Interview with Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou

ECU Board Member and chief organizer of the European Seniors Teams Championship

The excursion to the mount Olympus on 8th May was a good opportunity to perform an interview with Mr. Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou, head of the Organizing Committee and ECU Board Member.

Q: Mr. Tsorbatzoglou, what are your impressions from the European Seniors Teams Championship?

A: It is a very nice event, ongoing in a friendly and sporty atmosphere. We are really impressed with the seniors’ chess and this is one of the best tournaments we have ever organized. Our guests from 20 countries are very satisfied, they enjoy the place, the nature and the games.

Olympus excursion 1

Visit to the Agios Dionisios Monastery, near Litochoro

We combined the event with two historical tours in Thessaloniki and Olympus and this was something exceptional for the participants. Another innovation is that we have converted the hotel’s main lobby bar into a chess cafĂ©, placing 20 boards in the area. In this way, the participants can play chess whole day, analyze and have fun with their colleagues.

Q: What are the news from the European Chess Union?

A: ECU has to move and act in the general crisis environment that affects Europe. The crisis in Europe is not only a financial crisis, it is also a political and social crisis. Silvio Danailov and his team is a new administration that needs time to apply the program and give a new profile to the European Chess Federation.

Q: And what are your thoughts and actions as a Board member?

A: I was elected for the Board as an individual candidate. My role is to propose, ask, vote on proposals and contribute to the organization management when I am asked for. The two Board meetings that we had until now were constructive and compositive.

My personal wish now is to travel to all European countries and speak with the chess family, write down the existing situation and make a study about European chess and how we can connect all pieces into a creative sports’ plan. I have already visited some countries and I scheduled more visits, which I might also combine with participation in the tournaments.

Olympus excursion 2

The skies above Olympus

Q: What are the news from the FIDE Committees?

A: After the changes applied in the structure of FIDE Committees, the operation became much better and efficient. Trainers’ Committee and Arbiters’ Committee are excellent examples for a long time already. In the recent period we see a real booming of action in the FIDE School Committee.

Now, in an area where I am also involved, FIDE Events’ Committee, we have progressive proposals in order to justify the events, the bidding procedures and regulations with the modern needs and sports’ guidelines. As I have already said, we are now acting in a difficult political and financial environment, the resources are limited, so we need to work and bring the results. We don’t need theories, we can’t waste time.

Q: What is the next event in Thessaloniki?

A: The only certain event is the traditional Open “Alexander the Great”, held annually, but as we now have a new elected Mayor and a new administration in Thessaloniki, there will be a new tourist strategical plan for the promotion of the City for the coming years. Our vision is to see some of the biggest world chess events in this city in the future.

Olympus excursion 3

German players watching the distant sea