Ali Nihat Yazici, President of the Turkish Chess Federation, has taken a controversial stand regarding the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul – arbiters from seven federations were not admitted at the Olympiad. This has enraged the federations of England, USA, France, Georgia, Ukraine, Germany, and Switzerland, and was followed by reactions from the Russian Chess Federation and multiple chess associations.
Today, via an official statement, Ali Nihat Yazici clearly states his main reason for the decision: “… the seven federations have been used as the marionettes of Garry Kasparov”. Besides, Ali Nihat Yazici officially announces his resignation as FIDE Vice President
Dear Chess Friends,
Over the last few years FIDE has suffered a lot as a result of the actions of several chess federations who have decided to sue FIDE, mainly as part of a big political game.
These court cases have already cost FIDE more than one million euros, money that could and would have been spent to develop chess worldwide and to support federations with financial needs to participate in the Olympiad. This last point is especially painful for me since I get e-mails from many federations like Somalia, Madagascar and from Oceania that they need support in order to come to Istanbul.
Today everybody knows that behind those dirty games stands an ex-world champion, Garry Kasparov. And me, as a volunteer who has spent twelve years of my life collecting sponsorship for chess euro by euro, I am really suffering seeing this terrible damage to chess. I know how difficult it is to get every cent by clawing the ground with your fingers.
The Turkish Chess Federation, to send a strong message, and to shake up the chess world, has made a decision not to appoint any arbiter who belongs to those seven federations that have been used as the marionettes of Garry Kasparov.
Our decision is one of principle and I do not want people to think that I have done this because two federations have sued FIDE over the number of nominated FIDE Vice-Presidents. I declared in the Krakow Executive Board of FIDE that I was ready to resign in order to solve that court case on the condition of costs being covered by the appellant. I know that the court case will finish on 29 June 2012. To demonstrate that this action is nothing personal, that it has nothing to do with me being one of the Vice-Presidents concerned (it has been alleged that it does), I have decided to submit my resignation from the position of FIDE Vice-President to the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and I would like to thank him for the unlimited trust he has shown me all these years.
I personally don’t need any title in order to stick by my principles and to contribute to the chess world. And for the rest of my life I will continue my work in this direction.
With kind regards
Ali Nihat Yazici
25 June 2012 – Ankara
Ali Nihat Yazici also clarifies in an interview for Chessvibes his reaction to the criticism by the seven federations and Russia, “I was expecting this criticism from those seven federations, plus some others. I was expecting even more reaction to tell you the truth! But this was my target; I wanted to shake the chess world. I succeeded partly in that and I hope that in the FIDE General Assembly in Istanbul we will have a more serious discussion about this issue. As organizers, we pushed for our proposal to reject those federations’ arbiters, as it was our legal right to do. Keep in mind that according to the regulations, there are no legal rights of the federations for the arbiters’ appointments. We have got more than 120 proposals for arbiter positions, and only 65 places to fill. We could easily make our selection without any statement, but we did not want to do that. Please check my statement again, we clearly mention there what we were aiming at.”
He later adds the role of Kasparov in the case, “First, let me explain to you that this is not a ban. Seven federations have sued FIDE with two different cases, playing a political game which is pushed by Garry Kasparov. He even guaranteed their court costs! After the nominations of the FIDE Vice-Presidents in Khanty-Mansiysk, we had a second attempt to sue FIDE again. It is clear in the case of the Vice-Presidents that there was no damage done at all. On the contrary, FIDE had a great benefit by getting more volunteers to work. In both cases Garry Kasparov guaranteed to the suing federations that their court expenses will be covered by his side.”
In the cited article Mr. Yazici makes no mention of his future resignation, but comments on the main point made by the federations, the ECU and the RCF was that the decision by the TCF is in fact against the FIDE Statutes. “If they think so, they can go to the FIDE Ethics Committee. But I don’t agree. The FIDE Statutes don’t say which federations should send arbiters and which not. It’s not discrimination. We have the right to choose or not. The main target of these actions wasn’t justice, but to create problems for FIDE and, if possible, cause it to collapse financially. In my opinion this is unethical. So, my action is not a ban against the federations simply because they supported Garry Kasparov in the court cases, but a matter of principle. These federations, for purely political reasons, have sued FIDE before the last election, trying to postpone it. What was the reason? It is obvious that this is a political game and the Turkish Chess Federation cannot accept that FIDE loses so much money in court cases instead of helping many federations, instead of supporting the development of chess and the FIDE Commissions. This is a stupid political game of Garry Kasparov. He tries to present himself as a potential candidate for the FIDE presidency and he believes that if he burns the house down, it will be easy to take it as a ruin. We have to give a strong message to the chess world, that this unethical game should be stopped. Therefore, to call this a ‘ban’ (as you and many other people do) is not correct. What we have done was absolutely legal.
It was a matter of choice, our choice – we were not obliged to specify any particular arbiters from any particular federation or federations. I should also point out, in case your readers do not know this, that the Turkish Chess Federation not only appoints the arbiters, it is we who pay for their accommodation and even a stipend. For me the case is closed. There is no chance of changing this. All those unethical actions of the seven federations should stop. Of course, any individual can expect a typical warm Turkish welcome at the Olympiad, including all the would-be arbiters we have chosen not to select.
Yazici harshly criticised Danailov and his role as ECU President, blaming him for playing the political game of Kasparov, “Danailov’s main election motto was “I know“. Until now he proved that he knows nothing – He says that he is still learning and needs much more time to learn. We hope that in a certain moment he will eventually learn that there is no place for those dirty games in our chess world. Today he plays with Garry Kasparov; tomorrow, who knows… In the last General Assembly of the ECU in Porto Carras, Danailov declared that they had found €100,000 of sponsorship for chess in schools. However, that money never reached the ECU accounts; it went directly to the Kasparov foundation! We hope that this is not the money used to sue FIDE! But it is already a scandal that this money went somewhere else – Danailov sees no problem… Those guys, they do not have any idea about chess management. Danailov and Kasparov are in the elementary grade for that subject.”