Information and Regulations of the International Chess Open Festival "Aeroflot Open 2007" (Players)
Information and Regulations of the International Chess Open Festival "Aeroflot Open 2007" (Media)
Information and Regulations of the International Chess Open Festival "Aeroflot Open 2007" (Accompanying persons)
List of players confirmed their participation, respectively to sections A1, A2, B, C
A lesson to be learnt
(The Iranian Chess Federation ad hoc treasurer Mr. Tehrani Jailed in Moscow)
Mr. Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh has just published on the FIDE website a story of jailing in Moscow, Mr. Afshin Tehrani, who was sent to Moscow by the Iranian Chess Federation to register a group of Iranian players at the Aeroflot Open 2007 chess festival. What has happened to Mr. Tehrani is a sad moment in the festive atmosphere of the event. However, the story told by Mr. Pahlevanzadeh does not represent the whole truth and to tell a half-truth sometimes means just the opposite to that truth. We are not going to start up an argument with Mr. Pahlevanzadeh. After all what is at issue is the fate of Mr. Tehrani and all those who may find themselves in a similar situation if the lesson is not learnt.
This is what actually happened. As is known, the Aeroflot Open Regulations, available on our site aeroflotchess.com, state very clearly that 30 Jan. 2007 is the deadline for making payment and submitting the necessary documents by foreign participants to obtain visas. The first contact of the Organizers with the Iranian Chess Federation was made not on 31st Jan, as Mr. Pahlevanzadeh asserts, but on 19 Jan, when an email was sent to the ICF requesting them urgently to send to the Organizer the registration forms for all Iranian players intending to participate in the Aeroflot Open 2007 tournament.
This was not done.
30 Jan the first reminder was sent to them that the Organizer had not yet received the registration forms (without which there would be no permission by the Foreign Ministry to issue visas). And 31 Jan, late at night, another reminder was made that the process of arranging visas through the Organizing Committee was at an end, but the Iranian registration form had not been available so far.
It should be mentioned that the Organizer was well aware of the difficulties the Iranian Chess Federation has had with money transfer to European banks. Therefore, as an exception, it was decided to extend the period of registration for them to 1 Feb. inclusive when the Organizer was to have the registration forms and a letter of guarantee that the Iranian players would pay on arrival in Moscow. The Iranians replied late at night on 1 Feb. (the working day well over) and they did not send individual registration forms (as is required), but a single list. Nor did they send a letter of guarantee.
2 Feb. was Friday, and it was no longer possible for the Organizing Committee to arrange visas by means of official invitations. Then the Iranians said that they would come to Moscow on their own by getting tourist visas.
Now the practice of conducting open tournaments is such that anyone who arrives at a tournament, pays the registration fee, and gets accommodation cannot be denied admission unless there are serious reasons to do so.
Mr. Tehrani arrived in Moscow 12 Feb with a tourist visa, carrying a significant amount of US dollars to pay for the registration of about 30 Iranian players who intended to participate in the Aeroflot Open 2007 tournament.
For some reason, unknown to us, he seemed to omit declaring the money at the customs.
Because of the delays and procrastinations described above there was not enough accommodation left at the hotel to accommodate 30 persons. We, however, booked all the remaining rooms to accommodate 18 persons. We also booked air tickets and faxed a list of Iranian players to the Russian Embassy in Tehran.
But it was too late.
Mr. Pahlevanzader mentions that the Russian Consulate refused to issue visas to the Iranian players, but he should have added “at such a short notice”. Indeed, where in the world is it possible to issue visas for 17 persons at a few hours notice?
Mr. Tehrani then decided to return to Iran and asked the Organizer to refund the money. Mr. Pahlevanzadeh mentions the amount of $2000 withheld by the Organizer as a penalty. This is incorrect. It was not a penalty. The organizers had carried a certain amount of work in connection with the Iranian participation: rooms at the hotel and air tickets were booked, letters were sent and the necessary telephone calls made, etc. Naturally, the Organizer incurred costs. Thus, Mr. Tehrani stayed at the hotel (alone in a double room) for 6 nights, we also paid for booking rooms for 17 other Iranian players who were to come. Aeroflot, too, lost 17 passenger seats, as a result. All in all, our cost in this matter constitutes over $2000. Mr. Tehrani agreed to cover part of the cost and it was by mutual agreement (we emphasize – by mutual agreement!) that he received back the refund of $9600.
