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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    FIDE Congress Batumi 27 Sep - 5 Oct (excluding Presidential election)

    This thread is for discussing items at the FIDE Congress coming up other than the Presidential election which has its own thread. Numerous airlines willing, I'll be over for the whole Congress and I expect I'll post some reports to this thread.

    Some stuff of note on the agenda:

    * Proposal to permanently expel Bulgarian Chess Federation so a new federation from Bulgaria can be accepted before the last FIDE-rated player to leave turns out the lights.
    * minor elections - scrutineers, Africa (all other continent presidents unopposed), Vice-Presidents, Constitution, Ethics, Verification
    * Proposal to establish a FIDE Advisory Board to provide input into running of FIDE without statutory responsibilities
    * Proposal to establish Commission of Long -Term Strategic Planning
    * Proposed Commission on FIDE relations with IOC
    * Proposal to limit Presidents to 2 consecutive terms and Presidential Board to 3 terms with some exceptions
    * Proposal to add integrity requirement for Presidential candidates

    From commission reports:

    * Iceland proposes creating a Fischer-Random rating list
    * Arbiters Commission proposals for federation requirements for FA norms and IA norms (already discussed here).
    * English CF proposal to increase number of arbiter norms by 1 and require exactly one Rapid/Blitz norm for each title
    * Proposed rewrite of FIDE competition rules (with renaming) https://fide.com/images/stories/NEWS...s/Annex_17.pdf

    Tournaments:

    * Presidential Board appears to have axed Women's Grand Prix and replaced it with a Candidates Tournament
    * Minsk will be offered as an unopposed bid for the 2022 Olympiad
    * Tunis and Seoul have been invited to bid for 2024 Olympiad
    * Competing bids for World Cadet 2020 - Batumi and Montesilvano, Italy
    * Competing bids World Senior 2020 - Assisi, Italy and Ohrid, FYROM

    As a general impression I don't see any seriously loopy or dangerous proposals in the Annexes so if the elections do drag on at the General Assembly it won't be a disaster. However quite a few commissions haven't put out their agenda yet.

    If anyone has a special interest in an item and wants me to keep an eye on it let me know.

    General Assembly agenda with links to annexes here: https://www.fide.com/images/stories/...atumi_2018.pdf

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    This thread is for discussing items at the FIDE Congress coming up other than the Presidential election which has its own thread. Numerous airlines willing, I'll be over for the whole Congress and I expect I'll post some reports to this thread.

    Some stuff of note on the agenda:

    * Proposal to permanently expel Bulgarian Chess Federation so a new federation from Bulgaria can be accepted before the last FIDE-rated player to leave turns out the lights.
    * minor elections - scrutineers, Africa (all other continent presidents unopposed), Vice-Presidents, Constitution, Ethics, Verification
    * Proposal to establish a FIDE Advisory Board to provide input into running of FIDE without statutory responsibilities
    * Proposal to establish Commission of Long -Term Strategic Planning
    * Proposed Commission on FIDE relations with IOC
    * Proposal to limit Presidents to 2 consecutive terms and Presidential Board to 3 terms with some exceptions
    * Proposal to add integrity requirement for Presidential candidates

    From commission reports:

    * Iceland proposes creating a Fischer-Random rating list
    * Arbiters Commission proposals for federation requirements for FA norms and IA norms (already discussed here).
    * English CF proposal to increase number of arbiter norms by 1 and require exactly one Rapid/Blitz norm for each title
    * Proposed rewrite of FIDE competition rules (with renaming) https://fide.com/images/stories/NEWS...s/Annex_17.pdf

    Tournaments:

    * Presidential Board appears to have axed Women's Grand Prix and replaced it with a Candidates Tournament
    * Minsk will be offered as an unopposed bid for the 2022 Olympiad
    * Tunis and Seoul have been invited to bid for 2024 Olympiad
    * Competing bids for World Cadet 2020 - Batumi and Montesilvano, Italy
    * Competing bids World Senior 2020 - Assisi, Italy and Ohrid, FYROM

    As a general impression I don't see any seriously loopy or dangerous proposals in the Annexes so if the elections do drag on at the General Assembly it won't be a disaster. However quite a few commissions haven't put out their agenda yet.

    If anyone has a special interest in an item and wants me to keep an eye on it let me know.

    General Assembly agenda with links to annexes here: https://www.fide.com/images/stories/...atumi_2018.pdf
    The ''integrity requirement'' is the one that makes me smile...one wonders how the integrity will be determined... and whom by
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  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    The ''integrity requirement'' is the one that makes me smile...one wonders how the integrity will be determined... and whom by
    This is the proposal:

    B. To add a new section as section 1.9 of the Electoral Regulations of the FIDE Handbook with a view to securing electoral integrity and enhancing FIDE’s autonomy and political independence.

