87th FIDE Congress - FIDE Arbiters Commission Meeting-1

87th FIDE Congress - FIDE Arbiters Commission Meeting-2

Chairman:   Takis Nikolopoulos (GRE)

Secretary:  Aris Marghetis (CAN)

Councilors: Jesus Mena (ESP), Mahdi Abdulrahim (UAE), Rathinam Anantharam (IND)

Present: R. Rivello (ITA), G. Bailleul (BEL), I. Syrovy (SVK), K. Eliasson, Svinnor, O. Salama (ISL), F. Dapiran (ITA), E. Khairallah (LIB), K. Turdialiev (UZB), A. Filipowicz (POL), W. Stubenvoll (AUT), C. Dias (POR), Gopakumar MS (IND), K. Deventer (GER), D. Jordan (GER), H. Al Rashid (BAN), G. Unal (TUR), R. Ricca (ITA), W. Brown (USA), K. Daniel (BAR), R. Wheller (JAM), Zhu Jaqi (CHN), R. Gibbons (NZL), J. Kenmure (SOL), G. van den Bergh (RSA), S. Kisuze (UGA), A. Brustman (POL), M. Pahlevanzadeh (IRI), Y. Gnyp (UKR), W. Dalpart (RSA), E. Smart (RSA), J. Lehtivaara (FIN), N. Popova (BLR), S. Zerdali (ALG), E. Jayasinghe (SRI), A. A. Lara de Leon (GUA), J. Martinez Garcia (MEX), A. Sokolsky (POL), M. Held (ITA), A. Schuering (NED), G. Wastell (AUS), A. Herbert (BAR), C. Jarecki (IVB), H. Bond (CAN), A. White (BAR), L. Turlej (POL), A. Dwi (INA), L. Requelo (PUR), R. Smith (TTO), A. Abduljattah (MAR), B. Messaudi (TUN), M. Shorek (ISR), I. Stubenvoll (AUT), O. Jeitz (LUX), K. Bonham (AUS), S. Nori (IRI), A. Borda (BOL), A. Gull (PAK), S. Sloan (USA), A. Ribeiro (ANG), R. Soca (MOZ), D. Miller (JAM), W. Iclicki (LIE)P. Pisk (CZE), S. Escafre (FRA), F. Jablonicky (SVK), S. Abou Nemri (LIB), S. Reuben (ENG), J. Junquiera (ANG), N. Ericho (ZAM), K. Msukwa (MAW), B. Abdelitif (TUN), A. Said Alhabsi (OMA), V. Choudary (TAN), U. KC (NEP), B. P. Gautam, P. Klerides (CYP), E. Celi (URU), W. Kastner (AUT), E. Dosumbetov (KGZ), L. Ebbin (BER), Y. Garrett, Y. Levitan, M. Turpanov (KGZ), L. Freyd (FRA), S. Islam Rupok, A. Vardapetian (ARM), H. Pees (DGT), M. Castro Solano (CRC), D. Cross (POR), I. Vereshchagin (RUS), A. Sorokina (AUS), S. Bayat (IRI), J. Klueners (GER), A. Tkachev (RUS), S. San Vicente (URU)

0)     Welcome

0a)   Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos opened the meeting with a moment of silence for the arbiters who passed away this year. Of special personal note was the passing of IA Sevan Muradian (USA). The Chairman mentioned that Sevan was a special man, who not only was a great friend, but who was the visionary behind online arbiters’ seminars. Then shortly before his untimely passing, Sevan sent us a proposal for evolving training (and retraining) of IAs/FAs/NAs, which we will discuss during the Meeting.

The Agenda of the Meeting was presented to the participants.

1)     Arbiters’ Commission Councillors’ Meeting Minutes (Madrid, 10th-13th June 2016)

The FIDE Arbiters’ Commission Councilors’ Meeting of this year was held in Madrid, 10th-13th June.

On behalf of FIDE, the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission, and the attendees in Madrid, Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos warmly expressed our appreciation for all the wonderful hospitality and organization by Javier Ochoa, President of the Spanish Chess Federation; Ramon Padulles, Secretary of the Spanish Chess Federation and our Councilor Jesus Mena.

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos presented the minutes of the Meeting, and there were no questions from the attendees.

