86th FIDE Congress Annex 41 FIDE ARBITERS’ COMMISSION MEETING Abu Dhabi, 2 September 2015



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Chairman: P. Nikolopoulos (GRE)

Councillors: M. Abdulrahim (UAE), R. Anantharam (IND).

Present: G. Unal (TUR), C. Jarecki (IVB), W. Stubenvoll (AUT), S. Al-Taher (UAE), I. Vereshchagin (RUS), A. Filipowicz (POL), S. Muradian (USA), M. Burhanudin (KOS), Y. Gnyp (UKR), A. Shulga (UKR), A. Holowszak (ENG), S. Reuben (ENG), A. McFarlane (SCO), W. Brown (USA), F. Guadalupe (USA), M. Held (ITA), T. Delega (POL), A. Vardapetian (ARM), C. Krause (GER), R. Ricca (ITA), A. Schuering (NED), J. Lehtivaara (FIN), H. Hamers (NED), P. Truong (USA), J. Mazuch (CZE), V. Hariharan (IND), A. Tkachiev (RUS), B. Singh (IND), C. Abundo (PHI), C. Nsakanya (ZAM), H. Elgendy (EGY), M. Pahlevanzadeh (IRI), A. Sorokina (AUS), J. Kenmure (SOL), S. Zerdali (ALG), S. Shakari (UAE), I. Kangwagye (RWA), J. Junqueira (ANG), G. Wastell (AUS), D. Jordan (GER), B. Hoareau (SEY)


Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos welcomed the members of the FIDE Arbiters´ Commission and the other participants of the Commission’s meeting.

Since the last Congress three International Arbiters passed away: IA Kira Zvorykina (RUS), IA Evelyn Koshnitsky (AUS) and IA Armen Nikoghosyan (ARM). The chairman asked for a minute of silence in their memory.

1. Meeting of the Arbiters’ Commission Councillors in Dubai

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos informed about the meeting in Dubai, 7-9 August 2015. He thanked the hosts, the Arab Chess Federation and the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, for the excellent organization of the meeting and the great hospitality they provided to the Chairman and the Members of the Commission.

The minutes of the meeting have been published on the FIDE and the Arbiters’ Commission websites and were distributed as an annex of the agenda.

2. IA and FA Title Applications

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos reported that a sub-committee, consisting of Takis Nikolopoulos, Mahdi Abdulrahim and Werner Stubenvoll, is responsible for checking the IA and FA title applications. There are still new applications coming in. 58 IA and 88 FA title applications have been submitted so far. The final report with the recommendations for all title applications will be forwarded to the FIDE Executive Board.

3. FA titles from FIDE Arbiters’ Seminars

According to the art. 3.10 of Regulations for the titles of Arbiters, applicants from federations which are unable to organize any tournaments valid for titles or rating, may be awarded the title on passing an examination set by the Arbiters’ Commission. A list of the federations that are included in the article 3.10 was distributed.

You can find here the list of the approved by the Executive Board FIDE Arbiters’ Seminars.

The recommendations of the Commission to the FIDE Executive Board for awarding direct titles to such applicants are submitted to the Executive Board for approval.

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4. Amendments of the Regulations

There was a proposal from the Welsh Chess Union regarding the age limit for arbiter titles. According to the Regulations the current age limit for awarding the titles of International and FIDE Arbiter is 21 years, while the age limit for the License to be given to an Arbiter of National Level has been agreed to 17 years.

The Wales Chess Union proposes to lower the minimum age for a FA title to 18 years and for a license to an Arbiter of a National Level to 16 years. The commission received e-mails supporting this proposal.

Stewart Reuben said that much more important than the age are the necessary skills of a person willing to act as an arbiter.

Bharat Singh pointed out that in some counties there may be legal problems if very young arbiters take a decision which would decrease the money prize of a player.

The members of the Arbiters’ Commission unanimously agreed to keep the current age limit for IA and FA. The majority of the other persons agreed as well.

On proposal of chairman Takis Nikolopoulos the Welsh Chess Union’s proposal concerning the age limit for the Arbiters of National level was accepted and the age limit for a license to be issued for an Arbiter of national level will be lowered from 17 to 16 years.

Regarding the FIDE Lecturers Casto Abundo proposed that an applicant should have a recommendation from the lecturer under whom he was the assistant. Further he proposed that the Arbiters’ Seminar where an applicant acted as an assistant should be within a four years period, because the Laws may change every four years. The proposal was accepted by the Commission. It was also agreed new forms FL1 and FL2, similar to FA1/IA1 and FA2/IA2, to be introduced for the applications for the FIDE Lecturers.

