Signed by Georgios Makropoulos, FIDE Deputy President
Dear fellow chess players,
With great surprise I read your letter of 14 January, signed by several players, concerning the conditions of the World Women’s Championship 2010 in Antakya.
It is even more surprising that the main accusation, repeatedly mentioned, is that the organisers of the Turkish Chess Federation tried to make money by overcharging the players. I would like to remind that the organisers have provided the full prize fund of the event (450,000 USD) by taking on their own cost the 20% contribution to FIDE and not deducting it from the players. This means that a total of 90,000 USD was offered free to the players by the organisers. Each participant received a bonus starting from 750 USD (for the players who were eliminated in the 1st round) and reaching up to 12,000 USD (for the World Champion). If the organisers wanted to “make more money”, wouldn’t they simply not offer this bonus?
This is well known to all the chess community and it is pretty strange to suggest that an organiser would first donate 90,000 USD to the players and then FIDE or the players should fight with the organisers if they make or not 15-20 euros per day from each hotel room. It is not fair to insult the Turkish Chess Federation, which has showed so much support by organising many top women events with big prize funds and good conditions (Women’s Grand-Prix, European Championships, Women’s World Championship). Furthermore it is also not fair for the organisers to be treated like this by certain players, when at the same time we hope for more sponsorship money in women’s chess and larger prize funds in the future.
A letter with a different and positive attitude, which would first acknowledge the efforts up to now of the Turkish Chess Federation and then suggest possible improvements, would have been much more appreciated and not create such a negative image for our organisers and sponsors.
Concerning the other accusations about the conditions of the latest Women’s World Championship, they are simply not accurate in most of its content. The hotel was a good 4-star hotel and after the first game all the other rounds were held within the hotel so the players avoided any travel before the games. The front road was asphalted and only the side roads were not asphalted as the area of the hotel is a developing suburb. In all cases, the roads were not dirty as your letter suggests.
The center of the city was within a 4-minute taxi ride without traffic and some participants even walked the distance. A park was right next to the hotel for anyone who wished to have a walk nearby. There were not any problems with the air conditions outside of the hotel nor with the air-conditioning of the hotel itself. Obviously, if there were really such problems, they would have been noticed at the event, as the games were played for almost 25 days! Furthermore, no player asked the organisers or the FIDE officials to change her room, not even for noise problems as your letter suggests.
The only issue which was addressed by the players after the first round was the quantity of the food portions. From the second round this had significantly improved, very much because of the efforts and pressure of the organisers to the hotel management. In all events such minor problems may occur and the organisers in Antakya were very quick in resolving them.
I would also like to remind that many participants in Nalchik 2008 were in a hurry to complain for the location of that event and afterwards the players appreciated FIDE and the local organisers for the high level of that championship. FIDE will take into consideration your proposals for the future, as it always listens to the views of the players, but the distribution of such “open letters” does not help in attracting sponsors for women’s chess.
By this letter, FIDE re-establishes the true facts about the last Women’s World Championship in Antakya and we would like to thank once more the Turkish Chess Federation for its continuous support to women’s chess events.
FIDE Deputy President