FIDE News from Executive Director Omuku

Lausanne, 17 February 1999

To All Members of the Executive Board

To All National Federations

Dear Friends:

Brief on Current Activities of FIDE

The FIDE President, His Excellency Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is currently on a visit to India, has directed me to address a number of issues of topical interest in my report to National Federations. I shall therefore limit my briefing to the current status of the World Championship, the Polgar - Xie Jun Women's World Championship match, the Women's knockout World Championships, the FIDE Rating List and our 75th Anniversary celebrations.
FIDE Executive Director Emmanuel Omuku

In the face of the rumours that the 1999 World Championship in Las Vegas had been cancelled, the FIDE President in his circular letter of 2 February 1999 reaffirmed that the World Championship will hold this year in Las Vegas. As a follow-up to the President's circular, I can confirm that Deputy President G. Makropoulos is currently holding talks with the hotels and potential sponsors in Las Vegas and our partners in the US Chess Federation and in the course of the week, the full details of this Championship will be announced. As the President stated in his circular, there should be no iota of doubt that the Championship will hold this year in Las Vegas during the envisaged period. In order to avoid the problems of clashes of dates in the FIDE Calendar in the future, the Board at its meeting in Lausanne, 21-22 December 1998, served adequate notice when it directed that the staging of the Preliminaries and finals of the next cycle of the World Championships should take place in the last week of November and first three weeks of December in the year 2000. The Board further announced that subsequent annual World Championships should hold during the same period.

Regarding the final match of the Women's World Chess Championship, the Presidential Board directed that this event should be held in the period of the last week of May to the beginning of June 1999, subject to the confirmation of the final dates by the FIDE President. It should be noted that the General Assembly at its meeting in Elista directed that the Women's World Championship final match should be concluded by April 1999, in time for the Women's knockout World Championships in Kishinev in September 1999. The Board therefore decided on these dates for the Polgar - Xie Jun match, following the request of Women's World Champion Zsuzsa Polgar and in the light of the directive of the FIDE General Assembly in Elista. As at today, we have not received any bids for this important FIDE event. We therefore renew our call to all Federations for the submission of bids in line with regulations, to reach the FIDE Secretariat as soon as possible. With respect to the 1999 Women's World Championship in Kishinev, I am to request all Zone Presidents to submit the results of their zonals to reach the FIDE Secretariat not later than 31 May 1999, failing which there will be no representative for a zone which did not organise its Zonal, in Kishinev.

Turning to the recent problem associated with the publication of the January 1999 Rating List, FIDE Rating Administrator Casto Abundo and World Championship Cycle Committee Chairman Willy Iclicki, met recently in Moscow with the FIDE President in order to put in place a more reliable structure, that will ensure that we do not experience a repeat occurrence. These issues will be further addressed at the coming meeting of the Steering Committee and Presidential Board next month in Istanbul. In view of the problems associated with the FIDE web site as well as other problems which came to light during the last Olympiad in Elista, both the Steering Committee and the Presidential Board are currently reviewing our relationship with Chess Planet and as an interim measure, the January 1999 FIDE Rating List has been published at the web site:

In line with the decision of the 69th FIDE Congress in Elista, Federations will have received by now, the guidelines for the implementation of the new Rapid Rating system, which is quite distinct from the current elo rating for normal chess games. I am to add that the fees payable for the rating of the rapid tournaments will have to be borne by the Organisers. It is therefore logical to expect National Federations to charge additional fees to Organisers for their administrative expenses in collating and forwarding the results and fees to FIDE. Kindly send the results of your Rapid tournaments to the FIDE Secretariat.

As 1999 marks our 75th Anniversary, the Presidential Board has directed all National Federations to promote activities this year, to mark this important date in the FIDE Calendar. Meanwhile, the Committee chaired by Honorary President Florencio Campomanes will be submitting the details of arrangements for the celebration of FIDE's 75th anniversary in Paris, Las Vegas and Doha. While still on Doha, permit me to quickly clarify the issue regarding the status of the meeting of the Executive Board this year in Doha against the background of the decision of the 69th FIDE Congress in Elista that the General Assembly should be convened every other year or during the Olympiad year. The meeting in Doha shall be the 70th FIDE Congress and meeting of the Executive Board. Sessions of the Executive Board shall be open to delegates of National Federations to attend as observers.

We shall be pleased to receive any suggestions or questions which you may have regarding our work in FIDE as we are taking every step in the Secretariat to finalise all outstanding matters including the early release of title certificates and badges, the printing of the FIDE Handbook and updated address book and following up on the decisions on CACDEC as well as other Committees and Commissions in close collaboration with Continental Presidents.

Gens Una Sumus.

E.A. Omuku
Executive Director

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