POLICE CONFIRMS FORGED BANK DOCUMENTS in July 2018- PRESS RELEASE

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ECU Press Release 31.07.2018

A Brief history of the case:  In May 2011 a group of individuals established an offshore shadow company in Delaware, U.S.A. named “European Chess Union LLC” Delaware and the same time, through this company, they opened a bank account in Slovenia. From 2011 to 2015, forging bank documents, invoices, letters and contracts they were abusing money from the Bulgarian state, Montenegro chess federation and possible other public or private entities or even executing money laundering services for clients ‘sponsors”.  It is officially confirmed that they have abused more than 1 million euros, however the information that is not yet official raises this amount to 3 million euros.

European Chess Union has the responsibility to inform its members as also the international media and public about the on-going investigations for the private shadow company “European Chess Union LLC”, a Limited-Liability Company (LLC) registered in Delaware, USA on May 4, 2011. The company’s File Number is listed as 4977764. The Registered Agent on file for this company is Harvard Business Services, Inc. and is located at 16192 Coastal Highway Lewes, DE 19958.   The ECU LLC Delaware after its registration opened a bank account on 11th of May 2011 in the ABANKA d.d. based in Slovenia with no. SI56 0510 0801 3271 144.

  1. As was stated several times by the European Chess Union and concluded by two CAS Awards, there is no legal or any financial relation between the ”European Chess Union”, an association established under Swiss law, with its seat in Hünenberg See, Switzerland, and the limited-liability company “European Chess Union LLC” registered in Delaware, USA.A. ECU vs Bulgarian federation – CAS award
    B. FIDE vs Valdimir Sakotic – CAS Award
  1. According to the official documents received from the Bulgarian Ministry of Youth & Sports, as also informed in a press conference in Sofia, by the Bulgarian Minister of Sports, Mr. Krasen Kralev, the Bulgarian Chess Federation under the leadership of Mr. Silvio Danailov and his associates transferred to the Slovenian Bank account belonging to the Delaware Company 1,070,140 euros (Annex_1) from 2011 till 2014, informing that these are payments/fees for the European Chess Union based in Switzerland. The amount of 1,070,140 euros represents only the state funds transferred to the offshore company while the Bulgarian Chess Federation refuses to provide any other information about the total transactions with this company.

 

  1. The reports of the Financial Investigation Agency of Bulgarian described in detail all these invoices /transactions in the total of the 1,070,140 euros. The reports are available in public and was an agenda item in the ECU General Assembly in Baku:

    ECU GA Agenda 2016 (annexes 6a, 6b, 6c).

 

  1. According to the Bulgarian Financial Investigation Agency reports, Mr. Silvio Danailov presented to the Bulgarian authorities an alleged Bank Certificate from the Slovenian Bank “ABANKA d.d”. (Annex_2). This document first appeared in the report of the Bulgarian Agency no. DI1SF-45, dated 03.08.2015 (pages 49,50 referring to Mr. Danailov claims). Later, this report was amended with the report-dated 16.02.2016   (reference of the certificate in pages 43, 44, 45). The document in the context of the inspections provided by Mr. Silvio Danailov (then President of the Chess Federation of Bulgaria and former President of ECU), and on this basis therefore the Chess Federation Bulgaria sought to prove that the funds, which were acquired by the Bulgarian Ministry of Youth and Sports, were used properly.  The same bank certificate sent to the Bulgarian Ministry of Youth and Sports from the Bulgarian Chess federation for the state auditing. The Bulgarian Ministry of Youth & Sports sent officially this document to ECU(Annex_2), after the FIDE and ECU meetings in Sofia in June 2017. The Bulgarian federation did not contact in 2015 the European Chess Union asking about the authenticity of such document.

 

  1. This alleged Bank certificate is also manifestly contrary to official data from the Slovenian register of transaction accounts (Annex_3), which gives exclusive the account holder the company “CHESS EUROPEAN UNION LLC”, with business address “161 COASTAL HIGHWAY Delaware, USA “.

 

  1. European Chess Union after contacted the A.A. Bank in Slovenia and the officer that allegedly signed this certificate (Annex_2) submitted a criminal complaint in Slovenia on 9th January 2018, including all the Bulgarian investigation reports, a number of forged invoices, the CAS awards as also the alleged bank certificate.

 

  1. The Slovenian Prosecutor informed ECU by a letter on 26.02.2018 that has accepted the case and asked Slovenia Police to start investigation. (Annex_4)

 

  1. The Slovenian Police, through Interpol, informed officially ECU on 3rd July 2018 that the bank certificate in annex_2 that submitted to the Bulgarian authorities and Bulgaria Ministry of Youth and Sports is a forged document (Annex_5).

