Press release, December 23, 2008
The ACP expresses its concern about the management of events which recently shook the FIDE Grand Prix. The withdrawal of two host cities as well as the changes made by FIDE to the Regulations of the World Championship caused a disruption of the participants’ field in the middle of the cycle.
At the end of November 2008, FIDE and Global Chess announced that the organizers of the third and fourth Grand Prix tournaments in Doha and Montreux would not be able to fulfill their obligations. Both events were therefore cancelled. Elista managed to spontaneously host the tournament planned in Doha, while it is said that Montreux will be replaced by Kiev. FIDE and Global Chess stated that such actions had solved all problems with the Grand Prix.
However, the switch of venues automatically led to both players, who had received wild cards as host city nominees, being thrown out of the Grand Prix. Replacing participants in a cycle in progress should be done only in case of absolute necessity, as it disrupts the natural course of the cycle and contradicts the most basic laws of sports and management. Players’ rights have been neglected, inasmuch the Tournament’s Regulations and the Player’s Undertaking do not foresee such a possibility.
The Association of Chess Professionals would like to draw the attention of FIDE and Global Chess that such a situation mainly arose because the organizers were not asked for bank guarantees in advance. The ACP Board certainly understands all the difficulties linked with the organization of such an important Grand Prix, especially at a time of worldwide financial crisis, and hopes that the cycle will be ended in 2009 without interruption.
The ACP calls for an even higher standard of management and recommends tournament organizers to act carefully when announcing events which are not completely guaranteed yet. The ACP finally believes that both players deprived of their planned participation in the FIDE Grand Prix should be compensated for in some way.
The ACP Board
December 23, 2008