To: All Chess Federations
Dear Mr. Kouatly
Thank you very much for your article which addresses the duties of the treasurer and concerns with my person. Unfortunately, your story is full of false allegations and untenable insinuation and, hereby, misleads the chess community.
In the following I will take the liberty to correct the misinformation of your article. However, I don’t want to comment your personal attacks against myself (e.g. “unexperienced treasurer” or “lack of politeness”, etc.). Here your misinformation and fake news shall be unraveled only.
The correct factual background
The misinformation in your article starts from the very beginning. Thus, you are distorting the truth about the sequence of various correspondences just to make up a compliant story.
First untruth: in the beginning you mention that the Russian Chess Federation first wrote a letter which was answered by myself. Then you claim that “based on the received information” Mr. Filatov raised the issue of arrears, deadline for payments and possible consequences for participation in Batumi. Since you even refer to these two letters dated July 18 you should know it better: Mr. Filatov spoke about arrears and a falsely created deadline in his letter dated July 18, 2018. In other words, Mr. Filatov didn’t bring up these topics after my reply. Moreover, there is no second letter from Mr. Filatov!
Since you are aware of both letters of July 18, the question arises why you act with false claims.
Second untruth: though you mention that I have negated a deadline of July 23 for payments you didn’t set the record straight.
Hereby, you have to accept the criticism that you cover a fantasy deadline falsely created by Mr. Filatov and Mr. Dvorkovitch in order to threaten national chess federations.
Third untruth: In the following you state about Mr. Dvorkovitch the following: “To maintain full transparency and accurate information, Candidate Dvorkovich then raised the same issues in an email to federations”. Once again you are completely uninformed or you use facts willingly wrong. If you look at Mr. Dvorkovitch’s email you can see that it was sent on July 18 at 10.01.58. However, my reply to the Russian Chess Federation was sent to them only on July 18 at 16.50.
Thus, how could Mr. Dvorkovitch react on a letter of mine which was sent almost 7 hours after his email? This shows that the complete setup of your article lacks of correct facts.
The FIDE Statutes
In the following you think you have to enlighten me the FIDE Statutes. I can reassure you that I am very well aware of the Statutes. However, I have to realize that you missed major parts in our Statutes – willingly or unwillingly – because you quote the Statutes only in extracts. Let’s enlighten you with the following.
Thus, you have only partially quoted paragraph 2.5. which should be read as follows:
Members not fulfilling the duties mentioned in art. 2.4 may be temporarily excluded from FIDE by a decision of the General Assembly/Executive Board/Presidential Board and permanently excluded from FIDE by a decision of the General Assembly.
A member in arrears in the fulfillment of its financial obligations towards FIDE may be temporarily excluded by the Presidential Board, Executive Board or General Assembly. This temporary exclusion shall be annulled if the temporarily excluded member has fulfilled its financial obligations 60 days before the General Assembly following the temporary exclusion. No participation in any FIDE event or meeting will be permitted during the exclusion period. Payments made after the 60 days but before the General Assembly will not allow participation without a majority approval of the General Assembly.
The Treasurer shall include information in his report on those federations that should be temporary or permanently excluded.
A temporary exclusion made by the Presidential Board or Executive Board shall be submitted to the next General Assembly, which will decide on the permanent exclusion of the negligent federation. This must be an agenda item prior to any election.
In other matters a permanent exclusion can be ruled by the General Assembly only if the member is guilty of a severe offence against the statutes, regulations, resolutions or decisions, or acts against the principles of FIDE, taking into account the opinion of the Ethics Commission. This must be an agenda item prior to any election.
First this paragraph says that federations not fulfilling the duties ‘may be’ (i.e. not ‘must be’) excluded. Second it clearly states who decides on temporary exclusions, this is the General Assembly/Executive Board/Presidential Board. However, it is definitely not the treasurer. Therefore, it is not plausible why you think that the Treasurer has to be attacked. If you want to have temporarily excluded certain federations you should address your wishes to the General Assembly/Executive Board/Presidential Board. However, since the Executive Board in Antalya, the Presidential Board in Minsk and the Presidential Board in Bucharest have not decided to exclude federations I will strongly fight against such demands which are against our Statutes. In other words, to make it clear, no federations have been temporarily excluded in these three meetings and, thereby, all federations are permitted to play at the Olympiad and to vote at the election (the only temporary excluded federation is Bulgaria due to other reasons [i.e. not due to arrears]).
This is now the third time that Mr. Dvorkovitch’s team brings up the issue of the need for exclusions of federations. I understand now the frightened feedbacks from several federations which wanted to know why Mr. Dvorkovitch wants to exclude some of them.
The Financial Regulations
In addition, you have also referred to the Financial Regulations and here in particular to the paragraph 6.1 to 6.3. Since they repeat the terms of the Statues I don’t have to enter into these aspects again (see above).
Answers to your questions
- (1) You have asked whether FIDE published an uploaded arrears list on July 1re I can answer you that we haven’t done this due to two reasons. First, many federations were not able to pay their debts to FIDE because they had problems to transfer money to our trustee. As you might know our accounts with the Swiss bank UBS were closed due to the presence of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on the sanction list of the U.S. Department of the treasury. Secondly, FIDE had debts with the federations (e.g. for tickets to Batumi). These aspects gave reasons not to publish a list which would not reflect the appropriate situation. A situation in which federations face technical difficulties to pay their debts is not covered in the statutes and therefore this has to be handled tolerantly. Moreover – as I have pointed out in my letter dated July 20 – the goal of FIDE was not to exclude federations from services but to work out a plan for payment of the debt.
- (2) Here you ask which federations are in arrear of more than two years. The answer to your first question covers this question.
- (3) In this question you want me to acknowledge that the 60 days deadline is before that you don’t need my counting here.
- (4) In your last question you want to know which federations are temporarily excluded 60 days before the General Assembly in Batumi. At the Presidential Board meeting in Minsk and Bucharest no federation has been temporarily excluded.
Your accusation that the Treasurer has got political
Then you mention even the claim that I have turned political. To hear such an accusation from a member of a team which uses politics in a most inappropriate way is ridiculous. If you want to speak about politics then disclose the activities of Russian Ambassadors in many countries. Why are Russian Embassies approaching national chess federations, National Olympic Committees and Sports Ministers? Against this background you might reconsider your accusation who became political.
Finally, your article has plenty of wrong statements. Moreover, you misuse our Statutes in order to threaten national chess federations. The legitimate question remains why Mr. Dvorkovitch’s team brings up the issue of exclusions of federations for the third time. By insisting in exclusion of federations it seems to be obvious how Mr. Dvorkovitch wants to lead FIDE. However, I still prefer the spirit that all federations should be part of our FIDE family (gens una sumus) but not partially be excluded.
Prof. Dr. Adrian M. Siegel