European Championship 2018 and qualifications for the 2019 World Championship

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anatoli gantvarg
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Real name: anatoli gantvarg

European Championship 2018 and qualifications for the 2019 World Championship

Post by anatoli gantvarg » Sun Jan 27, 2019 21:58

translation of an article published on the website of the Belarusian Federation

I would like to start this article on the events around the European Championships and qualification for the 2019 World Championships by congratulating R. Boomstra on winning the match against A. Schvartsman.
Roel Boomstra deserved not only congratulations on his victory, but also the admiration of experts for his interesting play at a very high level.
Now, from a high note we should move to a low one, in order to comment on the organization of one of the main events held at the end of 2018 by the European Draughts Confederation (EDC) and the Russian Draughts Federation (RDF) – the European Championships for men and women. These championships were qualification ones for the World Championships, therefore, the responsibility for the organization thereof was on the FMJD.
The strongest players were primarily interested in the qualification for the World Championships.
Therefore, I would like to start my review with the events that preceded the European Championships.
European Championships
A worthless organization with a political cuisine

The tournaments of men and women had been scheduled in Sochi in October 2018.
Approximately in August, the organizers announced that Sochi had refused, and the organization of the European Championships in Russia was under question.
Immediately, Turkey announced its candidacy for holding the championships at the same time.
Some time later, the RDF announced that the championships would be held in Moscow, but the date would be December 16.
Since the change of the date violated all the players' plans, this was already enough to transfer the championships to Turkey. The Moscow's non-readiness to hold such important tournaments was also evident (more about it later).
But there was another very important point.
The FMJD knows that Ukraine does not recommend its sportsmen to compete in Russia without security guarantees. Ukraine is one of the few countries in the FMJD, which finances the sport of draughts and its strongest players. Given the large state support and the size of the country, it is one of the basic FMJD members.
Ukrainian players cannot ignore the recommendations of their Ministry of Sports.
The Draughts Federation of Ukraine sent a request to the EDC and the organizers on the issue of security.
Neither of them bothered to answer at least anything.
The Ukrainian players A. Ivanov, Yu. Anikeev and O. Baltazhi were forced to refuse to go to the championships.
Let me remind you that Yu. Anikeev was the fifth in the 2017 World Championships, and A. Ivanov was the fourth at the 2015 World Championships and the winner of the 2017 IMSA (International Mind Sports Association).
The Russia's refusal to hold the championships in Sochi and its non-readiness to hold them in another place were sufficient for holding the championships in Turkey and solving all the problems with the rights of Ukrainian players.
However, the President of the EDS, Ms I.Drukteynite followed Mr Yu. Chertok, the person in charge for draughts-100 in the Russian Draughts Federation (RDF).
The way they manipulated the place and dates of the championships has involuntarily raised the question: Who had brought this lady to the position of the President of the EDC?
The comments like "we are outside politics" make no sense, as the confederation must make every effort to ensure the rights of strong players in any situation.
If we talk about political games during the European Championships, then, giving the floor to the priest from Crimea at the closing ceremony in the presence of the FMJD's and EDC's top managers is just one of such games.
Why am I talking about the absence of readiness for holding the Championships?
Judge for yourself:
The prize pool of 3000 euros for men and 2000 for women is a shame for organizers in Moscow. I remind you that only the membership fees to the EDC should make about 10,000 euros according to the regulations.
The hall for the matches failed to meet the requirements for a large number of players.
There was no room for game analysis.
The coaches did not receive the moves of the games of interest; therefore, they, as well as other unauthorized persons, who came to watch the matches, had to walk between the tables in the stuffy hall, causing inconveniences to the players.
Besides, the regulations (schedules) were completely unacceptable for the tournaments of this level – nine matches in six days.
But that's not all.
According to the schedule, after two rounds on December 19, the sixth round was supposed to start at 3:30 p.m. on December 20. However, on December 19, it was announced that the start of that round was moved to 9:00 a.m.
It turned out that someone needed the hall.
The regulation was not thought out properly in another aspect either.
I already wrote about the expected composition of participants.
In these championships, about 20 players were primary schoolchildren aged from 9 to 14 years. I have never seen such a thing in European Championships before.
It was bad for qualifying for the World Championships, as it gave an advantage to players with a not high rating in the first rounds.
It added nervousness and affected the playing. Such errors and mistakes that occurred in the matches of J. Groenendijk, R.Heusdens and A. Baljakin are extremely rare in players of this level.
J. Groenendijk and A. Baljakin were the biggest losers, as they had best results in 2018.
It seemed to me that they had good chances for the remaining two places from the 2018 World Cup.
But when the list of the participants of the 2019 WC was published, they were not there.
Since the Tournaments Director, J. Pawlicki, changes the regulations and rules at each General Assembly (GA), very few people manage to follow these changes.
Quite often, these changes violate the legal and sport laws, common sense and players' rights.
I see in various examples that the strongest federation in the FMJD, the Dutch one (the KNDB – the Netherlands' Draughts Federation), gives cart blanche to J. Pawlicki for any actions.
The Netherlands is the only country, in which draughts100 is a massive, well-organized and full-fledged sport. Accordingly, the KNDB has always played the leading role in the FMJD. They take its opinion into account in the first place.
Let us consider the latest qualification for the 2019 World Championships
When in late 2017, the General Assembly (GA) accepted the proposal by J. Pawlicki to provide two places for the 2019 World Championship from the 2018 World Cup (these places were torn off from Europe), what did the delegate from the Netherlands think about?
After all, it was clear that J. Pawlicki also took into account the results of 2017. How could this be allowed?
It was known that players from the Netherlands played little in the 2017 World Cup tournaments, which led to nonsense: the prestigious 2017 IMSA games, where countries are proud of their victories, turned to be without the strongest country and strongest players from this country.
Now, the accounting of 2017 results for qualifying for the 2019 World Championships again put players from the Netherlands in an extremely disadvantageous position.
J. Pawlicki's proposal was illegal from the legal and sportive viewpoints
There is another aspect of the problem.
It is obvious that the new decision on the inclusion of two places from the World Cup should have taken into account the results of only those tournaments that took place after the decision was made, and after the inclusion thereof into tournament regulations. The results of 2017 tournaments could not be taken into account for the qualification for the 2019 World Championships, as the 2017 tournaments were held before the decision was adopted by the 2017 GA.
Again, for the umpteenth time I must repeat the well-known truth: "The law has no retroactive force!" How long shall I write about it?
Doesn't Mr Minister of Estonia, the President of the FMJD, know about this?
Why the KNDB had overslept this decision? Its players suffered the most.
For more than 25 years, the Netherlands had no such talented, strong and interesting players!
Why KNDB admitted the situation, when some players choose the results from nine tournaments, while others – from four-five ones?
I believe that the KNDB was obliged to file a protest up to the consideration of the issue an independent commission.
Of course, it is not easy to solve the problem now, but it must be solved legally, since we are talking about the players who are among the best in the world.
Such qualification systems should be offered to world strongest players, so that they could safely prove their right to participate in the world championships.
The situation we see in draughts exists nowhere in any other sport.
Top favourites with highest ratings were not admitted to the 2015 World Championship among men, and to the 2017 World Championship among women, to the 2017 World Cup Final among men and women.
R. Boomstra wins two matches for the world champion title with the highest level of the play and is not admitted to the 2017 World Championship final.
Now, the same fate befell one of the most interesting and talented players, J. Groenendijk.
How problems are solved for FMJD and EDC functionaries?

