Chess Olympiad, day thirteen: Philippines Chess Federation: Vicious Floor Fight in FIDE General Assembly
This action, which was taken without consulting the General Assembly of FIDE, was obviously illegal and followed a long pattern of violations of FIDE rules and statutes which has persisted ever since Kisan Ilyumzhinov became president of FIDE.
As a result, as soon as substantive proceedings began, Steven Doyle, a FIDE vice-president, protested that the only party entitled to vote was the representative of the so-called "old" Philippines Chess Federation.Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos, who was presiding over the meeting in the absence of President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, objected that Doyle's remarks were out of order, that the agenda must be followed and that this matter must be taken up at the appropriate time and place. Doyle replied that the time and place was now, because it was essential that the representative of the Philippines Chess Federation be seated and allowed to vote.
Doyle further stated that unless the Philippines delegate was seated, then he was walking out, as he would not participate in an illegal meeting.
An acrimonious debate followed during which many prominent FIDE personalities spoke in support of the position of Steve Doyle. Doyle then made a motion which was seconded by Israel Gelfer that the decision of the FIDE Executive Board in Tehran was null and void and that the established Philippines Chess Federation had never been removed.
Objecting to this was FIDE General Secretary Noureddine Tabbane of Tunisia, who repeatedly said that it was "impossible" that the old Philippines Chess Federation be recognized because only the new Philippines Chess Federation has been recognized by the Olympic Committee of the Philippines.
More acrimonious debate followed, with Makropoulos and Doyle both speak loudly and often.
There were many other speakers, with Campomanes giving an emotional speech about how it greatly pained him to have to turn against an organization which he had founded in 1956.
Finally, a vote was taken. The first vote was about 24 to zero in favor of the Doyle resolution. Campomanes objected on the grounds that many people did not understand what they were voting for. A second vote was taken and this time by a show of hands the vote was about 24 to 6, so the Doyle resolution passed.
After that, David Jarrett, FIDE Treasurer, read a report on the status of various countries. Jarrett reported on countries which had been suspended for non-payment of dues. Jarrett reported that Papua New Guinea had paid their back dues and had been readmitted, while Nigeria and Surinam were temporarily suspended for non-payment of dues. Mauritius had paid most of its debt, Afghanistan and Guyana were temporarily excluded for non-payment of debt. Tajikistan was excluded for non-payment of debt.
Then, the roll was called.
Almost immediately following was one of the top items on the agenda, which was to replace the old Philippines Chess Federation with the new Philippines Chess Federation. Doyle, Morton Sand of Norway and Kelleher of the USA objected that this matter should be postponed until tomorrow. However, Makropoulos insisted that the matter go forward today.
Another vote by a show of hands was taken in which it was overwhelmingly decided to continue with the matter today.
There followed another acrimonious debate. First, the representative of the old Philippines Chess Federation, who was Efren G. Manuel, gave an impassioned speech in which he emphasized that no charges had ever been brought against the old Philippines Chess Federation and no notice or opportunity for a hearing before FIDE had been provided to the old Philippines Chess Federation.
He emphasized that the old Philippines Chess Federation had been a member in good standing of FIDE for 43 years, that the new Philippines Chess Federation had been formed as a legal entity on August 16, 2000, and that on August 27, 2000, only 11 days later, it had been recognized by FIDE. No notice of this action was given to the old Philippines Chess Federation and still no minutes of that meeting are available.
Five minutes had been allowed for this speech, but Makropoulos allowed it to go on to eight minutes.
After that, Toti Abundo spoke in favor of the new Philippines Chess Federation. The points he emphasized were that ever since Campomanes retired from the old Philippines Chess Federation, there has been no activity in the Philippines and not a single grandmaster tournament has taken place since 1992. The last international event to take place in the Philippines was the 1992 Olympiad in Manila, and that had been organized by Florencio Campomanes.
After that, there were many speeches on both sides of the issue. Those supporting the old Philippines Chess Federation, which included Norway, the USA, Holland, Portugal, Guernsey and several other major European countries, emphasized the legal issues, such as the fact that the old Philippines Chess Federation had not been given notice or the opportunity for a hearing.
The most effective speaker in behalf of the new Philippines Chess Federation was Ignatius Leong of Singapore, who recounted an incident where two of the strongest grandmasters in South East Asia, both of whom were Filipinos, had arrived for a zonal tournament, only to hear from the old Philippines Chess Federation that they were to be denied entry.
There was a similar speech by Al Hitmi of Qatar that he had been faced with the same situation of deciding whether to admit Philippine players who had been essentially banned by their own country. The players in question were obviously Torre and possibly Antonio.
Eugenio Torre, the first Filipino grandmaster, was the initial driving force behind the formation of the new Philippines Chess Federation.
Finally, a vote was taken. The new Philippines Chess Federation won by a vote of 56 to 16, with 25 abstentions.
Voting for the old Philippines Chess Federation were British Virgin Islands, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Ethiopia, Germany, Guernsey, Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, USA and Vietnam.
After that vote was taken, the meeting was adjourned because the scheduled ending time of 1:00 PM had long since passed.
It was overlooked that when the roll had been called, the Philippines was not asked for its vote