An Open Letter to the Estonian Correspondence Chess Federation

Please exclude me from the membership of the Estonian Correspondence Chess Federation.

I no longer pay the membership fee, I no longer participate in competitions organized by the Estonian Correspondence Chess Federation, and I no longer represent the Republic of Estonia in correspondence chess.

All my games as a representative of Estonia have ended by now. (I drew all four games in the Baltic/Sweden friendly match.)


Last year, in 2022, the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) adopted two fundamental decisions.

The first decision established that ICCF member states could also be expelled or temporarily suspended for non-financial reasons.

In doing so, however, no set of rules was adopted for which reasons and how the activities of the member states may be suspended.

Another decision suspended the participation of Russia and Belarus in ICCF activities, citing the war in Ukraine.

However, this decision did not correspond to good legal practices and was also of morally dubious value.

First, this decision was retrospective because the penalized conduct began before adopting the new rulebook.

Second, this decision was discriminatory and selective. For example, US correspondence chess players were not punished for the fact that the US had started wars in Afghanistan, Iraq or Serbia.

Third, this decision applied collective punishment because the sportspersons were punished for the decisions of their homeland government.

Fourth, the method of counting votes was absurd and not transparent when decisions were made. Neutral and non-voting countries were excluded from the calculation without distinction; at the same time, there was no established quorum — the minimum number of countries that must vote (positively or negatively) for the meeting to be capable of making a decision.

It was necessary to reach 2/3 of the votes to pass decisions. However, the decision-making mechanism used was such that the decision could have been adopted even if only 3 countries had voted resultant (for example, the USA and the UK “Yes” and Russia “No”) and all the others had remained neutral.

In other words, a system was used where remaining neutral or not voting acted as a positive vote “Yes”. Because if the countries that remained neutral had been included in the total number of those who voted, the proportion of those who voted in favour would have remained less than 2/3, and such decisions would not have been adopted.

My complaints to the Estonian Correspondence Chess Federation

According to the data from ICCF, the Estonian Correspondence Chess Federation initially had not nominated a representative for this vote. Still, in the end, the name of one particular person appeared there. However, according to the data from ICCF, this person either remained neutral or did not participate in the vote (the ICCF does not specify this important nuance).

The Estonian Correspondence Chess Federation website did not have any information about this voting, nor was a relevant e-mail sent to the correspondence chess players. Furthermore, the organization’s website also lacked information about the voting results, and the results were not announced in e-mails either.

The opinion of the Estonian Correspondence Chess Federation members, on whose behalf the Estonian representative at least formally participated in the vote, has not been asked, nor has there been any discussion or voting in Estonia.

I have never received any response to the official inquiry I sent, before the vote, through the ICCF website, to the official representative of the Estonian Correspondence Chess Federation.

That the Estonian Correspondence Chess Federation can still send e-mails to correspondence chess players is evident from the fact that recently, in an e-mail sent to many addresses, the Estonian Correspondence Chess Federation invited Estonian correspondence chess players to participate in a friendly match as representatives of the Estonian team.

I do not regard it possible to belong to an organization on behalf of whose members essential (and weird) international decisions are made in such a way that the opinion of the members of the organization is not asked, their questions are not answered, and they are not even informed afterwards about the vote or its results.

With respect

Jüri Eintalu

Tallinn, March 29, 2023


Published by wrestlerblower

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