 

“With regard to the document »CERTIFICATE«, which was supposedly issued by the ABANKA d.d. on 20.07.2015, an official explanation was obtained from the ABANKA d.d. that they did not issue this document and that the document is forged.”

While the Police investigation continues, European Chess Union additionally has already informed about the case:  a. the Slovenian Anti-laundering Authority b. the Slovenian Central Bank and preparing related information letters and to the EU institutions.

  1. Apart the investigation in Slovenia, another investigation takes place in Bulgaria after criminal complaints submitted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Bulgaria as also Bulgarian citizens. From December 2016 the Bulgarian Prosecutor has concluded and informed that a heavy crime took place. (Annex_6).
  2. The known and confirmed transactions to the Slovenian Bank account are 1,070,140 euros sent from the Bulgarian Chess federation and 7,500 euros sent from the Montenegro Chess federation. However the ECU has the information, which is not yet official, that the total deposits in this account exceed the 3 million euros.
  3. European Chess Union asks any legal entity, “sponsor” or individual who was asked to transfer money to the account with no. SI56 0510 0801 3271 144 in the ABANKA d.d. Bank in Slovenia to report it, in ECU or/and the Police.
  4. European Chess Union will hold a Press conference in Batumi during the Chess Olympiad releasing more details and documents/invoices, about the case with the main purpose to inform the media as also the representatives of all National Chess federations.

Press_Release_31.07.2018

 

 




CAS AWARD – ECU VS BULGARIAN CHESS FEDERATION -PRESS RELEASE

          PRESS RELEASE: 12.06.2017

  1. CAS DISMISSED BULGARIAN CHESS FEDERATION APPEAL

On 30th September 2016, the Bulgarian Chess Federation filled an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the decision of the European Chess Union General Assembly on 10th of September 2016 to expel the Bulgarian Chess federation from the European Chess Union.

https://www.europechess.org/ecu-general-assembly-2016-main-decisions-and-information/

Court_of_Arbitration_for_Sport

After an exchange of written submissions for both sides and the hearing held in Lausanne, Switzerland on 28thApril 2017, the CAS dismissed the case brought by the Bulgarian Chess Federation against ECU and ruled that all costs of Arbitration shall be paid by the Bulgarian Chess Federation as also a part of the ECU legal expenses. The Ruling was as follows:

  1. The appeal filled by the Bulgarian Chess Federation on 30thSeptember 2016 is admissible.
  2. The appeal filled by the Bulgarian Chess Federation on 30thSeptember 2016 is dismissed.
  3. The costs of the arbitration, to be determined and served to the parties by the CAS Court Office, shall be borne by the Bulgarian Chess Federation.
  4. The Bulgarian Chess Federation is ordered to pay the European Chess Union a total amount of CHF 5,000 as a contribution towards the expenses incurred in connection with these arbitration proceedings.
  5. All other motions or prayers for relief are dismissed.

 The full CAS award is attached at the Press release and is referring to all the history of the case and the court findings and conclusions.

Briefly the British Chairman of the Panel and the two Swiss Arbitrators members of the Panel made the following main findings and conclusions:

  • The Panel concluded that ECU acted in an entirely fair, proper and transparent manner

149. In the circumstances, the Panel is fully satisfied that the process by which the Appellant’s expulsion was proposed and subsequently approved at the General Assembly in Baku was carried out in a fair and lawful manner. The Appellant has not adduced any evidence that suggests the procedure was vitiated by any irregularity or procedural unfairness, or that it was in any way disadvantaged by the procedure On the contrary, the Panel is satisfied on the evidence before it that the Respondent (wording correction) acted in an entirely fair, proper, timely and transparent manner. The procedure followed was fully in conformity with the Respondent’s Articles of Association. The Appellant was afforded an adequate opportunity to present arguments (both in writing and orally) against the proposal before any vote tools place at the General Assembly. The voting process was carried out in a proper manner and in accordance with the Respondent’s express request for a secret ballot.

 

  • The Panel concluded that Bulgarian Chess Federation deliberately decided not to comply with the ECU request for documents.

154. The Panel  notes that the Appellant has therefore  variously  —  and   contradictorily claimed that: (i) it was unable to provide the documents and information because they were no longer in the Appellant’s possession; (ii) it could provide some of the documents, but had decided not to do this as it was reluctant to provide only a partial response to the Respondent; and (iii) it could have provided some of the documents, but deliberately decided not to comply with any aspect of the Respondent’s request as a matter of principle.

155. The Panel considers that the Appellant’s shifting and inconsistent explanations for its decision not to comply with the Respondent’s request for documents and information substantially undermine the credibility of its account of events. Contrary to the position initially advanced, it is now apparent that the Appellant deliberately decided not to comply with the Respondent’s request for documents, and that it did this in the full knowledge that suspension from the Respondent was a possible consequence of that decision.

