The municipality of Hoogeveen has designated the National Chess Championship for men and women as an ‘event’. As a result, all participants need a valid QR code and the obligation may arise to be tested daily for the corona virus. According to the six, this is not necessary and, moreover, the chess players believe that the obligation is at the expense of their performance.
“The preliminary relief judge rules that the chess tournament is of such a high level that it is not an amateur sports tournament. Current regulations do not allow competitions like this to be organized without the participants having a corona ticket. A municipality is pre-eminently obliged to comply with these regulations. After all, it is the competent authority that has to monitor compliance with these regulations,” says a written statement.
“The preliminary relief judge is also of the opinion that the chess federation does not have to organize the tournament, which has been in preparation for a long time, elsewhere at the last minute. The federation cannot be expected to put the interests of a handful of chess players above the interests of the chess federation and the other participants.”
At the beginning of August, the KNSB invited the chess players to participate in the Dutch championship, which will take place from Friday to Saturday, October 23 on a floor in the town hall of Hoogeveen. The municipality of Hoogeveen has decided to make a corona ticket mandatory for the 32 participants of the chess tournament.
Another venue for the tournament was suggested as a possibility to cancel the corona pass, but the chess association did not see that happening again. “It is an NK, that involves a lot of organizational aspects,” said lawyer Lex de Jager.
The other five chess players who filed the summary proceedings are former champion Sergey Tiviakov, Sipke Ernst, Migchiel de Jong, Ivo Maris and Machteld van Foreest.
Between two fires
Tournament director Loek van Wely of the Dutch Chess Championship does not consider himself the winner of the preliminary injunction proceedings initiated by six participants. “It was already clear to me that there would always be losers,” said Van Wely, himself multiple Dutch champion. “I am caught between two fires. On the one hand I try to help the players, on the other hand the tournament and the chess federation.”
One of the six plaintiffs was Lucas van Foreest, the title holder. Van Foreest had already indicated that if the summary proceedings were lost, he would default. Van Wely is now also taking this into account. Van Foreest declined to comment on Wednesday evening.
“I think it’s a fact that he’s not participating and that’s annoying. He’s a principled boy and we can’t force him. He has to make his own choices and whether they are good or bad, he will find out on his own,” said the tournament director, who takes into account more cancellations.
85 of 0 procent
“I would have preferred it to be there and I also have my reservations about the QR code. But I have to choose between helping 85 percent of the participants or 0 percent. We had already taken this scenario into account and the missing participants will be replaced.”
The organization has looked into the possibilities of moving the Dutch National Championships, but that turned out to be unfeasible. “Logistics that would have been hell. You also want to give the tournament a certain allure and dress it up. In addition, the parties must also be able to be followed on the internet,” said Van Wely. “I think it will still be a nice and exciting tournament. In any case, we have already had the publicity. The tournament is on the map.”