US Chess at FIDE Extraordinary General Assembly

US Chess Executive Director Carol Meyer reports from Abu Dhabi:  US Chess is participating in the FIDE Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The US Chess delegation includes (see photo below, left-right) FIDE Vice President Michael Khodarkovsky , Executive Director Carol Meyer, President Allen Priest, US Chess Member IA David Hater (a candidate for the FIDE Ethics Commission), and Executive Board Member Mike Hoffpauir. The EGA was scheduled last fall with a primary goal of adopting a new charter that modernizes FIDE’s organizational structure. Prior to the opening of the formal EGA, the Verification, Ethics and Constitutional Commissions met to finalize business for the EGA. FIDE Vice President and US Chess Delegate Khodarkovsky also participated in a closed Presidential Board meeting.

On Friday, the EGA kicked off with a report from FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, who touted several accomplishments during his 16-month tenure. Among the accomplishments highlighted:
  •  New FIDE Website
  •  Increased investments in developing nations, with 77 nations receiving funds for projects for tournaments, trainings, coaching and equipment
  •  New external collaborations with the International Olympic Committee and United Nations, including a World Chess Day designation of July 20, 2020
  •  First Paralympic chess tournament, to be held alongside the 2020 General Assembly and Olympiads in Russia
  •  Reworked World Championship Cycle for both men and women and increased prize funds for the women’s world championship
  •  Moved FIDE offices from Greece to Lausanne, Switzerland
Member nation flags on display.
Despite concerns about coronavirus impacting participation and the ubiquitous aroma of hand sanitizer, a quorum was established with 122 Delegates present. In EGA business, several new member federations were admitted: St. Lucia, Equatorial Guinea, Cayman Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, and Chad. The addition of these new members brings the FIDE membership total to 195 member nations.
The EGA voting on adding new member federations.
Discussion ensued about the proposed charter, a document that has been circulating in various versions since July 2019. US Chess had substantial input into the new charter along the way, including contributions since arriving in Abu Dhabi.  Allen Priest speaks on the floor at the 3 hour, 46:30 minute mark: The new charter modernizes FIDE’s organization structure and promotes more democratic procedures within the organization. Additionally, the charter clarifies roles and responsibilities of the organization and includes checks on Presidential authority. The charter was approved overwhelmingly after discussion, with only one vote against and one abstention recorded. FIDE’s financial regulations were amended with a vote by acclamation, eliminating the fee for the World Senior Team Championship and the World Senior Championship. Further, all non-membership fees are waived for Level five developing countries. The Council may make changes to the assessment structure. In addition, the General Assembly approved the appointment of an External Auditor for the annual audit of FIDE accounts for 2019. US Chess Ethics Committee member David Hater was elected to the FIDE Ethics Commission from a field of 14 candidates for three open seats created by the adoption of the new charter. In addition to Mr. Hater, Johan Sigeman of Sweden and Khaled Arfa of Tunisia were elected and represent three different FIDE continental associations. Had the new charter not been adopted, a single vacancy on the Ethics Commission, which was created when WIM Ruth Haring passed away in November 2018, would have been all that was open. US Chess put forward David Hater’s name as candidate back in December 2018 for this opening to be elected at the next General Assembly.
US Chess Ethics Committee member IA David Hater (right, with a representative from DGT) was elected to the FIDE Ethics Commission.
Saturday’s meeting includes the FIDE Executive Board to complete the week’s events.

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

At the Bstumi General Assembly we were successful in getting our former US Chess President Ruth Haring elected to the Ethics Commission. It had been some time any US representative had been elected to that very key commission. Ruth's untimely death not only left a hole in US Chess, but also created a vacancy to fill on the FIDE Ethics Commission. In early 2019 when there were discussions of an Extraordinary General Assembly that might elect a person to fill that vacancy we began discussing with the FIDE President how we might keep this very important seat in US hands. We set about then searching for someone with the appropriate qualifications and a willingness and ability to make the significant time commitment necessary for such service. We were pleased to have David Hater step up for the challenge. David has been appointed by our Delegates to serve as a member of the US Chess Ethics Committee for some 5 years now and has served as its chair. He has a Masters degree in Philosophy with a focus on Ethics and taught ethics at the US Military Academy (West Point) for three years. In his military career he was responsible for the oversight of the military justice system within a Army Corps command. We were fortunate to have someone of his qualifications step up. We submitted his CV and nomination to FIDE in 2019 as we expected this Extraordinary GA to be held in November or December. But it was pushed back until just now. Since the new charter passed, his term will be four years and expire in 2024. We appreciate our friends from other national member federations who supported Dave's candidacy as well as our Continental President Jorge Vega, Deputy President Darcy Lime and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Unidentified "Delegate" is head of DGT from Netherlands

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

An excellent selection in having David Hater as a member of the FIDE Ethics Commission. I can think of no better qualified person to fill that position than he.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

David's election means the US still holds a seat on each of the three elected commissions. We remain committed to working with all who wish to improve FIDE. We have a number of other US Chess representatives on appointed commissions as well. These are important for us to be able to understand FIDE issues and for us to influence FIDE policies.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

This is where the very significant anonymous gift received last year which was restricted for paying for participation in FIDE governance is so valuable to us.

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