 

  • The Panel did not find the President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation Mr. Silvio Danailov a truthful or reliable witness.

158. The Panel is bound to say that it did not find Danailov to be a truthful or reliable witness. Mr. Danailov demonstrated a conspicuous lack of candour in many of his answers, which were frequently evasive or tellingly vague. It was striking that, despite having spent several years serving as the Appellant’s President and the Respondent’s President, Mr. Danailov claimed he had little or no knowledge about the two organisations’ accounting practices, rules and statutes. Mr. Danailov denied any knowledge of payments totaling several hundred thousand euros that were made while he was President of the Appellant. In light of the documentary evidence and the Appellant’s shifting explanations, the Panel did not find these assertions credible.

159. The Panel was deeply unimpressed by Mr. Danailov’s apparently total lack of concern when confronted with strong evidence that very substantial sums of money that (on the Appellant’s case) were supposed to have been paid to the Respondent had in fact been misdirected to an unidentified third party. In response to a question from the Panel about why he was not concerned about the serious irregularities concerning those payments, Mr. Danailov responded tersely that the issue was “bullshit”. In the Panel’s view, Mr. Danailov’s dismissive indifference to allegations of serious financial impropriety involving the Appellant demonstrated a grave disregard for his responsibilities as the Appellant’s President. His contemptuous approach to this issue also undermined the credibility of his claims that he had been entirely unaware of any possible wrongdoing involving the Appellant.

 

The Panel observed that there were reasonable grounds for serious offences by the Bulgarian Chess Federation

161. In these circumstances, it is not necessary for the Panel to reach any specific findings about whether, in addition to the refusal to comply with the request for documents and information, the Appellant’s expulsion was capable of being justified on other grounds as The Panel observes, however, that on the basis of the evidence before it the Respondent was justified in concluding that there were (at the very least) reasonable grounds to (i) conclude that the Appellant falsely claimed that chess tournaments held in Bulgaria in 2014 were official ECU tournaments, when in fact they were not, and had purported to host an official ECU tournament despite not having submitted any bid to the Respondent for the right to host that tournament; and to suspect (ii) that the Appellant was knowingly involved in paying funds to a bank account which was falsely represented to be the Respondent’s official bank account, when in fact it was controlled by unknown persons who had nothing to do with the Respondent; and (iii) that the Appellant had requested and received substantial payments from the Bulgarian government in respect of services and equipment which it wrongly claimed the Respondent had provided.

ECU respects all decision taken by CAS, the highest independent sport tribunal which has the jurisdiction to determine sports-related appeals.

 

  1. BULGARIAN GENERAL PROSECUTOR LETTER

 In February 2017, European Chess Union become aware about an informative letter from the Bulgarian General Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov, dated 16 December 2016, related with the investigation about alleged transfers by the Bulgarian Chess federation of Bulgarian state funds to the European Chess Union. The document was officially translated, submitted as exhibit in CAS and quoted during the hearing in CAS on 28th of April 2017.

According to the letter a prosecution file was created at Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office in connection with a written signal and applications to it by a group of citizens, which concerns financial irregularities in Bulgarian chess federation. The letter concludes:

“……After examining and assessing the facts and the circumstances related to  the  case, on October 7, 2016, a decree  for  initiating  preliminary  legal  proceedings  was  issued.  The legal proceedings are initiated against an unknown perpetrator who an unknown date in 2014, using a false document, illegally received movable property — money belonging to the Ministry of Youth and Sports with the intention to misappropriate it. The forgery and the sum of money involved are huge, thus this case will be treated as a heavy crime according to  Article 212  Paragraph 5  in  connection with  Paragraph  2  of  the  Criminal   Code.”…..”

The European Chess Union notes that the findings and the heavy crime mentioned for the year 2014 is only a part of the case since the transfers of Bulgarian state funds, through the Bulgarian Chess Federation, to the offshore company ECU LLC Delaware started in the year 2011 and continued till the year 2014.

European Chess Union asks the Bulgarian authorities to extend the investigation to the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 and to identify all the individuals involved in the case with criminal offences.

Press Release 12.06.2017

Cas_Award_22.05.2017




FIDE ETHICS COMMISSION FINAL DECISION ON EYCC BUDVA 2013 CASE

Final decision of FIDE Ethics Commission about the European Chess Union and Montenegro Chess Federation complaint regarding the organisation of the 2013 European Youth Chess Championship in Budva, Montenegro is as follows:

– Mr. Danailov is suspended for a period of eighteen (18) months from holding any office or position within FIDE, as well as from participating in any meeting of FIDE as delegate or in any other capacity. This suspension does not preclude Mr Danailov from exercising his powers as President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation within Bulgaria internally, but he shall not represent the Bulgarian Chess Federation externally in its relations with FIDE. The reference to FIDE herein includes its member federations (other than the Bulgarian Chess Federation), continental associations and other affiliated international organisations.