    “1.9. Presidential candidates must act with the highest degree of integrity and refrain from any act involving fraud or corruption; they must not, directly or indirectly, solicit, accept or offer any form of remuneration or commission, nor any concealed benefit or service of any nature, connected with the elections. FIDE must enjoy the right of elections free from any outside influence, including but not limited to political influence (e.g. exercised through high-ranked state officials and officers, embassies etc.). In the case of any violation of the above candidates committing or involved in such violation shall be banned from taking part in the election by a decision of the FIDE Ethics Commission in accordance with the FIDE Code of Ethics.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    This is the proposal:

    B. To add a new section as section 1.9 of the Electoral Regulations of the FIDE Handbook with a view to securing electoral integrity and enhancing FIDE’s autonomy and political independence.

    “1.9. Presidential candidates must act with the highest degree of integrity and refrain from any act involving fraud or corruption; they must not, directly or indirectly, solicit, accept or offer any form of remuneration or commission, nor any concealed benefit or service of any nature, connected with the elections. FIDE must enjoy the right of elections free from any outside influence, including but not limited to political influence (e.g. exercised through high-ranked state officials and officers, embassies etc.). In the case of any violation of the above candidates committing or involved in such violation shall be banned from taking part in the election by a decision of the FIDE Ethics Commission in accordance with the FIDE Code of Ethics.
    LOL....can picture upcoming investigations
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  5. #5
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    It sounds nice but I have some concern about "or involved in". If an embassy sends letters supporting a candidate where there is no proof of authorisation by the candidate, does that mean the candidate is "involved in" a violation? I would think probably not but one never knows.

  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    The Congress has the whole first afternoon off! Slackers! Will be interesting to see if this holds - my experience of past Congress scheduling has been that nature abhors any vacuum.

  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Qualifications Commission yesterday gave in-principle approval to introducing ratings for Chess 960, with data gathering to start from November and list published around mid next year (this is subject to GA approval.)

    A review of the FIDE rating system conducted by Jeff Sonas has found it is mostly working well but less reliable for players below 2000. Recent changes like increased k-factors and rating players after 5 games instead of 9 have improved predictiveness. Outdated rapid/blitz ratings for players who don't play FIDE rated rapid/blitz often remain and issue. (I'm trying to get a copy of the review).

    Most importantly the QC approved Justin Tan's GM norm application so it should now be finalised by the GA later in Congress. I have also heard there's been some reconsideration of the rule affecting Justin's 4NCL norm but need to get precise details about this as what I've heard was a little vague.

    I only went to a small part of the Technical Commission meeting but the most interesting thing there was a report on a device for testing players for active telephone and internet equipment. The report gave the device the thumbs down because at short range it didn't detect everything while if the range was broadened it picked up too many other devices in the surrounding area. The report said a combination of random inspections and classic metal detectors was more reliable.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 28-09-2018 at 07:23 PM.

  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Kevin, has your post stopped half way? The Technical Commission ...

  9. #9
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator View Post
    Kevin, has your post stopped half way? The Technical Commission ...
    No, I must have started writing the same paragraph twice.

  10. #10
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Most importantly the QC approved Justin Tan's GM norm application so it should now be finalised by the GA later in Congress. I have also heard there's been some reconsideration of the rule affecting Justin's 4NCL norm but need to get precise details about this as what I've heard was a little vague.
    Yes, the majority of QC decided that the rule that affected Justin actually doesn't mean what it says and that it only applies to zonals. So even had Justin not acheived his recent norm it looks like he could have got the title at this Congress anyway.

    Arbiters Commission discussed the proposal from England to add a compulsory rapid or blitz norm for FA and IA titles. Everyone who spoke supports this but there is some debate about number of rounds for a rapid norm, and also how many arbiters will be able to get norms for a given number of players. However it was decided not to do anything at this Congress because of the lame-duck status of the Commission pending the election outcomes (this has been a common theme.)

    ArbComm is looking at bringing in compulsory retraining processes for FAs and IAs following significant changes to the Laws of Chess, and also seminars with an extra exam for IAs, and also an optional testing framework for NAs for federations that want to use it. This will take some time to be finalised as a proposal but had strong approval. From the end of this year it's also envisaged that for FIDE Calendar events the Chief Arbiter will need to fill out a form rating the performance of the other arbiters, otherwise the event will not be rated, and from mid next year this may extend to all events where an arbiter norm is possible.

    ArbComm is interested in getting reports of interesting incidents for its magazine, preferably through federations but otherwise from arbiters directly. Especially matters not clearly covered by the Laws, cases where "you wonder if your colleagues would have done it the same way".

