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Global Chess BV

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The pro management company planned by FIDE has been formally announced in Dresden by FIDE prez Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the chairman of the new company, Bessel Kok.

The Hon. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Mr. Bessel Kok have met in Dresden to announce formally the commencement of operations of Global Chess BV. The main office will be in Amsterdam where negotiations on space in the MAX EUWE CENTRUM are in a final stage. A branch office in Lausanne is also envisaged.

The first part of the working capital has been transferred to Global Chess BV and this will permit the Company to finalize negotiations with FIDE on a commercial license agreement.
Upon conclusion of the license agreement, Global Chess will (in cooperation with FIDE) start working on World Class Chess tournaments (including the WCC cycle as from 2008). Global Chess will equally examine investment opportunities in Chess related projects and ventures.
The Chairman of Global Chess BV will be Mr. Bessel Kok and the Chief Executive Officer of the Company will be Mr. Geoffrey Borg.

The stated agenda from last December: With the exception of those competitions which have already been contracted by FIDE to organisers, Global Chess will become responsible for the marketing, development and promotion of all FIDE tournaments and matches related to the world championship cycles for men, women, youths and juniors.

It will also act as an investment vehicle for chess related projects that will be selected by the Board following detailed feasibility studies for further investment. Areas that will be considered are training academies, software, media programmes amongst a number of projects that will be studied and which will help in making chess more popular across the world.

This is a good place to start if only because Bessel 1) isn't corrupt and 2) can count to ten. Those admirable characteristics don't guarantee success. Selling chess is a hard business and it's something many people, Kok included, have failed at in the past. The metric that matters here is money, money, money. Do bring in some money before spending too much on Danish Modern office furniture and first-class air travel. Do bring in corporate sponsorship in a transparent way and invest it transparently or this could turn into another FIDE Commerce debacle with different names. Don't bleed the community with silliness about game copyrights or by competing against the fragile corporate and political structures we already have. Do support those entities, work with them, bring them inside or outsource to them to increase efficiency and community support. Don't keep the doors closed; both sides learn more if they are open. Don't be afraid to smack Kirsan on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper if he keeps butting in. As we've seen over the past decade, lots of money makes you rich, it doesn't make you right. Do be open to outside ideas and present your own plans and ideas to the community in time to receive feedback and make changes instead of steamrolling. Gracias.


"Selling chess is a hard business and it's something many people, [...], have failed at in the past."

You can say that again. And again. In order to increase the awareness and popularity of the chess sport, not only the organisers, but also the chess media, need to understand that we're living in the 00's now. You can't organize tournaments like Linares, or Wijk An Zee, pretending that they are suddenly the chess equivalents of Champions League. It sounds great, but look at the packaging for god's sake!

The official web sites are made by amateurs and what's worse, they look as if they're made by amateurs in the 90's. And don't get me started on the news coverage - it's just non-existing! You have a home-made video here, and a home-made video there, supposedly showing two of the players whispering moves after the game. Even on the most popular sites, results are published sometimes 24 hours after the games finish.

You need to reengineer the whole sport in order to succeed in bringing chess into the 21st century. Unfortunately I don't see that happening even with this so-called "new" organization.

An addition to my previous post:

Have a look at http://www.dresden2008.de, the home page of the European Chess Championship 2007. Try to find anything about participants
or pairings, and be amazed (well, they do have the women pairings neatly presented in a .CSV type of downloadable Excel spreadsheet.)


You are so silly Randowan.

Golden money coins in 17th century are the same as 21st century.

This quote:
Selling chess is a hard business and it's something many people, [...], have failed at in the past.

Only is true from what perspective you look from. Chess has been very profitable for some people in last 100 years. Who are we to take away their way of lifestyle??!

Kok is like Kirsan's most brilliant move ever. Everyone thinks Gambit, but Kirsan is sitting back cackling knowing the truth: Pure sacrificial deflection.

god Kirsan is like the most brilliant man in the last 1000 years, he outplays a game with his own game.

See his pawns move they dazzle and shine like God's shoeshine, mesmerizing all the chess fan swine.


Maybe if chess was similar to poker and luck was involved so that even amateurs could win $$$ then chess would become popular and acceptable around the world.

Well I get this:

Fehler: Server nicht gefunden

Der Server unter www.dresden2008.de, konnte nicht gefunden werden.

Remove the comma at the end. I see the site. Not that I see much in there, but it does exist. And it responds well too -- that must be noted with chess sites these days!


Hopefully this project will succeed. Bessel Kok is a smart man with an open mind. He also has the very best person as CEO, Geoffrey Borg of Malta.

Geoffrey is a people person and also knows how to run a business.

I am sure both of them will read the posts here looking for good ideas from real players - titled or not.

Kir$an is all powerfull.

As long as this is the case FIDE is a disaster and will remain so until it's been drastically overhauled. But corrupion rules and chess is too small time to ever be able to break out of this rotten mold.

The end.

"..lots of money makes you rich, it doesn't make you right."

Or smart.