– Mr. Sakotic is suspended for a period of three (3) years from holding any office or position within FIDE, from participating in any meeting of FIDE as delegate or another capacity, as well as representing any organisation in its relations with FIDE. The reference to FIDE herein includes its member federations, continental associations and other affiliated international organisations.

– Ms Stoisavljevic is suspended for a period of six (6) months from holding any office or position within FIDE, from participating in any meeting of FIDE as delegate or in another capacity, as well as representing any organisation in its relations with FIDE. The reference to FIDE herein includes its member federations, continental associations and other affiliated international organisations.

Final Decision of the FIDE Ethics Commission can be found here or below

final_decision_13_2014_14_2014

 




ZURAB AZMAIPARASHVILI: ECU BECOMES INDEPENDENT, STRONG, LEADS FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

Source: chessdom.com

Q: Mr Azmaiparashvili, thank you for accepting the interview. In your report for the ECU General Assembly in Baku you state the improved financial state of the organization. Can you provide more details?

A: The financial reports are published and it is not difficult for members to make their own conclusion. Presenting the financial results of our first full year, we managed to increase the annual ECU income by about 30%, adding sponsorship, while decreasing the administration expenses in favor of the development actions and commissions’ building.

The reserves of ECU are today approaching the 500k mark and the organization is healthy, sustainable and trustable as ever.

Conference - Chess in School

Q: The same report refers to secured funding for European Championships and increase in bidding activity. Can you elaborate?

A: Yes, this is the first time that all ECU competitions are fully booked 2 years ahead, until 2018. More federations are now biding for the European championships since the procedure is open to any good proposal. European events are not anymore delivered in shady negotiations, as we witnessed in the General Assembly in Tromso.

The European Individual Championships, which haven’t had organizers on time, are now secured until the end of our mandate. European Women Championship is now a package with European Youth Championship and the organizers instead to be donors of functioners are now sponsors of the Women’s chess. Additionally the Open Championship is awarded for 2017 to Minsk and for 2018 to Batumi.

Through the improvements we made in regulations and the strategy of promotion of our events, the less popular competitions now have bidders and today we are facing the pleasant dilemma that we cannot satisfy all demands of federations and organizers.

Interview2

Q: A large portion of the GA material is devoted to the dispute with the Bulgarian Chess Federation. What are the new findings since the 2015 GA in Bar?

A: Here someone should read carefully all the material in ECU GA agenda. Most of this material is produced by the Bulgarian investigation authorities, not by us, not by the aliens.

Bulgarian investigation reached us through the Bulgarian Financial Investigation Agency and through Interpol where we gave all the necessary explanation and documentation.

There are many findings. I will mention only that it is evident today that hundreds of thousands of euros where transferred to a bank account in Slovenia, belonging to the company ECU LLC Delaware, which is unknown to European Chess Union.

A number of fraud invoices with unreasonable charges were sent for this purpose, while Bulgarian Chess Federation still maintains the stance that this money is sent to the European Chess Union, even if they know that such ridiculous provisions and charges do not exist in ECU regulations.

You must read these reports carefully and then you will understand that for 4 years ECU was a means for a number of individuals to launder state money.

Interview3

Q: The former ECU President Silvio Danailov stated in Bulgarian media that the ECU administration is trying to prevent his bid for FIDE presidency. How do you comment on this?

A: I would prefer to comment in more serious arguments but if you wish for an answer…

For Danailov it is a poor defense strategy to support himself inside Bulgaria, but for the FIDE administration it is a gift since it is known that if Danailov continues to screw and provoke FIDE opposition there will no be elections in 2018 since nobody will be able to stand up.

Moreover we are not completely satisfied how FIDE acts in the fight against corruption in Europe. There are final decisions of the FIDE Ethics Commission in the cases against Bulgarian Chess Federation which they didn’t even publish on FIDE website with the months-long excuse that the FIDE Ethics Commission sub-site is not yet ready.

interview4

Q: The Board proposes suspension of the Bulgarian Chess Federation ECU membership. Is there really no other solution?

A: From May 2015 we tried to communicate with Bulgarian Chess Federation to get some explanations about huge alleged transactions to ECU.

Instead of having normal communication, we received a torrent of complaints for conspiracy theories against the President of Bulgarian Chess Federation, various attacks against ECU, and even attacks on our personal life.

Here everybody should realize that ECU Board has no other choice. There are criminal investigations ongoing for abuse of Bulgarian state properties and possible ECU properties. Many times we were asked officially and unofficially to remain silent but we cannot do it.

We will not tolerate the illegal actions. If the current ECU Board is not moving as it does, then we would be considered as partner in the case.