In the Netherlands, the Olympic Committee, based on scientific researches, does not recommend its representatives to hold top posts in international federations for more than eight years, considering their further activities less efficient.
Perhaps, for this reason H. Otten and F. Teer left their leading posts.
However, they believe that the FMJD cannot exist without them. F. Teer is still heading the Technical Committee, and for G. Otten they have specially held the emergency General Assembly (GA), invented a new position in the Executive Committee and increased the number of members thereof. They change the number at every GA.
For ten years already, the position of the FMJD Director has been held by a person who does not understand draughts; Yu. Chertok, who does not know a single foreign language, is elected to be the General Secretary (the working language of the FMJD is English); the Technical Committee has been headed for 12 years by F. Teer, who has repeatedly demonstrated his ignorance of the rules and constantly spins intrigues against the Belarusian Federation, one of the strongest in the FMJD.
H. Otten selects candidates for the Ethics Committee; while for the Appeal Committees they select members, who are not versed in the game and have no authority among the players.
For ten years, they are the same people; they have created their own circle and solve their problems..
They are unable anything organize . Nothing can be planned.
A.Shvartsman only in November found out that the match for the title of world champion will begin at the end of December.
The main thing that is noticeable in their organizational activity is to collect as more money from the players as possible.
They solve the geographic issue not by the team championships of the world, like in other sports, but at the expense of personal world championships, by taking places away from strong players.
They are no longer able to organize anything except for intrigues against individual players and draughts64.
I want to finish with a question I had asked repeatedly:
Who the sport of draughts exist for?
Anatoli Gantvarg

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