  11. #11
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Anti-Cheating commission meetings are rather bad because some members of the Commission are prone to using the meetings for grandstanding, and moreover if you've been to a few of them it seems to be much the same grandstanding every time.

    The most interesting discussion at this meeting (at least the 2 hours of it I endured) concerned the issues with mobile phones at this Olympiad. Many FIDE Delegates and other dignitaries have got mobiles through security and into the playing area (which is pretty crowded). Some have boasted of using their access pass to impress the door staff into waving them through. All games of rounds 1-5 have been put through Ken Regan's game checking tool without anything being found amiss but there is a noise issue as well as a potential cheating issue from the number of mobiles being taken in.

    There was a governance conference at the Hilton which I dropped into for a couple of hours; Gary stayed for the full thing. One of the talks there was about the Tromso Olympiad based on an academic study that had been done on it, and included the fascinating information that the Tromso organisers hired a "mole" to spy on the rival bidder.

    The Rules Commission meeting largely involved an overhaul of the FIDE Competition Rules, to be renamed General Regulations for Competitions. One highlight was when the Commission agreed with a suggestion of the Medical Commission to ban players from eating at the board (unless they had a medical reason why they couldn't move away to eat). This anti-eating move resulted in Sam Sloan declaring that he was a member of the American Libertarian Party and was sick of FIDE banning things.

    There was quite a bit of discussion about the restriction on half-point byes in the final round. An American press member at the meeting wanted this restriction to not apply if the rules of the competition said it didn't. He had very narrow majority support on the floor but I'm not sure the Commission ended up agreeing with him (it was hard to hear). One counter-point was that the General Regulations only apply "Where an event has a situation not covered by internal rules" (whatever that means). Anyway at some point in this discussion a proposal to limit half-point byes to three per player per event came up, then was replaced by a proposal to limit them to one, and then that was approved, so it will be interesting to see how this goes at General Assembly.

    There was a discussion about whether the move counter should be turned on or not. Several of the commissions had supported the move counter but IA Holowczak argued strongly against it based on experience of players who take advantage of spurious clock presses to deliberately lure their opponents into losing on time. No binding decision was taken but there was a straw poll of the room at the end of the discussion and the no-counter side won overwhelmingly with about 80% of the vote.

    The Rules meeting was the only one I've been to so far that ran near its full time (in fact it ran 4 hrs 20 mins.)

  12. #12
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Sorry I've been a bit slow updating this thread. Today was the Asian Continental Assembly. The meeting room was much too hot and much too noisy because of too many people talking at once but fortunately the meeting was not that long, little more than an hour. The financial report was a bit threadbare, seemed to consist only of budgeting with no information on the actual states of accounts. All the Asian elections are tomorrow, except there will be no Presidential election because Sheikh Sultan was reelected unopposed. (Ignatius Leong's nomination was disallowed as it was late and with too few nominations.) These elections include Paul Spiller vs Jamie Kenmure for the Oceania Zone presidency and Jamie vs seven others for the four Asian spots on the Executive Board.

    The Systems of Pairings and Programs Commission a few days ago overhauled some rules for the Dubov pairing system while the Burstein pairing system will be subject to further development to make pairing programming unambiguous. For the Dutch (the common form of Swiss) system it was agreed to simplify the process of pairing towards the end of the player list by checking whether a choice of downfloaters allows a legal pairing of all remaining players before provisionally downfloating them - this has a target date for introduction of 1/7/2021.

    There is also going to be work on the same timeframe on the problems caused by the weakest player in the field getting the round 1 pairing-allocated bye (PAB) because this not only gives that player uncompetitive games but also can damage tiebreaks for their rounds 2 and 3 opponents. The meeting unanimously agreed this should be changed. Some solutions to be examined include:
    * H-PAB (pairing allocated bye is half a point unless rules of the tournament specify otherwise.
    * V-PAB (include a virtual player who loses every game, meaning the effective round 1 bye comes from midfield)
    * Z-PAB (pairing allocated bye is zero) works well in simulations but is unfair to players
    * various forms of variable PAB, eg the value of the PAB changes through the event or the PAB carries a different value for pairing purposes and score.

    Incidentally all votes at the SPPC were of the whole room, not just the Commission members. It appears if someone survives five minutes in an SPPC meeting and is actually voting for things they are considered to know their stuff. This was a good meeting.