If hundreds of thousands and maybe more are lost through alleged ECU actions what we have to do? Not to act? Not to investigate? Not to bring all the material in light and ask our members to take position? What kind of Europe and chess we want? Why are we advocating for chess in schools if we allow such thinks to happen?

For all International Sports Federations there are no questions in such matters. In only few days a federation can be suspended if the rules are not followed and if corruption is evident.

Unfortunately, due to ignorance and the fact that administrative organs are not operating well, we allow people to act in chess like in the real mafia world.

This is not acceptable anymore for the European Chess Union. Everybody must take its position.

Q: How will this affect the ordinary chess players in Bulgaria?

A: Regarding the players – Not only we will not punish them, but we will protect them. The players are truly punished when the state funds go to offshore companies in tax heavens instead of supporting chess in Bulgaria.

Moreover a number of players were punished by the Bulgarian Chess Federation without any legal grounds. And even if there are civil court decisions against the illegal punishment, and decisions in FIDE Ethics Commission, the Bulgarian Chess Federation insists on these bans.

It seems that there is no any respect to basic human rights.

The ECU proposal is that if the suspension of Bulgarian Chess Federation is accepted, and until the matter is resolved by the Bulgarian authorities so that we can accept the federation back as member, the players to be accepted in European Individual Championships by individual registration.

So our proposal is targeting the administration, which is responsible for all happenings, but also the Bulgarian state authorities that must take immediate actions to clear the situation.

Q: You are also member of the FIDE Presidential Board. What is your opinion on the proposed changes of FIDE Grand Prix format?

A: Well, this is an interesting question. I think the new formula has positive and negative aspects as everything in our life. In my opinion positive things are:

  1. Shorter event – only 11 days instead of 18, and
  2.  Less money to obtain a wild card.

I’ll explain what I mean. Previously, for your player, who didn’t qualify by rating, but you wish to see him among Grand Prix participants, the only conditions were to organize GP and get wild card. Organizing cost of GP plus prize fund were very big – around 300,000 euros and even more. Today you can get easier a wild card!

But as I say in the beginning lets go for weak points. In the proposal we can see that 14 players are chosen by rating, 9 by wild card (65,000 euros sponsorship to GP) and one winner of ACP tour. All 24 players will play 4 Swiss tournaments with minimum prize fund 130,000 euros, multiply by 4 is 520,000. We can see that 9×65,000=“(from wild cards) amounts to 585,000. Agon collects the prize fund but…where are the organizers?

The tournaments are announced and we can see the first one will be launched in October 2016. Where? How? Many questions and no answer. In my opinion the idea, which Agon introduced, is not necessarily bad, but needs to be prepared more professionally.

Interview5

Q: What is your opinion on the comments of World Champion Hou Yifan regarding the women’s world championship cycle?

A: Well, I don’t think this idea is new or Hou Yifan said something different from what I also have mentioned many times, including during my talks with FIDE leadership!

Hou Yifan for me is same as Carlsen, but when FIDE did everything to protect and brand the Men’s World Champion, unfortunately I can’t see the same agility in regard to women’s chess!

I fully understand and support Hou Yifan! She deserves to be respected more.

Q: The proposal for world championship matches by the Russian Chess Federation was met by harsh criticism from the ACP. How do you comment on this?

A: The proposal of Andrey Filatov was first discussed during the FIDE Presidential Board in Moscow but was modified later. First of all I wish to say that Andrey is the FIDE Vice-President, President of the Russian Chess Federation, a well-known businessman and a chess lover. He is the one who invented and materialized the “Chess in Museums” program, supported many top and junior tournaments, and he has organised the World Championship Match in Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. As all of us he also has the right to make any proposal and to put it under discussion. This is democracy.

From the other side ACP, federations, players also have the right to criticize or support, and to raise their views in matters which concern the WC title and are very sensitive for the entire chess world.

Personally I believe that the last years’ World Championship system with World Cup, Grand Prix, Candidates and final Match is quite successful and we must concentrate how to improve it further. The General Assembly will have the final word in each proposal.

interview6

Q: Another hot matter is that FIDE closed the year 2015 with deficit.

A: Nobody can be happy about this. It seems that FIDE had some problems to receive pre-agreed payments while the expenses were not controlled. In the last Presidential Board where we were presented these results I asked, among others, to reduce FIDE administration expenses which were very high comparing with the federation budget.

Q: Batumi in Georgia is set to host the World Cadets U8, U10, U12 Championships 2016. How is the preparation going? What are the other events planned to take place in Georgia?

A: I can say more about Prague preparation – it is ECU event and it is my job to monitor the situation. As far as I know the Georgian Chess Federation always organized the events on a very high level and I’m certain the same will be in Batumi. I am more aware about the ECU CIS conference, second this year, which will be held during the World Cadets Championship, from 24 to 27 October.

