Open letter regarding Bosna Open
24 December 2014
The Board of Association of Chess Professionals (the Board) wishes to bring this matter to the attention of the chess community and especially to chess players who are considering participating in any tournaments organized by either the Bosna Club or Mr. Nusret Causevic and/or Borki Predojevic (Bosna organizers).
In summer 2014, several winners of the Bosna Open contacted the Board seeking assistance because Bosna organizers failed to pay the promised prizes, refused to specify the time frame when the payments would be made, and/or refused even to communicate with the prize winners. To clarify the situation, the Board contacted most prize winners of the Bosna Open. About half of them responded to the Board’s inquiry and confirmed that they have not received their prizes. The Board tried to contact Bosna organizers during the summer 2014 but received no response. The Board did finally receive one email (in late October) from Bosna organizers but the email contained no firm dates when the prize payments would be made. The Board was preparing to go public in early November when Bosna organizers started to pay some of the winners. The Board was provided with proof of payment to 10 prize winners in Group A. Despite promises from Bosna organizers that the remaining prize winners in Groups A and B will be paid shortly, no proof of such payment has been provided. Presently, to the extent the proof has been provided to the Board, 8 winners from Group A and all winners of Group B remain unpaid.
The Board believes that a situation when an event organizes fail to pay out the promised prizes is unacceptable. The Board understands that some blame for Bosna organizers’ failure to pay can be attributed to lack of promised financing from the government sources. However, it is the paramount duty of organizers to pay the announced prizes to players and blaming the third parties for lack of the promised financial support cannot be a sufficient excuse. In addition, the Board is also aware that Bosna organizers had the means to secure independent financing early on by obtaining a loan but chose not to do so, letting the players wait for the prizes instead. While the Board acknowledges that about 88% of the prizes to winners of Group A have been paid, it was done only after significant pressure from the Board and almost 5 months after the money were due and without any compensation for the delay.
The Board considers such behavior by Bosna organizers deplorable. Accordingly, the Board will petition appropriate FIDE Commissions to stop calculating events (for ELO purposes and title norms) for any events organized by Bosna Club and/or Mr. Nusret Causevic and Borki Predojevic . In addition, the Board will inform FIDE Ethics Committee that Bosna organizers may have breached the Code of Ethics by failing to perform their functions in responsible manner (Chapter 09, Rule 2.2.3 of the FIDE Handbook). Finally the Board recommends all ACP members avoid playing in any tournaments organized by Bosna Club and/or Mr. Nusret Causevic and Borki Predojevic .
While the Board does not relish the prospect of Bosna organizers becoming sanctioned by FIDE, it believes that a precedent must be set to put all chess tournament organizers on notice that such behavior will not be tolerated and the Board will assist all ACP members when the organizers fail to pay promised prizes in timely manner.