegate to FIDE from the Republic of Georgia.

However, in this tournament it hardly made any difference whether you finished first or last. I was not allowed to play or to attend because I was not a delegate. I was just a journalist. I know that US Representatives Kelleher, Eade and Doyle played. It would be interesting to know if USCF President Redman played, as he had no official status in Istanbul, although he was present.

I was in the General Assembly meeting when Kirsan Ilyumzhinov publicly announced this tournament for delegates only and that he was donating $10,000 in prizes. I suspect that the total prize fund was more because, in view of the large number of delegates, $10,000 would not have been enough to give a reasonable prize to everybody.

The players, who all were delegates, were put on a bus and taken to the secret location where the tournament was to be played. The non-players which included me were put on a different bus.

Bill Kelleher, the US Delegate to FIDE, later told me that he had scored 3-2 and had won some money. He did not say how much.

I think that all of our FIDE Delegates should be required to report how much money they have received as prizes in these events. I do not believe that they should be required to hand over the money to the USCF. They should simply be required to report how much they got. I know for a fact that Doyle, Eade and Kelleher have "won" money in this way. Steve Doyle has "won" this sort of money more than once.

Sam Sloan

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