Cyprus Chess Federation’s final decision on election voting

Letter by Mr. Christoforos Tornaritis, President of the Cyprus Chess Federation

On 17th August the President of the Cyprus Chess Federation, Mr. Christoforos Tornaritis, sent a reponse to the claims of Mr. Vassilis Aristotelous, but his reply to the ungrounded speculation was never published. The full letter is bellow:


13th of August 2010

In relation to the Chess Federation of Cyprus and all the stories going around I want to clarify irrevocably the whole situation.

On the 14th of July Mr Karpov visited Cyprus. During his stay he visited the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Demetris Christofias. The day after his visit there was an article in Mr. Karpov’s website that “President Christofias supports Karpov”….

I immediately contacted personally the office of the President of the Republic of Cyprus and asked them if that was true and showed them the copies of the article.

The answer was that the President of Cyprus has never offered any support or promised anything else to Mr. Karpov but he just accepted to meet him for a coffee as the ex-world chess champion.

President’s Christofias office said to me that they would send a letter to Mr Karpov in order to remove this story from their site “Karpov 2010″ as it is not true.

The other mystery concerning Mr Karpov’s visit to Cyprus is that he believed that our delegate for the elections was Mr Vassilis Aristotelous, a member of the Board of the Cyprus chess Federation, and for this reason he spent all his time with him…. He made him a great fun and loyal to him acting as his employee in Cyprus????

Mr Aristotelous Vassilis acting as an employee of Mr Karpov visited all the members of the Federation in order to take their written consent for supporting Karpov. He also promised them that the document with their signature will not be shown to the public… He managed to take ten signatures, with just nine of them being from members of the Cyprus Chess federation. One signature was from somebody who is not a member of Cyprus Chess Federation. At a later stage, two out of the nine members that have showed support for Mr. Karpov, changed their mind.

Anyhow that letter has no legal status for our Federation and it is just a planter for the eyes of those who read it and can be used only for propaganda purposes in order to divide our Federation in two pieces.

Mr Karpov, his partners and Mr Vassilis Aristotelous efforts to divide the Cyprus Chess Federation haven’t been achieved as they have underestimated the President of the Cyprus Chess Federation.

Myself as the President of the Federation had no idea concerning Mr Karpov’s visit to Cyprus as he had never contacted me or even spent a minute to call me, as his only concern at the time was about the person that would travel to Siberia to Vote and he thought that the delegate was Mr. Vassilis Aristotelous.

In order to cut the long story short, according to the legal status of our Federation the President of the Cyprus Chess Federation is the only person that is the delegate for the elections and does not need any approval from anybody in order to vote whatever he wishes.

But myself as the President of the Cyprus Federation in order to have unity in our federation I have asked for the eighteen members’ opinion.

In the beginning twelve members supported Mr. Kirsans’ ticket and six supported Mr. Karpovs’ ticket. Then suddenly 3 members changed their mind as they had received a telephone call from a Private number saying to them that it was Mr Kasparov on the phone, promising them a lot of things that never happened and divided our federation in two pieces, nine with Mr. Kirsan ticket and nine with Mr Karpov ticket.

After a legal written demand from Mr Vassilis Aristotelous and eight other members of the Cyprus chess federation I called a legal Board meeting of the Cyprus Chess Federation members on the 19th of July 2010 in order to hear their opinion for the upcoming elections.

In that meeting only nine out of the eighteen members were present which is more than enough to have a proper and legal meeting and decision according to the legal status of our Federation.

In the above mentioned meeting a Unanimous decision was obtained to support the ticket of Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov for the upcoming FIDE elections.

This is the only legal and correct decision for the Cyprus vote in the upcoming FIDE elections in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Any other publications or letters, articles from any site or directions, etc concerning our Vote to the September FIDE elections is just propaganda without any legal status.

