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FIDE Gives Le Smackdown

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You'll remember this hot topic about the organization mess at the World Youth Games in Belfort, France a few weeks ago. FIDE has responded with surprising speed and decisiveness, banning organizer Touze from organizing FIDE events for the next five years and suggesting that the European Union does the same.

1. The Organizer of this event in Belfort, Mr. Jean-Paul Touze will not have the right to organize any FIDE event for a period of 5 years with effect from 23rd August, 2005.

2. All the complaints received by the FIDE Secretariat will be handed over to the FIDE Ethics Commission for further examination. The Organizer may present his views in the examination. The Ethics Commission can recommend additional measures to the Executive Board.

3. The Executive Board recommends to the European Chess Union to consider issuing a similar resolution regarding the organizer’s participation in European chess matters.

I don't know how much bite this really has, but it's hard to imagine them being able to do much more. Fines likely aren't applicable. It's always going to be hard to deal with this sort of thing when it's so hard to find organizers and sponsors in the first place.


So, instead of arguing/debating the accusations, they're just going to punish him?

The French Federation replied here : http://www.echecs.asso.fr/(1mp0wi45imjxuk45vazwyg45)/Actu.aspx?Ref=1322
and Jean-Paul Touzé here (a .doc file ?!) :

In short, the Federation points out that there was no trial of any kind, Touzé could not defend himself and was not even officially accused of anything. Therefore they urge FIDE to reconsider their decision. As for Jean-Paul Touzé (BTW, could you make a small effort and spell his name correctly ? You can copy-paste for example), he gives several reasons why the championships could not be hold in the best conditions. According to him, most federations sent their documents late, there were many more people to accomodate than expected (by FIDE !), FIDE took 80% of the fees (and therefore complaints regarding money should be addressed to FIDE), it was FIDE that decided that two games instead of one would be played some days because of Göteborg, and he goes on to give many more reasons why FIDE is to blame. As pointed out on France-Echecs, Touzé supports Karpov in his project to become FIDE president, which may explain part of the attitude of FIDE towards him.

Of course the whole thing is such a mess that it's difficult to see clearly through it, but it seems clear that FIDE's decision was somewhat hasty...

Well, I was part of the US delegation (a parent). Regarding what M. Touze mentioned about delegations being late on payment. The US delegation sent in their payments on schedule. Let me say that the Belfort chess tournament organizers demanded that the money be wire transferred and then Sylver Tours would get back to the delegations about hotel arrangements on May 25th. This did not happen. When I (and others from the US delegation) tried emailing Sylver for info.-basic info. such as a hotel name and location-we got the runaround or no reply at all. M. Touze doesn't mention this does he? Or that if anyone emailed him directly their emails were ignored.

As to M. Touze saying that there were more people to accomodate than he had planned for, what did he expect? That the players would be traveling without their families? Doesn't this show the world that Belfort had no proper accomodations to house the chess delegations to begin with? Some delegations were bussed two hours away from Belfort.

In short, the Belfort chess federation had no clue as to what they were getting into hence the disorganized situation of this years WYCC.

M. Touze, in my opinion, can point fingers all he wants. He's got to be held accountable for what's happened. And FIDE should be held partly repsonsible for allowing this fiasco to occur.

BTW, the hotel rates were highly inflated. According to the rate list we were given we ended up paying 80 euro PER PERSON not per room. This was in the centre ville of Belfort at a 3* hotel. What can M. Touze say about this? That he didn't know about this markup when it was the Belfort chess organization that sent the information sheets to all? All delegations were forced to make hotel reseravations through Sylver Tours and were not allowed to make their own arrangements prepaying the hotel stays three months in advance of our arrival. So there you have a huge difference compared to prior WYCC tournaments: making hotel reservations with a travel agency that the organizer demanded you deal with and prepaying the hotel and transporation costs.

As to the transportation it was available only when the Sylver Tours chose to provide it. Did M. Touze mention this as well? Of course not. My family and many others had either had to rent cars or hire taxis although we were charged for transportation.

I asked one of the young participants about this. Of course a child who is having the experience of a lifetime doesn't see it quite so terriby as an adult who has to put out the money and make the arrangements, etc.

The answer I got was that it wasn't so awful as some people thought. And, after all, there were more than 1,000 people there, so it is very hard for an organizer.

I am not trying to excuse Mr. Touze, but I think FIDE had some part in this, because surely they also could have an idea of how many people were coming and they are supposed to approve the venue and make sure there are available accomodations before awarding a tournament to an organizer.

What a tragedy. The dictator bans Mr. Touze even before the Ethics Commission complete their investigation. It is clearly Kirsan's way of taking revenge on anyone who opposes his presidency and supports Karpov.

The WYCC is an event whose stature demands excellence. The players, families and coaches are right in expecting something better than poor. FIDE is responsible in that they approved the organizer. They have rectified that with their statement. Mr. Touze should be held accountable. If it happens again FIDE will have a lot to answer for. If it happens again the future of chess will be injured yet again.

The tragedy is what M. Touze pulled on all of the delegations. FIDE reported that twelve (I'm sure there were more) delegations filed complaints. I think that if some participants and delegations felt that the conditions overall were acceptable then there is the possibility that these conditions are what they are accustomed to or possibly even better than what they have in their countries.

