Association of Chess Professionals
The Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) is a not-for-profit organisation, the main purpose of which is the protection of professional chess players' rights, the practice and promotion of chess worldwide, in particular through the organisation of high-level chess tournaments and other chess events.
As of 10.5.2013, the ACP unites 974 chess professionals from 80 countries.Nearly all the World's top players, including World Champion Viswanathan Anand can be found among the ACP members. The ACP organizes important chess events, encourages and promotes the civil engagement of chess players into the decision-making process.
In December 2011 during the ACP General Assembly the new ACP Board was elected.The ACP Board consists of the ACP President Emil Sutovsky, ACP Board Director Yuri Garrett, ACP Secretary General Bartłomiej Macieja, ACP Treasurer Pavel Tregubov and Board Members Olena Boytsun, Giovanni Vescovi, Sergei Movsesian, Evgeniy Najer, Jeroen van den Berg.
The ACP Board coordinates all activities of the ACP. The main activities are the following:
- Organization of the high-level chess events
- Consultations of the ACP members on the topical issues
- Development of recommendations for FIDE, national federations and other members of the chess society on the actual problems
- Dialogue with the members through the ACP Newsletter as well as open dialogue
- Conduction of opinion polls – the ACP is the only organization in the chess world that develops and conducts the polls on the regular basis
- ACP Tour – the permanent up-to-date calculation of the player’s performance through the year
- Organization of the chess events – the ACP uses the most attractive and modern formats of the events in order to promote the game of chess.
- All members of the ACP have the right to be elected as well as to vote for the candidates of the ACP Board. The ACP Board coordinates all the activities of the ACP on a voluntary basis
- Members of the Board are in constant contact with each other using all possible means of communications. About 2–3 times a month there is a common gathering of the Board Members, when the issues are discussed live (over the conference call or, if possible, in person).
- The procedure of decision taking within the Board is the following: all crucial decisions go under the vote procedure. In most cases the decisions are taken with the majority of the votes; however, in the most important cases the 2/3 of the supportive votes are needed.
- The ACP Board is an international team of [chess] professionals united by the main aims of the organization: to protect the rights of all the actors in the chess society as well as to promote the game of chess worldwide.
The ACP Tour is the unique system that unites about 100 high-level chess tournaments in 25 countries. Best players of the ACP Tour qualify to participate in the annual ACP Cup – one of the most prestigious events of the global chess calendar. During 2004–2011 the ACP Tour was developed by Yannick Pelletier. Starting from 2012 Pavel Tregubov takes the role of the ACP Tour Coordinator.
The first ACP Board started its work in 2004 with the following people: the ACP's President French Grandmaster Joël Lautier, secretary Bartłomiej Macieja, Treasurer Almira Skripchenko, Deputy Treasurer Pavel Tregubov, Board members Igor Glek, Anna Hahn, Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Heine Nielsen and Yannick Pelletier. First members of the ACP were such prominent players as Viswanathan Anand, Péter Lékó, and Judit Polgár, but not Garry Kasparov.
The organisation was founded in 2003, the catalyst for its foundation being disagreement with the European Chess Union over the choice of hotel that all participants in the 2003 European Individual Chess Championship were required to stay in. It has since been involved in a number of matters relating to professional play.
The organisation has been compared by some to the Professional Chess Association, the body established by Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short as an organisation under which to play their 1993 World Championship having broken away from FIDE, the official governing body of chess. However, unlike the PCA, which was in competition with FIDE over the running of the world championship, the ACP initially stated that they "hope to work together with FIDE, as well as other international and national chess bodies" . In March 2005, however, Lautier commented that "at present FIDE avoids any contact with us, does not respond to our mails, and we don't expect any positive changes of the situation." 
The ACP has been extremely critical of FIDE on a number of issues, including its selection of Libya as the site for the 2004 Championships (thus putting the ability of Israeli players to take part under question) and aspects relating to the contracts with players in that championship.
As well as these political activities, the ACP has organised a number of online chess tournaments (open only to its members) on the Playchess server (run by Chessbase). On 31 July 2004, at a press conference held during the Dortmund tournament, Lautier announced plans for the inaugural ACP tour in which the eight ACP members who perform best in tournaments over the course of a year (as determined by a points scoring system) will play in a final event (the ACP Masters) to determine the best player of the season .
As the first act of his presidency in December 2011 Emil Sutovsky outlined the basis of his programme, which will be centered around the fostering of the interest of chess professionals. There are four main guidelines:
- the development of a think tank for promoting professional chess and organizing top-level events;
- the renewal of the communication strategy of the ACP, with special attention being paid to the mainstream and new media;
- working with corporate sponsors based on the transparency and time-effective decision process of the ACP;
- the increase in membership and representativeness.
From February 2012 till September 2013, the ACP has conducted four major events with the participation of world's best players: Women's World Rapid and Blitz Championships (Batumi, Georgia), ACP Cup (Riga, Latvia) ACP Golden Classic (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), ACP Women's Cup (Tbilisi, Georgia).
Thanks to the increased influence, ACP has managed to push through many important changes in the FIDE regulations, raising the prize funds and improving the financial conditions of the professional chess players.
- Home page
- Twitter of the ACP by ACP Board Member Olena Boytsun
- Five years of the ACP: results and development, Article by Olena Boytsun for Chessbase.com