27.07.2004 e3e5.com’s Interview with Joel Lautier, President


Mr. Lautier, when ACP called chess players not to participate in European championship with inappropriate financial conditions, the better part of grandmasters re-echoed this. Despite there wasn’t a direct slogan to taboo Libya, ACP statedly pointed out chess players to the problems like one-sideness of FIDE’ contracts, nationality issues, and so on. Elite players refused to participate in Libya, but the less moneyed majority went there.

Certainly, we didn’t call to boycott Libya. Despite of a number of irregularities in this tournament, many a man abided it two and half years after the Moscow knock-out. And whether can we insist that players don’t participate and knock down some money? Although without the top-ranked players this championship didn’t become a long-expected event.

Are you afraid for ACP to be some kind of chess players’ brotherhood? Are sufficient funds necessary for efficient op of ACP?

Surely, the more money we have the better a situation is. But principally, our existence is important itself, since now the players know: though we can not substantially affect FIDE’ irregularities till, we are already preventing their absolute disgraces. They are becoming uncomfortable; they have to pay the fiddler for their actions. It was the first concern. Further, to let chess players to participate in the tournaments they want, we have to find a financial supporting, and this is the most complex part of our activity.

How do you think, is there a reason to stage a tournament of Libyan “refuseniks” – some kind of anti-championship, and to attract the relevant sponsors?

I believe that to create something from a conflict is quite meaningless. If we shall stage some tournament in which Libyan WCC’ participants shall not play, the event might not be enough representative.

But if Garry Kasparov will agree to play with a winner of namely that tournament in the spirit of ‘Prague agreements’?

Kasparov is not all chess players, but just one outstanding player. Conversely, we should aspire to uniting all. We should stage tournaments for all, not to let somebody to be banned because of nationality or passport. The conditions are normal, the contracts are well-deserved, all the strongest players are participating – these are the goals.

How do you think, will ACP be the permanent stonewall in front of FIDE, or in some moment will tend to become the only chess organization representing interests of players?

It depends from FIDE. If FIDE will do the same odd moves like nowadays, then we’ll be in opposition to FIDE. But the permanent opposition isn’t our function. We want to improve the situation: tournaments are to be held on schedule, with normal prizes, in proper conditions.

As often as not, strong players lightly tell upon a tournament organizers. Sometimes, in their turn, organizers don’t enough count players’ interests. Can ACP enter into contacts with organizers when preparing conditions – to count players’ interests in more extent?

I think, when organizers are orderly ones, fulfill their obligations, and pay off the contracted amounts, then there aren’t any problems, and players hold in respect them. It’s sufficient to name organizers of Vijk aan Zee, Dortmund, … Nevertheless, occasionally some players demand from organizers more than they can, but these are individual cases, and I don’t see a problem with that.

A different matter, when there aren’t normal contracts between players and organizers. It interferes with both sides. Happens, invited players refuse from a participation in the last moment, forcing organizers to look in a rush for a replacer, sometimes immolating by a tournament category and spectators’ concern. To eliminate this, everything should be stipulated in the contract, including players’ obligations. The contract should also mention the serious reasons for a refusal. Occurs, the real reasons aren’t too serious, and it should be stopped.

From the other hand, if organizers don’t fulfill their obligations, then players should get a worthy compensation – like in any other sport.

When we may count on the first tournaments which ACP will stage independently or, at least, participating in their set-up?

I haven’t a clear answer in the moment, but currently we are trying to set-up Masters to be held in 2005. Negotiations are in progress and promising, but I count it untimely to announce nuts-and-bolts while I don’t have in my hands the contracts concluded by ACP.


Thank you for the interview. Good luck to you and ACP!

Questioned by Alexander Kentler


Translated by Valery Golubenko, chess@pochta.ru

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