Saturday, May 24, 2008

ACP Blasting at ECU

For omitting to specify precise entry fees in the tournament regulations of the recently ended European Individual Championship in Plovdiv, European Chess Union (ECU) officers gave one of the most bizarre excuses ever - "We forgot to include it!"

Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) reacted angrily to this scandalous behavior and published a statement on their website. Key quotes here:

According to the Tournament Regulations, published on the official website of the Championship, all participants had to pay an organization fee of 50 €. In Plovdiv, however, the ECU demanded one more fee of 65 € (the ECU fee) to be paid by the players. This one was not mentioned in the Tournament Regulations.

The ECU, thus, proves unable to find decent sponsorship for its most prestigious event and takes advantage of the huge number of participants, who are attracted only by FIDE qualification spots. Nevertheless, even under these circumstances, the ECU feels entitled to retain 20% of the prize fund. In addition to this, the ECU traditionally collects the ECU fee of 65€ from all participants. In our opinion, it is already too much.

When writing the Tournament Regulations, the ECU included the new organization fee, but omitted the usual ECU fee. Excuses given by the ECU, like "We forgot to include it", can not be taken seriously. Participants of the event were definitely misled: considering the Tournament Regulations, it seemed clear that would be only one fee. However, the ECU insisted on all players having to pay the ECU fee of 65 €, and threatened to expel from the event all those who would not comply with this.

The explanation given by the ECU, that this fee was mentioned in a circular letter sent to all national federations a long time ago, does not change anything for players who could not even be aware of this letter. It is easy to hide one’s own errors by putting the responsibility on national federations. But if an error in the Tournament Regulations has occurred, nothing can be done, as the official Tournament Regulations always remain the prevailing reference. Otherwise, very important information concerning a tournament can easily be hidden intentionally in different Internet corners, old letters etc. One should not be forced to look for essential details in numerous sources.

The threat to expel players from the tournament was outrageous and shameful, as players did not break any point of Tournament Regulations.

Players, who were not aware of the ECU fee in advance and were forced to pay it under the threat of expulsion, should get their money back.


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