    At the Commonwealth meeting I was re-elected to the board because I turned up; two board members who had not turned up or sent an apology were replaced. The big issue at the meeting was the difficulty of hosting the event because of the vast number of free places required for official representatives - this has meant that the event lately tends to be difficult to hold outside India. However continually holding the event there is unfair to African countries as the air travel from Africa to India is expensive, and always holding it in the same country is "not what the Commonwealth is about". On the other hand the free places have been required by FIDE and are likely to continue to be so at least if the Commonwealth wants to ever recover its former direct title rights. Finding a fix was delegated to a subcommittee of three poor bastards who I pity.

    The Verification Committee (this is the financial accounts committee) meeting was long and at times pretty feisty - it was scheduled for 2 hours but ran for more than 3; I stayed for about 2:20 as I had a reception to attend. The committee is there to verify FIDE's accounts but at times it seemed like some people present, especially the US President who is a CPA, were more interested in verifying the committee and its accounting abilities!

    At the VC meeting there was a lot of discussion about debtor federations and whether FIDE should be harsher on them (eg kicking them out of the Olympiad if 2 years overdue). Generally the meeting thought FIDE should be harsher on them - my position was that it didn't matter if FIDE was harsh or not but the regulations needed to be followed and if there was discretion the regs should say there was discretion, and who had it. Mostly the meeting concerned verification of the 2017 accounts which showed FIDE with a net balance of 1,613,642 Euro. However there was also some discussion of the current situation following the accounts changes. The VC Chairman seemed to be unaware of the Agon memorandum and some were at first not believing he could not know of it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    [overlong quote for short reply snipped - mod]
    Lol, typical African countries. Providing free places is expensive, travelling is expensive...so when they travel - they want to get free board and accommodation, when they host - they do not want to provide .

    P.S. Lets see who buys their votes today, Dvorkovich or Macro .
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 03-10-2018 at 12:42 PM. Reason: snip quotage
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  14. #14
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Drama at the Oceania Zone election - after various speculation about regulations and proxies the 8 member nations all managed to find someone to represent them who could vote (though in one case a proxy was reassigned 3-4 times because of a regulation against delegates of non-Asian federations holding proxies). However after attempts to convince either Paul Spiller or Jamie Kenmure to stand aside failed and after a long discussion a vote was held and the result was a 4-4 tie. The election was therefore referred back to the whole Asian assembly and Paul Spiller was re-elected Oceania President 29-19.

    Jamie was also unsuccessful in winning back his FIDE Executive Board position for Asia. The field was cut to these six by eligibility issues:

    Mr. Dhafer Al Madhloum - nominated by Iraqi Chess Federation
    Mr. Sainbayar tserendorj - nominated by Mongolian Chess Federation
    Mr. Jamie Kenmure - nominated by Nauru Chess Federation
    Mr. Ahmed Al Bulushi - nominated by Oman Chess Federation
    Mr. Murad Abu Rajab – nominated by Palestinian Chess Federation
    Mr. Sahapol Nakvanich - nominated by Thailand Chess Association

    The Thai and Mongolian nominees received over 40 votes, the Iraq nominee about 32 and the Oman nominee with 20 defeated Jamie and the Palestinian nominee each with 18 for the final position. (It is multiple slate voting, each voter can vote for up to 4 candidates).

    There was also another tie (21-21) between Nepal and Oman for the Asian Amateur 2019, won by Nepal on a coin toss; Oman will host 2020.

    ACF President Gary Wastell was appointed by Sheikh Sultan as a Vice-President on the AsCF board and also elected unopposed to the AsCF ethics committee.

    Overall while the Asian meetings can be quite chaotic it is a very friendly form of chaos and I emerge from these meetings feeling pleased about the unity of purpose in the region and the spirit in which the AsCF is run. Even the elections are contested in good spirit in comparison to the big game earlier today!

  15. #15
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Anyway at some point in this discussion a proposal to limit half-point byes to three per player per event came up, then was replaced by a proposal to limit them to one, and then that was approved, so it will be interesting to see how this goes at General Assembly.
    It got mutilated by an uprising against radical changes on the fly from Scotland, England and the USA. There will be a revised version that, whatever restrictions are placed on half-point byes, will clearly include an unless-the-rules-of-the-competition-state-otherwise rule. Also even the version presented to GA allowed for two half-point byes on a day with more than one round.

    Minor elections are on. Dvorkovich kept two of the existing Vice-Presidents: Tulay (Turkey) and Yang (China). He also appointed Nigel Short, Lukasz Turlej (Poland - Short's campaign manager) and someone else whose name I missed. Australia nominated Anastasia Sorokina (Belarus, ex-AUS) as an elected Vice-President and she won, together with Michael Khordarkovsky (USA), Martha Fierro Baquero (Ecuador) - these all on the first ballot. Second ballot: Olalekan Adeyami (Nigeria), Akaki Iashvili (Georgia).

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