Next year Georgia will organize the World Cup and in 2018 the European Individual Championship, European Women’s Rapid & Blitz and of course the 43rd Chess Olympiad.

Thank you very much for the sincere answers!




ECU CIRCULAR LETTER NO. 5/2015

Dear Chess Friends,

The 1st ECU Congress took place from 7th to 11th of October. The Congress was attended by a large number of participants, delegates, representatives of National federations and members of the ECU Commissions. We would like to thank the Montenegro Chess Federation for an excellent organization and hosting of the meetings.

Main information and decisions of the meetings:

The most important decisions of the ECU General Assembly 2015 held on 10th October 2015:

  1. The new tournament regulations were approved. The new regulations will be valid form 1st January 2016 and will be published & circulated to the National Chess Federations.
  2. The changes of the statutes were approved. (Annex 1)

The new statutes are valid from 11th October 2015.

  1. The reports by the ECU Educational, Arbiters and Events Commissions were accepted.
  2. Kosovo Chess Federation was voted to become the 55th member of ECU. Any mention of Kosovo will be followed with an asterisk and the note referring to “UN Resolution 1244, without prejudice of status”.
  3. The budget for the year 2016 was approved. The General Assembly was informed that the income for the year 2015 is increased about 40% in comparison with previous year.
  4. The GA unanimously expressed its recognition, appreciation and full support to the President of Montenegro Chess Federation Mrs. Angelina Vukovic for her constant efforts to develop chess in the country, fighting in the same time against corruption in sports and chess.
  5. GA decided not to discharge the Board for the year 2014 because of the ongoing investigation for the period 1 January 2014 – 10 August 2014.  GA decided that a letter shall be sent to the previous Treasurer Mr. Almog Burstein and to require an answer in written form to the questions related to the financial matters and his duties according to the article 49 of the ECU Statutes.
  6. GA unanimously confirmed that the Open Tournaments organized on 2014 in Albena and Golden Sands, Bulgaria were not the official events of the European Chess Union.  None of the federations present were aware that such tournaments are related to the ECU Calendar 2014. The GA noted the absence of the representatives of Bulgarian Chess Federation to support such claim.
  7. With 41 votes in favour and 1 abstention, GA decided to send a letter to the Bulgarian Ministry of Sports and any other authority needed, presenting the official ECU documents related to this matter and asking all the documentation and reports that refer to alleged European Chess Union contracts, invoices and payment mandates. The letter will be sent to all related European Union authorities in Brussels as well, since the ECU is now member of the EU transparency server.
  8. GA unanimously decided to file a report to the US police investigation authorities for possible illegal actions by the company ECU LLC Delaware within the US territory.
  9. GA voted for the removal of Silvio Danailov from the position of Honorary President, with 40 agreed, 0 against, 2 abstain.

ECU General Assembly awarded the following ECU tournaments:

  • European Individual Women’s Chess Championship 2016 was awarded to Mamaia, Romania. The Championship will be organized from 26 May to 8 June 2016
  • European Youth Chess Championship 2017 was awarded to Mamaia, Romania.
  • European Club Cup & Club Cup for Women 2017 was awarded to Manavgat, Turkey.
  • European School Chess Championship 2017 was awarded to Budva, Montenegro.
  • European School Chess Championship 2018 was awarded to Krakow, Poland.
  • European Seniors Chess Championship 2017 was awarded to Barcelona, Spain.
  • European Senior Team Chess Championship 2017 was awarded to Novi Sad, Serbia.
  • European Youth Team Chess Championship 201 7was awarded to Iwonicz-Zdroj, Poland.
  • European Youth Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship 2017 was awarded to Budva, Montenegro.
  • European Individual Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship 2017 was given as an option, till 31st January 2016, to Israel Chess Federation to organize it.  European Team Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship could be organized also by the Israel Chess Federation as a test event.

All the updates of the ECU Calendar can be found here:  https://www.europechess.org/calendar/

ECU Board met on 9th October 2015 and discussed all the necessary items for the preparation of the General Assembly.

The most important decisions of the ECU Board Meeting:

  • ECU Board set the annual deadline for the ECU Bidding Procedure on 30th April each year in order to ensure enough time for the inspections and evaluations.
  • ECU Board approved the co-operation with the London Chess in Schools Conference.
  • ECU Board approved the co-operation with the TV-Show Check-Mate.
  • ECU Board approved the budget for ECU Arbiters’ Council.
  • ECU Board decided to support the European Teams Small Nations Championship 2017 which will be held in Andorra.
  • ECU Board accepted the proposal of Austrian Chess Federation for the “European Teams Rapid and Blitz Championship” as a test event for 2-3 years.

The European Teams Chess Championship 2015 starts in Reykjavik, Iceland on 12th November 2015 with 36 teams in open section and 30 teams in women section. All the information can be found here:  http://etcc2015.com

The European Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship 2015 is scheduled in Minsk, Belarus from 17th to 20th December 2015. Registrations are open till 20th of November 2015.

