Personal take by Susan Polgar
I would like to offer my personal take and a possible suggestion.
As someone who traveled to more than 50 countries, I can certainly understand the different standards for hotel ratings and quality. What three, four, or five star hotels in one country may not be the same for another. The same goes with the vast differences in cultures, especially when FIDE has over 170 member nations. What one organizer considers spectacular may be viewed as not up to par to another person. The same can be said about different types of food. We must take everything into consideration.
Many players, including some of the ones who signed the open letter, have stated that Turkey has organized many fantastic events in the past and the organizer has strongly supported chess, especially women’s chess. It is difficult, and probably impossible, to please everyone. As a chess organizer for thousands of scholastic and professional players in countless tournaments, I find that this is the case most of the time. The only thing I could do is try to accommodate the players as quickly as possible when issues arise.
No matter how hard we try to organize the “perfect” event, something could still go wrong. My suggestion is if there are problems in the future, the players should alert the organizer as soon as possible. If the problems are not resolved to the satisfactory of the players then FIDE should be promptly notified. We must give the organizers and FIDE the opportunity to correct any and all potential problems first, internally, before bringing things up publicly. This type of “Open Letters” will not solve the problems. It will only create animosity, hurt feelings, and for sure turn off many sponsors or potential sponsors.
I have raised approximately $2 million in chess scholarships and prizes from donors and sponsors for my chess events for scholastic and professional players in the past. I know how hard it is to bring in sponsors and donors. This is a serious common problem for chess. Therefore, we must do everything we can not to lose them which translates into less opportunities for our chess community.
I have no doubt that some players truly feel that the conditions did not meet their standards. I also have no doubt that the organizer did their best to put on a fantastic Women’s World Championship, given their past excellent track record. This is why I hope that everyone can agree to work together, respectfully, to make future events better while ending the practice of “Open Letters”.
I would like to thank the players for bringing up the issues, FIDE for their prompt response, and the organizer for supporting women’s chess. Let’s all work together for the best interest of chess.
Gens Una Sumus!