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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chess Queen speaks to The New York Times about open letter to Fide on complaints about Women's World Chess Championship, 2010 in Turkey

Chess blog for latest chess news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Here is the excerpt of Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk, Women's World Chess Champion, 2008, speaking to The New York Times today, about the Open Letter to Fide from women participants of the 2010 Women's World Chess Championship.

We thank you for the hundreds of emails and comments here at for your constructive views on the letter that helped the issue gain wider media attention for the overall welfare of everyone associated with what we love the most - chess!

You can read the full NYT article here that also talks of other things. We thought you would be interested in what Alexandra Kosteniuk said.

Alexandra Kosteniuk, a Russian grandmaster who was the women’s world champion before losing the title in Turkey, was one of the players who signed the letter of complaint. In a telephone interview on Tuesday, she agreed with Mr. Yazici about how well the Turkish Federation had run previous events. “This tournament was an exception,” she said. “I don’t know why.”
She said that in addition to overcharging for the hotel, it was substandard, especially for such a prestigious event. “The women’s world championship is the main event on the women’s calendar,” said Ms. Kosteniuk. “When they are coming to this event, they want to feel this is a world championship event.”
Ms. Kosteniuk said that she knew there were better alternatives, mentioning that several players stayed in a hotel in the center of Antakya, the city where the championship was held, and that it was “quite nice.”
Ms. Kosteniuk said she was not necessarily upset about being overcharged. “We are not talking about a 30 euros difference,” she said. It was more the principle. Compared with previous events, “they didn’t provide the same level of organization.” She and the other players filed the protest because “we want that the same thing not happen in the future.”

Here are some other links that you might like to read on the issue. If we've missed a link just let us know.
You can still add a comment on the issue either here or at our previous post of the Open Letter.
From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at

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  • At January 20, 2011 at 6:46 AM , Anonymous Alexis Cochran, New Zealand said...

    You know why I love you Alexandra? Because of your balanced approach. I like your comment: We are not talking about a 30 euros difference,” she said. It was more the principle. That's the point. Even Fide need not pin blame but maybe draw up a charter for basic qualifications of tournament organization, compensation to players and future great events.

  • At January 20, 2011 at 6:49 AM , Anonymous Sebastian Wolff, Maryland said...

    You rock Chess Queen. YES AMERICA IS ABOUT FREEDOM AND RIGHTS. Welcome to America Chess Queen. YAYA FOR MY fav newspaper The New York Times. Best coverage on everything. Superbly written.

  • At January 20, 2011 at 6:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey chessbase says fide will reply in a few days. Good for chess and everyone. Nice that the open letter got noticed.

  • At January 20, 2011 at 6:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Oh boy I just have to play in the next world women's championship - it is bound to have extra effort given to the organization no matter which federation holds it. Guess all the girls who signed this letter should be proud of signing it. The letter has already achieved its objective. Anything that Fide does now would be bonus. My congratulations to all the girls who signed this letter.

  • At January 20, 2011 at 6:58 AM , Anonymous saira fernandes, madrid said...

    The girls who rocked the world! WE love you we love chess oooooooo we love you chess girls. Gutsy, brave, levelheaded only like women can be. YAYA. Watch out men, here we come.

  • At January 20, 2011 at 7:02 AM , Anonymous Alexis Cochran, New Zealand said...

    @Saira fernandes Glad I am online to see this stupid comment. Please remove it Alexandra. You cannot support feminism. Some of the most loving men would have advised, edited and helped these women frame this letter. Some of these girls are married and others are in a relationship. Please this is just about chess not about just the girls. We support and love all the women in our lives and knock sense into their heads. Who knows these girls were inspired to sign this letter by men who accompanied them and suffered some of the bad conditions in Turkey. let's keep it sweet and simple - It's a man's job. Thank you ladies.

  • At January 20, 2011 at 7:05 AM , Anonymous Jean, Newzealand said...

    Good going girls. We look forward to next championship already.

  • At January 20, 2011 at 7:07 AM , Anonymous Walter Gibbs said...

    I just repeat my last comment

    1. A special women's group comprising players who have participated in top level tournaments must okay the venues before hand.
    2. In case they do not like the arrangements ot facilities, the city must be disqualified at the initial level itself.
    3. besides there should be checks and balances so that nothing goes wrong.
    4. there must be a proper feedback mechanism to disqualify a country for further tournaments.
    5.the participants should be asked to rate the arrangements etc after the tourney.
    walter gibbs

  • At January 20, 2011 at 8:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Whoa. Quite cool.

  • At January 20, 2011 at 9:04 AM , Anonymous A.K. India said...

    Hope Fide is not going to do a witch-hunting as "She and the other players filed the protest because “we want that the same thing not happen in the future."
    It seems we would know the answer soon as the Turkish Federation can redeem itself with a swell European's Women's Championship. Overall, I think this letter serve well to have overall improvement in organization. Great for chess. But you should see how some of the events are organized in Asia. I won't name any country but players play in real bad situations. Possibly the Fide should have organizational guidelines for every level of tournament organization - Open, National, International, World Championship, etc.

  • At January 20, 2011 at 9:07 AM , Anonymous amrit puri, knights chess club, New Delhi said...

    Just hoping organizers across the world become more profesional. We need more players among organizers basically. Dunno how that is possible though. Most chess players are disillusioned by their federation. For example, Koneru Humpy receives no support from her Federation. I have heard so. Ah well. Good going girls. See you around.

  • At January 20, 2011 at 10:26 AM , Anonymous Jason, London said...

    Nothing in the world would ever improve if we didnt have constructive minds willing to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the criticism, nothing in the world would ever improve if the media didn't highlight the issues raised by a few brave people - congratulations. I do hopethings would improve all around.

  • At January 20, 2011 at 10:53 AM , Anonymous Rapstar from Mars said...

    Interesting to see how the chess media actually has come together to take up the cause. Am still trying to read through all the comments at you original post though. There is only one course of action left now - Things will improve.

  • At January 20, 2011 at 11:44 AM , Anonymous Terry, Paris said...

    Hey Alexandra do you take song requests - I want you to play 'Heal the world' by Michael Jackson for all the girls who signed this letter. Mwah, mwah, mwah.

  • At January 20, 2011 at 11:47 AM , Anonymous Terry, Paris said...

    Sorry please find 18 mwahs in my previous comment.


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