Christoforos Tornaritis


Cyprus Chess Federation

Statement of the German Chess Federation

Answer to speculations about Germany’s Olympic team

Recently there has been a public discussion about Germany’s Olympic team. The top players have refused to participate under the financial conditions offered. The Presidential Board of the German Chess Federation with its President Robert von Weizsäcker has clarified the facts and has rejected the non-objective arguments.

1. Supporting the top level sport is a main task of the German Chess Federation. More than 100,000 € are spent every year for the top players and talented youngsters. Administrative costs and salaries for the trainers have to be added. No other department has a similar budget at its disposal.

2. All projects of the top level sport are published on the website of the German Chess Federation. The budget includes, for instance, the costs of the Chess Olympiad, European team and individual championships, bilateral matches and supportive measures for young players.

3. The top players have publicly complained that they do not profit from this programme. This assertion is not true. Two of the top four German players (Naiditsch and Meier) have received grants of totally 57,479 € in the period 2005 to 2010.

4. Due to tax reasons the German Chess Federation cannot pay any honorarium for the members of the national team. Such payments have to be done by sponsors or – if necessary – by the “Deutscher Schachbund Wirtschaftsdienst GmbH”, a limited liability company.

5. The amount of the honorarium is always discussed by a commission. Representatives of the players are members of it. It has been agreed to offer the players of the men’s team for the participation in this year’s Olympiad an honorarium of totally 15,000 € which means approximately 3,000 € each (depending on the individual result).

6. The Presidential Board of the German Chess Federation rejects the reproaches of GM Arkadij Naiditsch and GM Georg Meier towards those being responsible for the top level sport (President, Director of top level sport, Tournament Director, National Coach and the Executive Director of the limited liability company). The Board is prepared to discuss issues but condemns the personal defamation and reserves for itself further consequences.

Letter by Robert von Weizsäcker

To European Federations and delegates

Robert von Weizsäcker

6 August 2010

Dear Delegates,

After the announcement of my ticket to run at the forthcoming ECU elections in Khanty-Mansiysk all my team members have contacted or met a lot of representatives of the European chess federations. We have received a lot of support and we have realised that there is a profound need for a real change in ECU as well as in FIDE.

Most of my ticket members are involved in Anatoly Karpov’s campaign for FIDE President. He knows about the importance of Europe for FIDE and for the international chess activities. We therefore have agreed that Europe should benefit from the financial package Anatoly offers for the next 4 years. If he wins and if my team will get elected, Europe will receive a total amount of 1,2 Mio US$, that means 300,000 US$ per year. We will spend this money directly for European federations or regions.

In our mission statement we had already mentioned our support for Anatoly Karpov’s campaign for FIDE President and our aim to bring in sustainable sponsorship. As you can see, this intention may very well materialize.

We do not have too much time until the elections in Khanty-Mansiysk. But this period should be used by all my ticket members to build up closer relations to all federations. We should know what your problems are, whether we can help you and what you expect us to do in the future. We know that because of the holiday season it will not be easy to have a permanent exchange of opinion. But anyway, if you have any questions, please contact us.

You can easily reach us by email:

Robert von Weizsäcker

Nigel Short

Ivan Sokolov

Johann Hjartarson

Yuri Kaplun

or via Horst Metzing at the office of the German Chess Federation

Best regards,

Robert von Weizsäcker

Arkadij Naiditsch Open Letter

Why the German A-team will not participate in the 2010 Olympiad

On 28th July German the top Grandmaster, Arkadij Naiditsch, unveiled some details about the German Chess Federation in an open letter to all media. As per request of Mr. Naiditsch we are publishing the text here.

This letter is not addressed to anybody directly. As a player of the German National team I would like to make some things clear about my hard working Federation and its President, Prof. Dr. Von Weizsäcker.