2)     IA and FA Title Applications

2a)   Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos reported some problems with applications from Arbiters who were not licensed, which were rejected.

2b)   The recommendations of the Commission for all submitted until now IA and FA title applications were presented

2c) The list of the FIDE Arbiters’ Seminars that were organized in the period from beginning of April 2016 to the end of August 2016 was presented.

3)     FA Titles from FIDE Arbiters’ Seminars

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos reported that as per Article 3.10 of the Regulations for the Titles of Arbiters, the following FIDE Arbiters’ Seminars produced seventeen (17) direct FA title candidates that will be submitted for approval at the Baku FIDE Congress.:


Monrovia, LIBERIA

Kampala, UGANDA

The list of the direct FA titles was presented.

4)     Anti-Cheating Lectures for Arbiters on Internet

4a)   Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos reported that the free lectures on Internet were well attended. 75 Arbiters from 65 federations attended the English lecture, and similar lectures have since also been conducted in Russian, Arabic and Spanish languages. In addition, these lectures were recorded and are posted online. A big number of additional Arbiters listened to the recordings on line.

The report was presented

4b)   Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos mentioned that the current Baku Olympiad is the first major event to incorporate so many of the new anti-cheating measures.

5)     Amendments of the Regulations

5a)   Regulations for the Titles of Arbiters

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos presented proposals for clarifications and amendments that are predominantly to ensure consistency between various Arbiter-related regulations. These clarifications had already been discussed and approved in previous Congresses. During this presentation, there were several contributions made from the floor:

5a1) Regarding membership flexibility change to 1.1.6, Roberto Rivello (ITA) explained that the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission would have to ask the General Assembly to officially be enabled to consist of more than 15 members.

5a2) Klaus Deventer (GER) asked why new point 1.1.10 was added. Chairman Nikolopoulos explained it is just to facilitate the process for national federations to register to FIDE their Arbiters of National level.

5a3) The proposal from Councilor Mahdi Abdulrahim (UAE) to augment to include 6 teams if double round-robin was accepted.

5a4) Alex Holowczak (ENG) proposed for point 5.2: “5” should be “5 or 6”, and “7” should be “7 or 8” and it was accepted.

5b)   Regulations for the Classification of the Arbiters

David Sedgwick (ENG) sent us multiple points and we thank him for his contribution in the work of the Commission. Clarifications and amendments that were discussed and decided in the previous Congresses were included.

5c)     Regulations for the Training of the Chess Arbiters

5c1)   Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos explained the new lecturer forms FL1 and FL2, very similar to FA1/FA2 and IA1/IA2.

5c2)   Many members asked whether lectures can have two assistants rather than one, and whether both assistants could receive lecturer norms. Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos replied that yes, with documentation on which assistant lecturer covered which subjects. He also added that whether either lecturer norm was granted would be at the discretion of the main lecturer.

5c3)   Proposal from Councilor Anantharam that new lecturers be IAs of at least Category B was submitted. Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos mentioned that according to the regulations the lecturer norms last 4 years and therefore an Arbiter of lower than B’ Category has the time to be upgraded and use his norms in order to be lecturer. Igor Vereshchagin (RUS) encouraged that potential lecturers of lower categories to be offered B-norm Arbiter assignments in order to be assisted through this new proposal. Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos agreed to this idea, but said that for higher-level events, the possible influence of the Arbiters’ Commission is limited. Several members prefer that the Commission institutes an exam for new lecturers. That will probably still also happen, when the new system of the training of the Arbiters will be discussed and decided. After the discussion a voting followed. Amongst Arbiters’ Commission members, this proposal passed with 11 votes for and 2 against but there was less support amongst the general attendees of the Meeting.

5d)   Anti-cheating Guidelines for Arbiters

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos reported that we are waiting for new developments by the Anti-Cheating Committee that will be discussed and decided in its Meeting in Baku.

