Bartek Macieja | December 04, 2011 0:38

Recent European news

As I had made a long break from blogging, I have decided to make a short summary of what interesting has happened meanwhile that may not be (but definitely should be!) widely known yet. I have decided to separate it into two parts: "Recent world news" and "Recent European news".


For European players I have 5 special news.

1) The General Assembly of the European Chess Union decided to accept the recommendation of the ECU Dress Code Commission, consisting of Chairman Herman Hamers (NED), Peter Rajcsanyi (HUN) and Olena Boytsun (UKR) - ACP. Starting from 2012 all participants of the ECU competitions (excluding Youth Championships) as well as the officials (arbiters, captains and others being in the playing area) must comply with the Dress Code of the ECU.
More information can be found here.

2) The General Assembly of the European Chess Union decided to accept the recommendation of the ECU Sofia Rule commission, consinting of Chairman Anil Surender (SWE), Lars-Henrik Bech Hansen (DEN) and Laurent Fressinet (FRA) - ACP. Starting from 2012 draw offers before move 40 will be forbidden in ECU competitions (excluding Senior events).
More information can be found here.

I am not sure if the law has been eventually accepted in the Corsican version (like "A draw offer before move 40 is forbidden.") or the Sophia (soft) version ("A draw offer before move 40 is forbidden, without the consent of the arbiter."). Both versions are acceptable according to the FIDE Laws of Chess.
Under normal circumstances, the Sophia part "without the consent of the arbiter" does not seem to be necessary, however it can be useful in extraordinary cases. For instance, Vugar Gashimov had serious health problems shortly after the beginning of a match Azerbaijan - France, European Team Championship 2011 and was unable to continue his game. The captains agreed to finish a match with 4 draws.
In order to keep such a possibility, the Sophia part "without the consent of the arbiter" is needed.

I will try to clarify this issue. For a present moment it seems to me (I am hope I am wrong!) that nobody even bothered to discuss such "a detail difference" between both rules and the General Assembly of the European Chess Union approved the most simple wording, it means the Corsican version. That would mean that a player with sudden health problems would always lose, unless he had managed earlier to reach move 40. Only after move 40 "fair play" draw offers would be accepted.

3) For over half a year the ECU has been heavily working on the copyrights for online transmission issue (no confusion with the copyrights for games!). During the General Assembly of the European Chess Union nothing concrete happened. I am not surprised - the topic is difficult, requires a lot of work by lawyers, especially that the law varies (sometimes significantly) from one European country to another.

4) In June 2011 I shared my doubts whether the new tie-break system recommended by the ECU Board and sent by the Extraordinary General Assembly (that took place in Aix-les-Bains) to a commission to "work out details" was reasonable for the European Individual Chess Championship.
Let me remind you, that the proposal was to set the number of wins as the main additional criteria in the case of equality of the number of scored points.
It seems to me that the topic has been dropped and even the commission has not been set.
It is one of rare examples when a threat is less dangerous than its execution!

5) On the 20th of September 2011 the ECU President Silvio Danailov and Garry Kasparov presented the "Chess in school" project during the public hearing in the European Parliament. According to the ECU website, the presentation was accepted with great interest. The event was held under the high patronage of the President of the European Parliament Prof. Jerzy Buzek.
Following the presentation, on the 30th of November 2011, the "Written declaration on the introduction of the programme 'Chess in School' in the educational systems of the European Union" was open for signatures, with a deadline of the 15th od March 2012.
More information can be found

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Author: Bartek Macieja

Bartlomiej Macieja is a grandmaster from Poland.


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