However, the WYCC is a world tournament, correct? As such it should be treated as the world-class tournament that it's meant to be. Therefore, it should be expected that all conditions from accomodations to playing venues should be first-rate.

Were there any organizational problems at last year's WYCC in Crete? I don't know as I didn't attend. But if there were any problems they must have been minor and certainly the playing venue and conditions were not deplorable as they were in Belfort. As far as I understand the tournament was played in a 5* hotel with air conditioning and with all the conveniences that one assumes would be available for a world-class tournament.

In Belfort the players were roasting in a converted ice skating rink with no ventilation save for the two tiny opened doors to the venue and a skylight that retracted, but it let in more heat instead of air. Water was not given gratis and the porta potties had no toilet paper, soap, and water. Can anyone tell me if they would accept playing in these types of conditions? Btw, the regular toilets had no toilet seats so they weren't any grand luxe comodes yet there was water, soap, and toilet paper available. Not sure if there is a toilet seat thief in Belfort, but I have not seen this happen outside of small Italian towns.

As to M. Touze being banned without an Ethics Committee hearing, in my opinion, that 5 year ban was just a slap on the wrist. He should be banned for life. He has/had no regard for players nor the delegations at the WYCC. On the first day I witnessed his dismissal of pleading parents. He was so arrogant; he totally ignored them walking away while they were trying to talk to him about their frustrations. And I am not saying this because he is French as the French are not arrogant as a whole. It's always the individual and M. Touze is one such individual.

And unless you were actually there to witness his attitude in Belfort and were pressured to prepay the exorbitant costs and fees associated with attending this year's WYCC you will not realize what I nor others like me have experienced.

The only thing that made me happier than FIDE's decisive and swift first reaction (which btw was at least partially taken because their OWN pre-tournament experiences with Touze were bad)was seeing the French federation communique.

Indeed, I cannot wait for a hearing or an investigation and see what he has to say for himself in defense of the fiasco! And please... 12 federations, many individual postings from many different nations, all fiction because Touze is supporting Karpov?!

Give me a break. The guy screwed up and bigtime, his own post on his website, with its many inexcusable excuses already admits it.

Reread my letter, I stand behind every word.

Aviv Friedman

If M. Touze intends to sue for libel as has been reported, I really would like to know how telling the truth can be considered libel.

Obviously M. Touze lives in a fantastic world of his own creation.

I am amazed at the people who defend Mr. Touzé without having been at the event themselves.

You do not need an ethics committee, a judicial proceeding, or a committee of enquiry to determine that you were given bad service.

Mr. Touzé did not have the organizational resources, and the locale did not have the infrastructure to support this event. It was a failure.

Mr. Touzé blames it on too many people turning up, or on late registrations, etc. Or that some kids made a mess in the toilets. These are all predictable events.

In short, if you don't like what you got, and you decide to boycott the provider for 5 years, that's perfectly valid.

As an participating delegates in Belfort, my observation was that it had been a failure of significant magnitude in the environmental issues.

What was clear and unquestionable was that the organiser failed the competitors, and there was not even a declaration of apologies and, in particular, he is still unrepentend today!

Any dealings between the organiser and FIDE should not be at the expense of the teenage competitors. The organiser should have withdrawn when he realised that an acceptable quality of delivery was challenging...To continue in his role with this doubt in his mind is wrong and unacceptable!

This observer heard rumours that even the French representation in that FIDE meeting when all 12 countries agreed to ban the organiser had "obstained" to vote - this is why there was not "against vote" on the ban!

This story seem to have a way to go yet...

about the toilets, where they just normal toilets without seats or Turkish Water Closets or what ever they are called (it is basically just a slightly advanced version of a hole in the ground?

The toilets were regular toilets without seats, not the infamous Turkish toilets.

we can say catastrophic organization and without excuses.
Mr. Touzé, very known for its elegance and its refinement, have had 2 years and seven months to predispose the event.
The results are those, terrible, that can be read in internet

I attach official link of the FIDE to express opinions


best regards


Hello all,

When I heard this forum message of Mr.Touze on French Federation website, I was very surprised.

There is a phrase in Turkish Language, 'Good people must have more courage than bad people to make world a nice place!' Before Balfort, during balfort and even after Balfort we had all problems with Mr.Touze. He tries to threat people now. I wonder if he does have a face.

And I wonder why he tries to open a case in New York, instead a trial in Ankara. We wait for him, he may sue me in Turkey, I will be ready for this.

Ali Nihat YAZICI
President of Turkish Chess Federation

From :

In this history the only punished it is Mr. Touzč.
It it is necessary to say for sense of justice, that should be us a trial with some accusations before the punishment. It is necessary to say that the accused should be able him to defend. It is necessary to say that the tests have to be public and not reserved. The FIDE has managed, to my opinion, the matter in way not open to the chess player arena.

As you say, Jovan, internet is fantastic... but you can pick up only link. Better picking up, in the forum, the interventions of whom was to Belfort and the official actions in the hands of the FIDE.

And you that you are an "pro" ,Jovan, that contribution can bring? Do you know other players that have been to Belfort and that you/they can say their opinion?
Internet also allows yourself this liberty...

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 27, 2005 11:25 PM.

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