The 2018 4th quarter FIDE Presidential Board, and the first in mandate of new FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, was held from 8-9th November at the Chelsea football club in London.
– FIDE budget increased by 150%
– Still no bank account
– A new super-body formed for day-to-day ruling
– Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s people in this inner circle
– CAS case between Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and FIDE to be settled
Before the start of the session a new practice was introduced as the Presidential Board meeting was closed to the public. Even during the mandate of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Georgios Makropoulos all meetings were open.
Adding further to a new regime of secrecy, the Presidential Board muzzled any possible dissenting voices by insisting to “introduce and execute a non-disclosure agreements” on its members.
The list of all Presidential Board decisions is published on the FIDE website.
A budget for 2019 of 5.546.000 EUR was presented and adopted with 3 million EUR allocated to development, 1,5 million grouped under the “General Secretariat” and 500.000 EUR for the Commissions. The budget is increased roughly by 150% compared to previous years. The bank account is still not re-opened in Switzerland.
The FIDE headquarters will be established in Lausanne. The budget for rent is consequently raised from 17.000 EUR (Athens office) to 150.000 EUR. Utilities and other office expenses also raised.
The budget for staff salaries jumped from 370.000 EUR to 600.000 EUR. 450.000 EUR will go towards the Reserve Fund
On the INCOME side, the Membership Fees and Registered Tournaments are cut down 50%. FIDE Title Application Fees are reduced by 40%. The budget is balanced by 4,5 million EUR of sponsorship.
A number of decisions delegated vast executive powers to the FIDE President.
In addition, a new super-body, the FIDE Management Board was established with the “key members of the FIDE executive as its members”:
▪ Arkady Dvorkovich as Chairman
▪ Igor Kogan, Russian billionaire and Dvorkovich’s 2018 Electoral Campaign Manager, as Deputy Chairman
▪ Zhu Chen, Treasurer
▪ Victor Bologan, Executive Director
▪ Emil Sutovsky, Director General
▪ Willy Iclicki, Chief Operating Officer
▪ Berik Balgabaev, Advisor to the FIDE President
▪ Mohamed Al-Mudahka, International Director
▪ Vadim Tsypin, Assistant to the FIDE President
The FIDE power is concentrated within this executive, with members from the former USSR, Israel and Qatar.
It is scandalous that the executive includes Berik Balgabaev and Willy Iclicki, originally members of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov team, who were involved in both the Glenn Stark case, which was effectively buried by the Russian propaganda machinery, and in initiating the bribery and consequent disgrace of the Serbian chess federation.
For Presidential advisers, at the moment only Berik Balgabaev has had funds of 96.000 EUR allocated to him.
Iclicki is appointed to oversee the Athens office until it is closed. His own appointed assistant is Sava Stoisavljevic, a close associate of Silvio Danailov and Vladimir Sakotic, who was suspended by the FIDE Ethics Commission for 6 months. In a sign of the moral meltdown here Stoisavljevic was actually suspended by the Ethics Panel in which Iclicki was member.
It appears that it takes as many as four people to do the work that was previously efficiently completed by just one – former Executive Director Nigel Freeman.
The attack on the standing of the FIDE Ethics Commission does not end there. An article published by the Russian Chess Federation effectively belittled the essential and hard work of the Commission over the last four year. This article conveniently omits the fact that CAS Lausanne, the world’s supreme sports court, upheld all the decisions of the FIDE Ethics Commission that were contested.
Also on the topic, the Presidential Board has decided to “settle the CAS case between Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and FIDE as soon as possible”.
Returning to the budget, an interesting provision of 50.000 EUR was projected for the expenses of “Re-audit for 2017-18”. Apparently, someone questioned the ill-mannered attempt to re-audit only the year when Georgios Makropoulos was the acting President, therefore the re-audit was extended for four years (not specified), and so the costs of this were raised as a consequence. Certainly, the most interesting item for this re-audit will be the mess of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s air-tickets, referred to FIDE by his Assistant Berik Balgabaev.
Finally, the decision No.20 is proposing to the General Assembly that all members of elected commissions (Constitutional, Ethics, Verification) “shall obtain endorsements from their national federations”. It is unclear why this pressure on the members of independent bodies is exerted. Even some members of the Presidential Board, such as Vice President Nigel Short, who was not elected by GA but appointed by Dvorkovich, are not endorsed by their national federations.