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos informed that up yo now there are 52 lecturers, 27 from A-category, 9 from B-category, 4 from C-category and 12 from D-category. The Commission agreed for a proposal regarding the requirement of the Lecturer’s Category to be at least C’ to be submitted in the next FIDE Congress for discussion.

Sevan Muradian proposed to increase the number of seminars to become lecturer. He will forward a written proposal for the next Congress.

Anastasia Sorokina proposed to have fewer seminars as a requirement for female lecturers. The proposal was not accepted as it would decrease dramatically the level of the female Lecturers.

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos informed that Arbiters’ Commission is going to organize seminars on internet for the lecturers, in English, Russian, Spanish and Arabic language. All lecturers will have to attend one of these seminars in order to be eligible to teach in FIDE Arbiters’ Seminars as lecturers.

5. Update of the List of Lecturers

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos informed about the applications of IAs who want to be lecturers:

IA Pablyto Ribeiro (BRA), IA Artiom Akhmetov (RUS), IA Bechir Messaoudi (TUN), IA Mohamed El Husseiny (EGY), IA Gene Poliarco (PHI), IA Hamid Majid (MAS), IA Laurent Freyd (FRA), IA Bong Bunawan (INA), IA Omar Salama (EGY).

IA C. Abundo (PHI) pointed out that in both Seminars where he was the main Lecturer and IA G. Poliarco the Assistant Lecturer, IA G. Poliarco didn’t show the required level for a Lecturer. IA Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh (IRI) confirmed that IA G. Poliarco has not adequate experience for a Lecturer. After some discussions it was agreed to postpone the decision about IA G. Poliarco until he will be Assistant Lecturer in another FIDE Arbiters’ Seminar and the main Lecturer will give a positive recommendation for him. IA Omar Salama (EGY) was Assistant Lecturer in two FIDE Arbiters’ Seminars so far, but as he will be Assistant lecturer in a third Seminar (Reykjavik, 15-20 November 2015), he was accepted conditionally. The other applications had been accepted by the Commission, according to the regulations.

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6. Classification of the Arbiters

The lists of arbiters per categories were prepared by IA Werner Stubenvoll for approval by the Executive Board. Additionally he presented a list of accepted and refused upgrades, according to the requests of the National Federations for their Arbiters and the regulations for the classification of the Arbiters.

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos informed about the number of licensed arbiters, titled and of National Level.

Statistics have been submitted in the report for the information of the Executive Board.

Class A | Class B | Class C | Class D

7. FIDE Arbiters’ Magazine

The first issue of the FIDE Arbiters’ Magazine was presented by the Chairman and was distributed to the participants of the Meeting. The main task is to help arbiters in their work and to inform about cases happened during tournaments, with the decision of the Arbiters. There should be at least two issues per year in the future. On the Arbiters’ Commission website the magazine has been published and is available for downloading. It will be sent to all National Federations.

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos asked for the help of all arbiters who may send interesting cases to the Commission, in order to be included in the Magazine.

8. FIDE Arbiters’ Commission’s Budget for 2015-2016

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos informed that the next budget in connection with the running projects of the Commission will be discussed with FIDE Treasurer Adrian Siegel during the Congress.

A plan for the future is to force an applicant for the IA title to have one norm outside his home federation. For this purpose there should be a part of the budget available.

It was mentioned that the Seminars, Workshops and Refreshing Courses organized by the Commission is free for all participants but in future it may be a low participants fee, in order to increase the income.

9. Report of the Disciplinary Subcommittee

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos informed the Commission about the work of the Disciplinary Subcommittee, which consists of IA Andrzej Filipowicz as chairman and the members IA Klaus Deventer, IA Carol Jarecki, IA Ivan Surovy and IA Haroon or Rashid.

Up to now they had dealt with the cases of the Mongolian Arbiters, where two arbiters had been penalized to be out of the list of arbiters for two years, until end of 2016, because of fraud norms for the IA title and the case with two Indian Arbiters who didn’t fulfil their duties during an incident that happened in the World Youth Chess Championships 2014. The decision of the subcommittee regarding the second case has been submitted for approval by the Executive Board and includes a penalty of ban for both Arbiters until 1 January 2016. Both Indian Arbiters have agreed with the decision and didn’t make any appeal.