All the information can be found here: http://champ.openchess.by/en/

With kind regards,

Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou

ECU Secretary General

CL5_2015

Annex 1_Statutes_Changes




1ST ECU CONGRESS CONCLUDED

The 1st ECU Congress concluded on 10th October with the official opening ceremony  in St. Nikola Castle and General Assembly in Bar/Montenegro.

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The opening ceremony was held with the presence of the ECU and FIDE officials, representatives of Montenegro Chess Federation, Montenegro Government institutions, European Chess Federations as well as the representatives of the media.

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After the presentation of chess tradition of Montenegro and the city of Bar, all the present were addressed by the Director of Montenegro Directorate for Youth and Sport, Mr. Igor Vusurovic, Vice-President of Montenegro Olympic Committee, Mr. Ranko Jovovic, President of Montenegro Chess Federation, Mrs. Angelina Vukovic, the ECU President, Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili, FIDE Deputy President, Mr. George Makropulous and President of Bar Municipality, Dr. Zoran Srzenic, who officially opened the Congress.

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After the opening ceremony, the ECU Annual General Assembly was held in hotel Princess in Bar, with the attendance of 42 countries.

The most important decisions of the ECU General Assembly 2015:

  1. The new tournament regulations were approved. The new regulations will be valid form 1st January 2016
  2. The changes of the statutes were approved
  3. The reports by the ECU Commissions were accepted.
  4. Kosovo was voted to become the 55th member of ECU. Any mention of Kosovo will be followed with an asterisk and the note referring to “UN Resolution 1244, without prejudice of status”.
  5. The budget for the year 2016 was approved. The General Assembly was informed that the income for the year 2015 is increased about 40% in comparison with previous years.
  6. The GA unanimously expressed its recognition, appreciation and full support to the President of Montenegro Chess Federation Mrs. Angelina Vukovic for her constant efforts to develop chess in the country, fighting in the same time against corruption in sports and chess.
  7. GA decided not to discharge the Board for the year 2014 because of the ongoing investigation for the period 1 January 2014 – 10 August 2014.  GA decided that a letter shall be sent to the previous Treasurer Mr. Almog Burstein and to require an answer in written form to the questions related to the financial matters and his duties according to the article 49 of the ECU Statutes.
  8. GA unanimously confirmed that the Open Tournaments organized on 2014 in Albena and Golden Sands, Bulgaria were not the official events of the European Chess Union.  None of the federations present were aware that such tournaments are related to the ECU Calendar 2014. The GA noted the absence of the representatives of Bulgarian Chess Federation to support such claim.
  9. With 41 votes in favour and 1 abstention, GA decided to send a letter to the Bulgarian Ministry of Sports and any other authority needed, presenting the official ECU documents related to this matter and asking all the documentation and reports that refer to alleged European Chess Union contracts, invoices and payment mandates. The letter will be sent to all related European Union authorities in Brussels as well, since the ECU is now member of the EU transparency server.
  10. GA unanimously decided to file a report to the US police investigation authorities for possible illegal actions by the company ECU LLC Delaware within the US territory.
  11. GA voted for the removal of Silvio Danailov from the position of Honorary President, with 40 agreed, 0 against, 2 abstain.

2015-10-10 11.13.18

ECU General Assembly awarded the following ECU tournaments:

  1. European Individual Women’s Chess Championship 2016 was awarded to Mamaia, Romania.
  2. European Youth Chess Championship 2017 was awarded to Mamaia, Romania.
  3. European Club Cup & Club Cup for Women 2017 was awarded to Manavgat, Turkey.
  4. European School Chess Championship 2017 was awarded to Budva, Montenegro.
  5. European School Chess Championship 2018 was awarded to Krakow, Poland.
  6. European Seniors Chess Championship 2017 was awarded to Barcelona, Spain.
  7. European Senior Team Chess Championship 2017 was awarded to Novi Sad, Serbia.
  8. European Youth Team Chess Championship 201 7was awarded to Iwonicz-Zdroj, Poland.
  9. European Youth Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship 2017 was awarded to Budva, Montenegro.
  10. European Individual Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship 2017 was given as an option, till 31st January 2016, to Israel Chess Federation to organize it.  European Team Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship could be organized also by the Israel Chess Federation as a test event.




ECU CIRCULAR LETTER NO. 4/2015

ECU logo

Dear Chess Friends,

The ECU Board meeting took place on 12th & 13th June in Bucharest, Romania. We would like to thank the Romanian Chess Federation for an excellent organization and hosting of the meeting.

