This letter was sent to Mr. Jorge Vega in reply to his report on the King Salman Rapid and Blitz Championship.
To Continental President for Americas
Re: Report on the King Salman Rapid and Blitz Championships
Dear Mr. Vega,
In your report on the King Salman Rapid and Blitz Championships published on FIDE website on January 4, 2018, you write:
A highly positive measure that must be followed by FIDE in all its world championships was the free opening of the transmission of the live games to all the websites that wished to use it. This promotes chess and does not limit it as when transmission is conditioned by an economic interest.
I understand that you would like to point out that World Chess has been working with FIDE and other organizers to preserve the exclusivity of the broadcast only to official organizers. I would like to provide the following clarification to avoid confusion:
— As you know, transmission of live moves for all events that World Chess has organized, has been free. Moreover, transmission of live games has been offered to all websites by World Chess by free via official widgets. We also offer paid premium features, like video, advanced analytics and more — a standard for all sports (and chess sites which offer paid options to premium subscribers).
— The reason for introduction of the widgets is to enable organizers to monetize and recoup expenses necessary for staging major events by providing value to sponsors. This policy has been approved and supported by members of FIDE, including yourself, as well as other members of the Presidential Board.
With this clarification I would like to ensure you that live transmission of chess games remains free for chess fans around the world, and our and FIDE’s efforts which are also supported by many players and organizers aim to preserve and protect commercial viability of the sport.
I would like to congratulate you with an excellent Championships in Saudi Arabia and looking forward to working with you in the upcoming Championship cycle.
CEO, World Chess
Former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik spoke on the issue earlier.