IA Klaus Deventer is representing the Arbiters’ Commission in Anti Cheating Commission. He informed the Arbiters’ Commission about the Anti cheating Commission Meeting in Italy. According to the Anti-Cheating Guidelines, “players, organizers, arbiters, national federations and other interested parties are all required to cooperate with Anti Cheating Commission”.

He proposes to make an amendment of the Disciplinary Regulations for Arbiters, including a penalty for an Arbiter who is not cooperating with ACC, Ethics or Qualification Commissions. His proposal is to add under Art. 1.3 k.:

“Failing to cooperate with the Arbiters’ Commission, the Anti Cheating Commission, the Ethics Commission or the Qualification Commission or the institutions of these commissions, after an official request was made.”

The proposed wording of art. 1.3. k was extended by the Counsellors meeting in Dubai with the addition : “… and there is a concrete proof that the arbiter was informed in time.”

10. Arbiters’ Manual

The next edition of the manual will be produced in 2016 and will be distributed in the FIDE Congress of Baku and in the Olympiad. IA Rathinam Anantharam (IND) will coordinate the preparations for the new manual. Proposals for changes or corrections, etc. should be sent to the Chairman and to Mr. Anantharam, who is the responsible Councillor of the Commission for the Arbiters’ Manual project.

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11. Others

Hal Bond and Sevan Muradian referred to the Anti Cheating Regulations for arbiters. It is too much work for an arbiter to check all the pgn-files by a program. The chairman informed that currently the program is not available, but it has to be discussed with the Anti Cheating Commission.

Kevin O’ Connell sent a proposal to allow the long form notation for chess games. The commission agreed with his proposal that the long form of notation should be accepted. IA Ashot Vardapetian, Chairman of the FIDE Rules Commission, informed that this will be done in the new version of Laws of Chess.

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos informed about a claim from GM Oleg Korneev against the decision of the arbiters to add time to his opponent because of throwing pieces out of the chessboard during a time pressure in his game against C. Noe, in Neckar-Open Tournament in Germany. The case was discussed by the Commission in its Meeting in Dubai and it was accepted that the arbiter may apply a penalty for this case, but the Commission cannot dictate the level of the penalty imposed. Therefore the result of the game stands. The decision was accepted.

The President of the Irish Chess Union refused to sign a FA norm from the Irish Chess Championship 2014 for Pete Morriss. Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos informed that the meeting of the Councillors in Dubai discussed the case and it was decided that since Mr. Morriss was present only for the five out of the nine rounds of the event, his FA norm cannot be accepted. In the meantime another valid norm was sent by Mr. Morriss. The federation didn’t submit the FA title application and it was submitted by the applicant himself to FIDE (according to the article 5.4 of the regulations for the titles of Arbiters). The recommendation is currently on “hold”, in order the Commission to get more clarification and information regarding the case. The final decision will be forwarded to the next FIDE Presidential Board.

An incident that happened during the British U-8 Championship 2014 was discussed by the Commission. The whole case was already dismissed by FIDE Ethics Commission, as the father of the boy who was involved in the case had sent a complaint to the FIDE Ethics Commission. Ethics Commission sent the case to the Rules and the Arbiters’ Commissions.

In the view of the Commission the main problem is that for the game where the incident happen, half a point was given to one player and a full point to the other player. Bharat Singh pointed out that a result of ½ – 1 cannot be accepted by FIDE.

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos proposed to write a letter to the English Chess Federation pointing out that such results should be avoided in the future.

Ruben Stewart pointed out that the event was not FIDE rated and in fact such results do not exist in FIDE rated tournaments of the English Chess Federation.

The Arbiters’ Commission after discussion agreed that according to the FIDE Laws of Chess the decision of the arbiters and the Chief Arbiter had been correct, but the applied by the Tournament manager result ½-1 does not exist in the FIDE Laws of Chess. However, as there was no intention by the English Chess Federation to send the event to FIDE for rating, they could follow only internal regulations and therefore there is no reason to penalize anybody.

IA Igor Vereshchagin has sent a letter with a couple of proposals to FIDE Commissions. His proposal for organizing refreshing courses for lecturers was discussed. It was accepted that such a course can be organized on Internet, in order to minimize the cost for the participants.

Werner Stubenvoll proposed to invite all lecturers to participate in a refreshing course for Lecturers on Internet every four years.

                  The Chairman                                                                                                  The acting Secretary

           IA Takis Nikolopoulos                                                                                         IA Werner Stubenvoll

                                                                                                                                   Abu Dhabi, 2 September 2015