Main information and decisions of the meeting are as follows:

  • According to the ECU Statutes, the unanimous ECU General Assembly 2014 decision in Tromso, Norway that “ECU is following International Olympic Committee’s decisions for sports jurisdiction” and the FIDE PB Decision to accept Kosovo Chess Federation membership, the ECU Board admits Kosovo Chess Federation to Provisional Membership (which shall carry the equivalent rights and obligations to membership apart from the right to vote at the Assembly) until the next General Assembly.
  • ECU Board informed about the meetings in Brussels with the EU Commission and the European Parliament. The “Chess in Schools” Conference in the European Parliament in Brussels is in the agenda of discussions between the ECU and European Parliament Committee of Culture & Education. https://www.europechess.org/ecu-and-eu-ready-for-joint-projects/
  • ECU Board unanimously decided to propose to the annual ECU General Assembly 2015 the permanent removal of Mr. Silvio Danailov from the office of the Honorary President for various conducts and spreading of inaccurate and insulting information against the European Chess Union. ECU Board will send the notice with the reasons to Mr. Silvio Danailov and he will have the right for written and oral explanations according the democratic procedure of the ECU statutes.
  • Additionally ECU Board will propose to the ECU General Assembly as amendment in statutes the disconnection of the appointment of the Honorary President with the office of the ex-ECU President. ECU Honorary President should be appointed under criteria that are not related with elections, away from any political conflict. The purpose of this appointment is mostly to honor one person who offers his/her long time services to European Chess and can promote the unity among the members and inspire the respect to the organization.
  • ECU Board decided that anti-cheating guidelines should be added in the ECU tournament regulations with specific instructions for players, arbiters and organizers.
  • The European University Championships 2015 will take place in Yeravan, Armenia, from 6th to 11th of October. The registration of players is possible only through the National Sports Universities Federations members of EUSA. http://www.armssf.am/#about
  • The European Individual Chess Championship 2016 will take place in Gakova, Kosovo from 11 to 24 May 2016 with a total of Prize fund of 150.000 Euros.

On July 01 2015 at 4 PM CET, the deadline for sending bids for the organization of the European Championships 2017 elapsed. We received the following bids:

European Youth Chess Championship U8 – U18 2017

  1. Montenegro – Budva
  2. Romania – Mamaia
  3. Slovakia – Pobrad – Tatry
  4. Spain – Santiago De Compostela
  5. Turkey – Antalya

European Chess Club Cup Open & Women 2017

  1. Austria – Mayrhofen/Zillertal
  2. Turkey – Antalya

European School Chess Championship 2017 

  1. Montenegro – Budva
  2. Poland – Krakow

European Women Individual Chess Championship 2016

  1. Montenegro – Bar
  2. Romania – Mamaia
  3. Turkey – Konya

All the bids received and are valid after the bid fee payment are published at the ECU website: https://www.europechess.org/events/bidding-procedure/

No bids were received for the following Championships:

European Individual Chess Championship
2017

European Individual Women’s Chess Championship
2017

European Youth Team Championship
2017

European Rapid Championship  &  European Blitz Championship
2017

European Women’s Rapid Championship  &  European Women’s Blitz Championship
2017

European Youth Rapid and Blitz Championships 2017

European Amateur Championship 2017

European Individual Senior Championship 2017

European Senior Team Chess Championship 2017

The deadline for bids for the above European Championships is extended till Friday 7th August 2015 by 4 PM CET. All the bids must reach the European Chess Union office until the deadline in one of the following ways:

  1. By e-mail ecuoffice2014@gmail.com
  2. Personally, in a sealed envelope, in the ECU office in Tbilisi.
  3. By postal service or express postal service (DHL, Fedex, TNT…) to the address

European Chess Union, M.Kostava Str. 37a, Chess Palace, 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia

The next ECU Board meeting will take place on 8th and 9th October 2015 in Bar, Montenegro. The annual ECU General Assembly will take place on 10th of October 2015 in Bar Montenegro.

With kind regards,

Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou

ECU Secretary General

CL4_2015




ZURAB AZMAIPARASHVILI ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN CHESS UNION

At the elections of the European Chess Union, held in Tromso (Norway), Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili of Georgia was elected the ECU President. 33 delegates voted for him, while the confidence in his rival, former President Mr.  Silvio Danailov (Bulgaria) was placed by 18 delegates.

Zurab-Azmaiparashvili

In addition, apart from Mr. Azmaiparashvili, the members of his “ticket” were elected to office:

ECU Vice President – Mr. Finnbj?rn Vang from Faroe Islands;

ECU Deputy President – Mr. Ion Serban Dobronauteanu from Romania;

ECU Secretary General – Mr. Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou from Greece;

ECU Treasurer – Mr. Martin Huba from Slovakia.

Johann Pocksteiner (AUT), Adrian Mikhalchishin (SLO) and Jean-Michel Rapaire (MNC) were elected as individual board members of the ECU.