Let’s start with the fact that nobody from the German A-team is going to participate in the Chess Olympiad this year. These players are Georg Meier, Jan Gustafsson, Daniel Fridman and me, Arkadij Naiditsch. Why? The easy answer is that the biggest chess federation in Europe, about 100,000 active members, couldn’t manage to find money to pay the players.
So, the next question is “how could this happen”? This question is easy to answer as well: nobody in the federation has been doing anything for at least five years. The German Chess Federation has no sponsors at the moment, so the money is only coming from their members. Generally, even this should be enough to have a great and lazy life, but the main problem is the meetings attended by huge amounts of hungry officials that are being held almost monthly in expensive hotels.

The letter continues with Naiditsch describing how he sees the key persons in the German Chess Federation – “Let me now become a bit more direct, because I would like to single out a few people with whom I have had to deal with personally.”

There follows a letter from Prof. Dr. Robert von Weizsäcker (dated 29th June, translated by Chessvibes) where he is asking the players “to reconsider your position and accept the same terms as two years ago.” Otherwise the players would be suspended from receiving Federation’s support. Naiditsch goes on to clarify:

Arkadij Naiditsch
Prof. Dr. Von Weizsäcker found 0 Euros in two years of being the President of the German Chess Federation. (Maybe he simply has no time, being a Professor at a few universities?) The huge support he is threatening to cancel is this: for myself as German number one (my current ELO rating is 2684), the German Federation covers about half of my expenses for playing in exactly one tournament, the European Championship. That amounts to about 800 Euros a year, nothing more.

Now, of course, their direct threat to cancel all that help is making me sleep badly and giving me nightmares. Next time, maybe if I cover the coffee bill I hope Prof. Dr. Von Weizsäcker and my hard working Chess Federation will not cancel the important support for me?! We will see in the future if they have any mercy.
As we know, Prof. Dr. Von Weizsäcker is running his campaign for the ECU Presidency, and many European countries are giving their support to him. Now, the logical conclusion would be since he could do absolutely nothing for chess in his own country in two years, or again had no time for it, which, of course, led to the same result, can he do something for Europe? I would say probably not. So here comes the idea. Maybe we could open a charity foundation for the German Chess Federation and for Prof. Dr. Von Weizsäcker? Many people are sending small amounts for “saving the forest” so maybe it could work with my dear Federation and Prof. Dr. Von Weizsäcker, too? It is hard to find anybody coming across as more poor and helpless than the German Federation.

Chessdom has contacted the other two candidates for ECU Presidency, Mr.Silvio Danailov and Mr.Ali Nihat Yazici. Both were very moderate in their comments.

Q: The ECU election Campaign goes intensively. What is your opinion for the ongoing election Campaign?

Ali Nihat Yazici: I like the quality of the Campaigns in Europe on the contrary to what happens with the FIDE elections from Karpov’s side. We have created our Campaign program, our website and we are visiting all federations. We work very hard to convince each federation to support our group and our Campaign program. We do not talk only about elections but also how we may realise our dreams after the election. Based on the communication we have with federations, we are optimistic that we can win the elections on the first ballot, because everybody knows what I have done in my federation, Europe, and FIDE.

Silvio Danailov: I am very happy with our Program and Campaign so far. Our team is working very hard and we are optimistic regarding the elections.

Q: Did you read the interview of Mr.Arkadij Naiditsch about German Chess Federation?

Ali Nihat Yazici: Yes, I read it and it is a pity. However, this is not our business, as it is an internal problem of German Chess Federation. We will not touch such national issues. We are sure European delegates will evaluate everything and will choose the best candidate. We may say only that when we are managing European chess, we will solve such financial problems for all European federations, including the German Chess Federation. Our objective is to find new financial sources for the federations, and we are going to help all Federations, irrespective of their size or financial status. It is time that the leadership of Europe works for all the continent and we are going to do so. In a maximum of 2-3 years, such problems, like the one which is facing the German Chess Federation will not be any more an issue. As we have mentioned in our website,, all federations, big-small, rich-poor, strong-weak, everybody, will get benefit from the strong, positive wind we bring to European Chess.

Silvio Danailov: Yes, the letter of Naiditch is with great sense of humor, but in reality this is very sad story. However, I hope that the situation in German chess will improve in the future.