This stinks of FIDE Commerce Commission. The Pros have the product and the Pros should be running the show. ACP quit bitching about Hotel rooms and take command of the only product that is worth anything in the entire chess world. Time to leave 3rd World corrupt FIDE and start afresh. The fact that Kok feels he can do business with a sleeze like Ilyumzhinov makes me seriously doubt his integrity.

"The fact that Kok feels he can do business with a sleeze like Ilyumzhinov makes me seriously doubt his integrity."

I would reword it to: "The fact that Kok and Ilyumzhinov feel they can do business together is beyond belief." The two men had done business together in the past and know full well or should know full well that they are incompatible like fire and water.

Kirsan has been dragged, kicking and screaming, from the lotto/rapids format toward a somewhat rational WCC cycle. Maybe Kok can work similar magic in other areas.

Global Chess is needed. FIDE obviously is wrong not letting Topalov play in Mexico. That is not their only wrong decision.

How can Kok build a positive image while board-members are beyond his control and coordination? I hope potential sponsors really believe Chinese walls exist inside FIDE. So the usual suspects are to blame if another Elista-disaster appears. And not Kok and his special organisation.

I sincerely wish Bessel Kok all the best. He is our only hope.

Sorry, something went wrong. One is enough.

Maybe this will bring stabiity and the predictability that comes with it. One needs stability for real corporate support. When everything is a one-time-deal, it is hard to create the trust and loyalty needed to raise money.

Regarding the tournament websites, eventually FIDE will buy a "template" that works well enough, and every tournament will have the same general website structure. Then you will complain, "Oh no, another boring FIDE tournament website," but you will be able to find the pairings, games, a live viewer that works, up to date crosstable, etc. in a predictable way. Advantages of Stability, again!


And maybe the tournament website application will automatically submit the crosstable to FIDE on time, in approved format!

I don't know what to make of this arrangement. FIDE has in effect 2 presidents. How long until a this whole arrangement collapses in a bitter feud?

Off topic: Garry's interview on Irish national radio is at the start of the April 4th podcast at the following site: http://www.rte.ie/radio1/podcast/podcast_tubridy.xml

I think global chess is a good step towards sponsors. another step rang into my reader a minute ago. http://www.veselintopalov.net/article/grand-slam-chess-association-announcement
I do not know which organization will be faster in attracting sponsors, but they seem to be both on the right track.

If Kirsan is bankrolling this project, what is in it for him? The idea is good, and we have wondered how chess can be made more marketable. So, a couple of guys are going to try again under the watchful eye of the shrewdest man on Earth. I can imagine Kirsan seated like Buddha, and Kok and Borg are children who adoringly cling to him.

The excellent site Chessvibes has an interview with Bessel Kok: http://www.chessvibes.com/?p=794&lp_lang_view=en

“There is an already commited match, a kind of rematch, already scheduled. This is part of the legacy of FIDE. We don’t wanna discuss if a rematch is correct; it’s decided and we will get a roll there and from there on we have to create a new cycle and have to convince FIDE that there are better was to organize the cycle, than the way it’s planned until 2009.”

Okay, so he will organize the match. Good. No worries about a mess like in Elista this time. Although...


has, among others, an interview with Anand that he gave in the beginning of April. It seems he isn't that confident in a happy ending. Sadder and wiser after many years with FIDE and Kirsan, more changes in world championship rules than a dog has fleas?

SCHAACK: Should the tournament be played every year? (he speaks about the round robin that determines the new world champion)

ANAND: In the last news of FIDE this was not clear yet, but it would be good if such a tournament would take place at least every second year. That would be fair. At the moment they are thinking about alternatin tournaments and matches, or, like in the past, only a classical match every second year. It is not clear yet. But for me is not so important how 2015 will be. That is too far away. My thoughts are circling around the upcoming world championship in Mexico. And I'm very satisfied, that we will play a tournament there.

SCHAACK: There seem to be some unclear points. Will the winner play a match with Kramnik afterwards?

ANAND: Not all has been decided yet. I think that nobody should have privileges of that kind. But OK, when the winner becomes a well-paid match against Kramnik, then it's not the worst thing in the world. I think it is wrong, but I'll not make a big fuss out of it. I hope however, that when it comes to this point, that it will be an exception. In every case it is very good that Kramnik plays this tournament in Mexico

SCHAACK: Don't you think that such a rule, that favours Kramnik, the qualification for a world championship is devaluated, wenn there is the possibility to play for the world championship in another way - in well paid matches?

ANAND: No, I don't think so. In Mexico the world championship will be played, and the winner is world champion. But I have no clue at all, what will happen next year.

Until chess can become a game that would have global appeal as a spectator sport (people who don't play will watch others play), to at least part of the degree poker is in North America, it isn't going to iron out its issues. The game needs to gain a permanent foothold on TV, and draw sufficient ratings for there to be hope. The World Mind Sports Games need to work their way to get in the ballpark of the Winter Olympics, then there will be something. Work this out, and watch the corruption issues clear itself up.

Well, that is my take as a person involved in trying to promote chess, and other abstract strategy games.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 3, 2007 2:49 PM.

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