Geoffrey Borg: Global Chess takes part in all FIDE projects.
Global Chess CEO Geoffrey Borg in his interview explained about the FIDE Grand Prix Series and the company’s further chess promotion plans.
- Mr. Borg, when did your company begin to collaborate with the International Chess Federation?
- We have been working together with FIDE for two years already and in my opinion we’ve achieved a lot. We’ve done a great deal of work with FIDE and concluded a commercial agreement. The legal agreement between FIDE and Global Chess was confirmed in November 2007. The first part was implemented in June this year. We did the marketing part, administer the FIDE website, created the new design which simplifies the communication with national federations and chess-players. Global Chess participates in all FIDE projects, and helps organize various contests – club tournaments, club championships, woman championships, blitz tournaments.
- So, your company cares for the interests of not only chess elite, as one may consider on the ground of FIDE Grand Prix series organization?
- Yes, we do understand that chess can arouse interest in potential sponsors only in the event that a special platform attractive for most of the players is created. I had meetings with the representatives of national chess federations and elaborated a deeper understanding of our strategic targets. We exert every possible effort to promote chess in the regions. I did a study of a number of suggestions concerning chess promotion at schools and via TV. This is one of the priority aims in the matter of chess development.
- What is the total prize fund of the Grand Prix series tournaments? Who secures the funds?
- The prize fund of each Grand Prix tournament is 212 000 euro, every tournament has a 162 thousand euro prize money (every player is rewarded). Besides tournament prizes, a large sum is allocated at the end of the event and awarded to the top ten players. The Grand Prix winner will get the prize of 75 thousand euros. Basically the funds are provided by the host venue.
- Will there be a new Grand Prix 2010-2011 cycle organized?
- We are currently carrying out negotiations on the following Grand Prix series. Russian, Azerbaijan, Chinese, Oman, UAE and other cities who wish to host the tournaments. The negotiations are under way in different phases: some of the potential organizers signed preliminary agreements with us, some of them show slight signs of interests. We will collaborate only with those who will be able to secure financial guarantees for tournaments organization.
- Why did you choose Elista as the host of the current tournament?
- The capital of Kalmykia has got a vast experience in hosting world-scale contests. Local organizers, first and foremost Vice PM of the Republic and Vice-President of the Russian Chess Federation Valery Bovaev, insistently laboured for the right to host one of the Grand Prix tournaments. When choosing Elista as the host we’ve considered a whole array of factors, the celebration of the 400 years of the voluntary entry of the Kalmyks into the Russian state among them. As you know Elista tournament was to be held next year in August on the eve of the anniversary. However due to the cancellation of Doha, the capital of Qatar, to host the third Grand Prix tournament, the Elista tournament was brought forward to this period. Nonetheless this tournament is dedicated to the 400th anniversary, as FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov declared.
- Mr. Borg, as far as I know, you were the FIDE Vice President. Why did you quit?
- At that time I became the CEO of Global Chess, and it will not be correct to work for two companies.
- We have no doubt that you are a good chess player. Have you got a title?
- I am a FIDE Master. I was playing in the international zonal tournaments, chess club championships and also at the Chess Olympiads.