39th Chess Olympiad Khanty-Mansiysk 2010 (Flight Chaos)
Team participation threatened by travel arrangements for Olympiad
Mark Crowther - Friday 17th September 2010
The chaos over the charter flights to and from Khanty-Mansiysk reported in details at ChessVibes: http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/olympiad-charter-flights-changed-again/ may threaten the participation of a number of teams. It isn't so much getting there, it is the return flights that are proving the final straw, some of which have been pushed back 24 hours. This is causing severe inconvenience as may be seen below.
There has been discussion on a mailing list inadvertantly created by the organisers in their e-mail to the officials of the Olympiad teams when they didn't blind copy the details of the changes to the officials.
Here are some comments on the difficulties.
Kebadu Belachew of the Ethiopian Chess Federation has asked for the flights to revert back to their original schedule.
I think this might be a bit too late to change flight schedules. It creates financial difficulty to change the first part of our flights and there is no guaranty we can find flights at this short time. I would assume this would be the same for many more federations if not all federations. Would it be possible to revert back to your original schedule?
Nick Faulks who has been fighting about the organisational chaos for some time commented.
I don't think they can do much about the departure time, because it has been clear for some time that the charter organiser made a mistake with the time zone. I drew this to the attention of Ugra weeks ago, but was evidently ignored.
I have been fighting on this issue for months, and have received absolutely no support from other federations ( nor, I should say, from the Karpov camp ). It is well known that the FIDE Board member charged with overseeing the event has suggested that, rather than complaining, our team should simply not go. He may now get his wish.
Jeroen Bosch of the Dutch Chess Federation has written:
Changing the charter times at such short notice is of course completely unacceptable.
The Dutch Chess Federation loses the connecting flight tickets in that case. And I am sure that numerous other participating teams would lose their connecting flight tickets as well.
If you do not change back the flight schedule we demand full financial compensation.
Dirk J.A. De Ridder of the Belgian Chess Federeration:
I do not know if the arrangment of the charter flight times is a big joke or just a simple nightmare!
By all means this is extremely non-professional (to remain polite) and I feel real difficulties to show some understanding. Once more our flight times are changed which will result in at least one person missing an already paid flight !