ACP Newsletter - December 2013
Dear ACP Members,
One of the first decisions of the current ACP Board after its election about two years ago was to waive the membership fee until we could show concrete results of our dynamic work.
Now, we are proud to present 10 selected areas of activity we have succeeded in since January 2012:
1. Organisation of tournaments
In the period 2012-2013, the ACP organised five world-class tournaments: the ACP Women Cup in Tbilisi, the Women's World Rapid and Blitz Championship in Batumi, the ACP Golden Classics in Amsterdam and the ACP Cup in Riga.
More than 80 players have participated in these events where prizes over USD 250,000 were at stake. Besides, every participant was provided accommodation and facilities at the highest level without any additional charges, such as entry/organising fee, incurred by them.
2. Fighting cheating
The ACP has been very proactive in finding an antidote to the widespread problem of cheating. Our campaign's petition was eventually signed by over 800 players including more than 250 GMs. This action led to the creation of the joint FIDE-ACP Anti-Cheating Committee, in which our ACP experts are actively involved. Our proposals have been almost entirely accepted by the FIDE-ACP Anti-Cheating Committee and are now being evaluated by FIDE. The final anti-cheating proposals will be presented at the next FIDE General Assembly in Tromso 2014.
3. Increasing prize funds in the Continental Championships
The ACP successfully lobbied, and convinced FIDE to introduce the following minimal thresholds for prize funds in Continental Championships:
Europe: 150.000 EUR for men, 75.000 EUR for women
Asia: 50.000 USD for men, 25.000 USD for women
Americas: 50.000 USD for men, 25.000 USD for women
Africa: 20.000 USD for men, 10.000 USD for women
(These are the NET prizes before local taxes, wherever applicable)
This translates into a very significant increase in the prize money of hundreds of players across the globe.
4. Negotiating special conditions and wildcards for members
ACP Members receive special conditions at both official and private tournaments, such as discounts in the European Championships and special conditions at the Gibraltar Chess Festival. We also continue to secure wildcards in official and private events for the best performing members, for instance GM Vachier Lagrave got the wildcard to the World Cup (where he reached semi-finals) as a result of his performances in the ACP Tour 2012, while Grandmasters Eljanov,Dreev and Khotenashvili got special conditions in Gibraltar 2014, thanks to their results in ACP Tour 2013.
5. To develop understanding and cooperation with FIDE and various National Federations
We have been working towards an open dialogue between the federations and the players. ACP Representatives have been appointed in various critical commissions by FIDE (Anti-Cheating, Modernization, Development, Rules and Tournament Regulations, World Championships and Olympiads, Qualification), which has given voice to the player's views. We also actively make efforts to take into account the opinions of all our members through regular online discussions. The results are reflected in the majority of the latest rules approved by FIDE, such as the increase in prize money of official events (World Championship Cycle, Continental Championships, Grand Prix), unification of time controls, removal of Sofia rules from qualification events etc.
6. Protecting Players
Our foremost priority is to protect professional players against any injustice or unfair treatment. We have reached concrete results in preventing and resolving several conflicts between the organisers and the players. In particular, the ACP was instrumental in resolving a deadlock between a majority of Indian players and their federation regarding unfair rules for selection to individual events last year. In another instance, we helped overturn the unfortunate decision by the arbiters of the EICC in Plovdiv declaring the Baron-Safarli game lost for both players despite a threefold repetition. Both the players re-gained 5 rating points… In fact, the list is quite long, and what's most important - all ACP members should know that at all times we are ready to step in and fight for his/her rights. We also raised awareness about the need for a programme to help chess veterans. It was supported by FIDE, and is planned to be launched in 2014.
7. Promoting professional books and tournaments
For the last two years, ACP has organised contests for the Book and Tournament of the Year. After Gibraltar's success in the 2012 edition, the ACP provided the tournament with a special prize of 1000 GBP in 2013 for the best ranked ACP member who didn't win another prize. Eventually it was won by GM Le Quang Liem, and the prize will continue in the 2014 edition as well.
8. Supporting professional arbiters
International Arbiters nominated by the ACP were appointed at the 2012 Olympiad, the 2012-2013 Grand Prix, the 2012 Women’s World Championship, the 2013 World Rapid and Blitz Championship and the 2013 Women’s World Team Championship. This practice will be continued in 2014 as well.
9. Helping players to obtain visas
The ACP regularly provides players with assistance in obtaining the required visas, by providing them with an official document to present to the relevant embassy.
10. Spreading our base
In the past two years, the ACP worked hard to widen its base and increase it representativeness. Today we represent about one thousand chess professionals in all continents, and our voice is getting ever louder and clearer. We are aware that the increased representativeness is a great asset, and we will work hard to live up to the greater responsibility.
While is undeniable that by organising the ACP Cup in Riga 13-15 September 2013 and planning for the next ACP Women Cup the ACP has fulfilled its promises for this year, we also hope that the above list has provided you with a clear insight of the wider range of our work and our success in accomplishing the goals. That said, it is time to talk about the future.
Even though the ACP has successfully managed to raise money from external sources for its statutory activities so far, in the long term it is imperative that an association like ours also needs its own funds to remain active. We believe that it is time for the members to show that they care by contributing through a membership fee again, which is incremental in nature according to the desired level of support and service. With your support we should be able to continue operating smoothly and continue to deliver the results we promised while retaining the voluntary nature of all ACP executives and Board Members.
The new Membership and Fee Structure was accepted by the ACP Board on 31 October 2013. Its exact details have been published on the ACP Website.
29 December 2013