We now come to the crucial moment in the story. When returning the money and later Mr. Bakh more than once warned Mr. Tehrani in the presence of the Chief Arbiter, Deputy Chief Arbiter and 3 members of the Organizing Committee about the existing customs regulations with regard to carrying certain amounts of money across the border of the Russian Federation.
Mr. Tehrani was warned (and therefore knew) that an attempt to conceal the fact of carrying undeclared money above an amount of $3000 constitutes a crime and he was offered several lawful alternatives, one of them – to transfer the money to the account of the Iranian Chess Federation. He replied he had to consult with some people at the ICF and after the consultation over the phone he said it was all right – he found a way: a friend who has the permission to carry such an amount would help him.
The rest is known. The ICF is now appealing to the RCF to assist in getting Mr. Tehrani out of jail. Under the circumstances the only thing we can do is to make the facts known. The decision rests with the court of law.
Whatever the outcome, it is a sad story. But if the registration forms were sent by the Iranians in time, the Iranian players would get their visas and there would be no need to carry the money back. And if Mr. Tehrani remembered that every country has its laws and did not ignore the good advice given to him he would not be in jail now.
The moral of the story is this: do everything in time and strictly obey the rules and laws of the country you are visiting.
The Association of Chess Federations, together with the Aeroflot – Russian Air Lines Company, will arrange for meeting at the airport Sheremet'yevo-2 and transfer to the hotel of the participants and guests of the "Aeroflot Open 2007" Tournament. There will be 10 to 12 shuttle buses at the airport on 13 February. The buses will be departing, as they are filled by passengers from different flights. Please, watch for signs and listen to loud-speaker information at the airport and be patient.
Everyone will be taken care of.
Recently some potential participants of Aeroflot Open 2007 have met with difficulties in obtaining Russian visas.
To avoid delays and refusals to issue a visa, please, strictly comply with the requirements for filling in the registration form and submission of passports, photographs and other required documents. The requirements are placed on stands in all Russian Embassies and Consulates, and are also available on their web sites in the Internet.
Recently some Russian Embassies and Consulates have refused to issue visas based on faxed invitations, demanding that the originals be submitted.
If any Russian Embassy or Consulate refuses to issue a visa on the basis of a faxed invitation and demands that the original must be submitted, please, refer to the Russian Foreign Ministry instruction N 3175/KD, which permits issuing visas based on faxed invitations for the Aeroflot Open 2007 Tournament.
The Organizing Committee of the Aeroflot Open 2007 Tournament has reached an agreement with the Organizers of the world famous Dortmund event that the winner of Aeroflot Open 2007, section A1 will be invited to play in the main Grandmaster Tournament in Dortmund to be held from 22 June to 01 July 2007.
Dear participants and guests of Aeroflot Open 2007,
We call your attention to the fact that the Organizing Committee will start sending out invitations, which are required for you to get visas, from 25 December 2006.The invitations will be sent to the fax numbers indicated in your registration forms.
The Organizing Committee
To the attention of all players who have to get Russian visas to participate in the Aeroflot Open 2007 Tournament.
When applying for a visa to the Consulates of the Russian Embassies, it will be necessary to present an invitation faxed to you. Due to this, please, urgently send us your fax numbers to enable us to send you an invitation.
Considering this circumstance, we strongly recommend that the applications to participate in our event and transfer of money be made not later than 1 February 2007.
To those wishing to participate in "Aeroflot Open 2007".
Please, be informed that all payments to be made are indicated in euros. Those who wish to pay in US dollars must use the conversion rate of 1,3 USD for one euro. 1 euro = 1,3 USD.
The payments that have already been made in USD at a lower rate will not be considered as the valid payment.
Attention of participants
1) We ask you to indicate in your registration form the name of the participant with whom you would like to be accommodated in a two-bed room.
2) All information regarding visas and airtickets will be available on our site.