The second European Chess Union Board meeting in 2016, organized in Prague, Czech Republic, took place on 24th and 25th June after the kind invitation of the Czech Chess Federation.

The meeting was held under the excellent conditions in the hotel Olympic during the 2016 Mitropa Cup. The President of the Czech Chess Federation Viktor Novotny opened the meeting and welcomed the ECU Board in Prague.

Prague

Main Information & decisions

ECU Auditor presented the audit report, Treasurer and Bookkeeper informed the Board about the financial results and closing of the year 2015 as will be forwarded to ECU GA in Baku. The money prizes for the European Individual Championships were sent to all the participants.

European Chess Union is today in the best financial situation in its history, with the transparent and trustable financial management.

ECU Board meeting Prague

ECU Board awarded the following European Championships:

- European Amateur Championship 2017 awarded to the Serbian Chess Federation to organize it in the city of Nis
- European Youth Team Championship 2018 awarded to the German Chess Federation to organize it in Bad Blankeburg, Thuringia
- European Senior Team Chess Championship 2018 awarded to the Polish Chess Federation to organize it in the city of Walbrzych
- European Women’s Rapid Championship & European Women’s Blitz Championship 2018 awarded to the Georgian Chess Federation to organize it in the city of Tbilisi.
- European Youth Rapid and Blitz Championships 2018 awarded to the Romanian Chess Federation to organize it in Oradea, Bihor County.
- European Individual Chess Championship 2018 awarded to the Georgian Chess Federation to organize it in the city of Batumi.
- Norwegian Chess Federation awarded the option to organize the European Senior Chess Championship 2018 in the city of Oslo.
- European Team Chess Championship 2019 awarded to the Georgian Chess Federation to organize it in the city of Batumi.
- Turkish Chess Federation awarded the option to organize the European Women’s Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship 2016

The ECU Board approved the new dates, 26-30 December 2016, proposed by the Serbian Chess Federation for the European Youth Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship 2016

ECU accepted the proposal of the Georgian Chess Federation to co-organize the “Chess in School Conference” from 24th to 27th October 2016 in Batumi, parallel with the FIDE World Cadets Championship.

ECU Board discussed a number of proposals for the ECU Statutes and tournament regulations, which will be forwarded to the ECU General Assembly.

The ECU Board informed about the legal matters and especially the decisions taken in the ECU General Assembly on 10 October 2015 in Bar and the ECU Board meeting, on 2nd and 3rd March in Lviv Ukraine.

1. ECU with a letter from 6 April 2016, based in the ECU Statutes, asked the Bulgarian Chess Federation to provide a number of documents (contracts, invoices) that were allegedly issued by the ECU, but are not available in ECU files and books. Additionally, the ECU asked from the Bulgarian Chess Federation to provide a list of payments to the ECU for the years 2011-2014. Bulgarian Chess Federation with its answer on 19.04.2016 failed to provide all these documents and the list of payments to ECU.

2. Bulgarian Financial Investigation Agency, after the ECU request, in May 2016 officially provided to the ECU three investigation reports connected with the European Championships and two Open Chess tournaments held in Bulgaria from 2011 to 2014.

3. The last of these reports dated 16.02.2016 took into consideration the ECU position after the official request for contribution sent by the Bulgarian authorities.

4. The reports confirm that hundreds thousands of euros transferred in the name of the European Chess Union to the unknown bank account in Slovenia belong to an offshore company under the name ECU Delaware LLC. All these huge transactions are not reported to the ECU accounts, auditors and General Assemblies and were obviously never delivered by the European Chess Union.

5. Until today, the Bulgarian Chess Federation have provided to the Bulgarian Investigation Financial Agency a number of documents as ECU invoices, contracts, and letters, even bank certificates, which are unknown to the ECU. Bulgarian Investigation authorities have not accepted the majority of these documents as authentic.

Based in these reports and the decisions in the ECU GA 2015 in Bar and ECU Board meeting on 2nd and 3rd March in Lviv the ECU Board decided:

1. The investigation reports and the letters dated 06.04.2016 and 19.04.2016 are forwarded to the ECU General Assembly 2016 in Baku, Azerbaijan with the proposal of suspension of the Bulgarian Chess Federation membership. Bulgarian Chess Federation has the right for written and oral explanations before any decision.

2. The whole case is already sent to the FIDE General Assembly 2016 Agenda for information and decisions.

Independently of the administration procedures, the ECU will follow closely the investigations running till now in Bulgaria, Montenegro, Interpol & FIDE Ethics Commission, and according to the advice of the ECU legal advisers regarding the financial and moral damage to the ECU, may proceed to a criminal complaint to Swiss authorities against any responsible individual.

The FBI office in the US Embassy in Switzerland has already contacted and informed about the operation of the shadow company “ECU LLC Delaware” within the USA territory. The European Chess Union also testified to Interpol after invitation received in Switzerland.

Moreover, the matter may concern the investigation services in several countries, since there are other European Federations or/and players who were forced to transfer money in “chess” offshore companies with the same address in Delaware.

Additionally, after the decision in GA in Bar, Montenegro and the material available today, the ECU will give a press conference, on a pre-announced date, informing the international press about all findings through the official investigations in Montenegro and Bulgaria. The matter is very serious not only for the chess world but for the whole sports family.

Press Release 29.06.2016.

Chessdom