6)     Update of the List of Lecturers

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos confirmed the following seven recommendations for Lecturers’ approval at the Baku FIDE Congress:

IA Lara Barnes (ENG)

IA Anastasia Sorokina (AUS)

IA Jose Martinez Garcia (MEX)

IA Husan Turdialiev (UZB)

IA Yaser Al Otaibi (KSA)

IA Zoran Bojovic (SRB)

IA Branislav Suhartovic (SRB)

7)     Classification of the Arbiters

Werner Stubenvoll (AUT) presented the recommendations of the Commission for all upgrading requests that were received by the Federations. He also presented the new lists of the Arbiters that have been classified to A’ ,B’, C’ and D’ Category.

8)     Arbiters’ Magazine

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos and Secretary Aris Marghetis presented the new issue (third) of the Arbiters’ Magazine. Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos thanked Secretary Aris Marghetis and Member Carlos Dias (POR) for their contribution on this Commission’s project. In addition, Member Ivan Syrovy (SVK) graciously expressed his very supportive appreciation of the initiative, and encouraged broad continued participation. Both Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos and Secretary Aris Marghetis followed by describing many contributions Arbiters could make.

9)     2016 Arbiters’ Awards

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos confirmed the following nine nominees of the 2016 Arbiters’ Awards at the Baku FIDE Congress:

DREPANIOTIS, Panagiotis (GREECE)       (IA title awarded in 1980)

GASANOV, Faik           (AZERBAIJAN)       (IA title awarded in 1980)

GIJSSEN, Geurt         (NETHERLANDS)   (IA title awarded in 1979)

KAMESWARAN, V.         (INDIA)              (IA title awarded in 1980)

LOBANOV, Yuri           (RUSSIA)               (IA title awarded in 1979)

MELIKSTET-BEK, Evgeny   (GEORGIA)     (IA title awarded in 1979)

VEGA, Jorge             (GUATEMALA)         (IA title awarded in 1979)

WELCH, David           (ENGLAND)             (IA title awarded in 1977)

ZARIC, Borivoje         (SERBIA)                   (IA title awarded in 1970)

10)   2016 Arbiters’ Manual

10a) Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos provided some recent history of this project. The 2014 Arbiters’ Manual was printed and 3.000 books were shipped to 78 federations around the world. Thanks to many Arbiters providing feedback, the Arbiters’ Manual has been kept updated online. Due to budgetary constraints, it will only be available online until at least 2017. In any case, some significant changes are expected from both Rules Commission and Swiss Pairings and Programs Commission.

10b) Franca Dapiran (ITA) asked about update notifications for such an online document.

11)   FIDE Arbiters’ Commission’s Budget for 2016-17

Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos reported that the 2016 approved budget had been cut into half. He also explained that we are expecting even further budgetary adjustments for 2017 during this Baku Congress.

Hal Bond (CAN) suggested that the Commission should consider selling the Arbiters’ Manual and the Arbiters’ Magazine. Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos said that he will discuss this possibility with FIDE Treasurer.

12)   Other Business

12a) Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos presented extensive proposal from Sevan Muradian (USA, deceased) regarding IA-FA-NA qualification training and continuing education. A new sub-committee was formed within the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission, to develop this proposal into a comprehensive program. Secretary Aris Marghetis has collected input from India and France, and is looking forward to more participation from other countries with highly established Arbiter development models.

The predominant reaction of the attendees was concern over FIDE involvement with National Arbiters. Secretary Aris Marghetis explained that he would like to approach this in the opposite direction, starting off with IAs, then FAs, etc. Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos added that he expected any NA aspect of the eventual program to be more of an assistance program to federations that did NOT already have strong Arbiter development models, and so only apply to federations like that, who would voluntarily welcome such assistance. The Commission would not interfere with Federations who have successful training programs for their Arbiters of National Level, but wishes to help those Federations who need help on this issue. Secretary Aris Marghetis then asked for interested federations to work with, to determine current best practices around the world, and the response from the attendees was very positive.

12b) Chairman Nikolopoulos presented the new FIDE Arbiters’ Commission Website for Seminars. This new website that has been created within FIDE website, is being driven by widely respected and experienced IA Michail Prevenios (GRE), and seems to have great potential. The site will be used by the Commission for Seminars, Workshops, Refreshing Courses and Lectures on line, offering excellent e-learning possibilities.


       Takis Nikolopoulos                                                                                               Aris Marghetis

           Chairman                                                                                                              Secretary

FIDE Arbiters’ Commission                                                                             FIDE Arbiters’ Commission