Estonian Draughts Association, member of the World Draughts Federation (FMJD), is the organiser of the World Championship in international draughts this year. The competition will take place in Tallinn, Hotel Europe. 100 top players from almost 50 countries are expected to participate.
“Estonia is seen as a great innovator in the world, who, despite its small number of inhabitants, is the forerunner in various fields,” says Harry Otten, President of FMJD. “Preparations for the upcoming competitions are going very well and I am sure that all participants will be satisfied with the hosts.”
„This is definitely a great honor and opportunity for the Estonian Draughts Association to show Estonia as a top player on the world arena,” says Tarmo Tulva, President of the Estonian Draughts Association. “Also for Estonian draughts players, it is a unique opportunity to participate in such an event. Previously, the European Championships have been held in Tallinn twice (in 2008 and 2014), and also several other title tournaments have been here, but it is the first time for the Estonian Draughts Association, that we were trusted to organize an event of such scale.”
From the organizing country, 2 female and at least 3 male players can participate in the competitions. The previous World Championship took place in 2015 in the city of Emmen in the Netherlands. As the top countries, the Netherlands and Russia have divided the organizing rights during the past twenty years. World’s top draughts players are also expected from Canada, Ukraine, Ivory Coast, Brazil, Latvia, Congo, etc.
The World Championship in international draughts to be held in October this year, takes place in Estonia for the first time. Earlier, the Youth Championship has been organized in Estonia, but for the first time, the right to find out the absolute world leader in draughts was given to the Estonian Draughts Association. “We got credit during the world title match, which was successfully held in Tallinn in 2013, where the world champion A.Georgiev won from the 2009 champion A. Shvartsman,” says Janek Mäggi, President of the European Draughts Confederation.
„The right to organise championships is mostly given to the big sports countries, therefore this is a great honor for Estonia,“ says Janek Mäggi. “The volume of organising such competitions is vast, the total budget is up to several hundred thousand euros. Good co-operation with the Ministry of Culture, the Cultural Endowment, the Gambling Tax Council and sponsors is essential for organizing such an event.”
World Championships in draughts take place every two years. Contestants are expected from almost 50 different countries. The competition will be held according to the rules of international draughts, which is played on a 10×10 game board, differing from Russian draughts, which is also popular in Estonia. Compared to the rules of Russian draughts, there are a few modifications.
The first world champions in international draughts were selected in the end of the 19th century. During the last decades, the top players have been mostly Russian draughts players, who have won the world champion titles since 1984, with one exception – in 1994, when the Latvian draughts player Guntis Valneris won the tournament. Until 1990, the country of origin of Russian draughts players was named USSR. The current world champion is the young Dutch player Roel Boomstra.
World Draughts Federation (FMJD, www.fmjd.org) was founded in 1947 by four federations, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. Its main purpose was to regulate the competition on the world championship. From 1897 onwards, world champions had been proclaimed by France and the Netherlands, which gave rise to the desire by a number of countries to have more accurate competition and tournaments, which led to the establishment of an international organization. By today, the FMJD has grown to an organization with close to seventy participating national federations.
The FMJD has become a member of Sportaccord, which unites all internationally renown sports federations. As such, the FMJD membership (and that of the FIDE and WBF (bridge) is part of a more general movement towards integration of mind sports in the regular sports arenas.
European Draughts Confederation (www.europedraughts.org) was founded in 1998 in Tallinn by the federations of 12 countries. Today, the confederation has 26 member countries. The first president of EDC was Jacek Pawlicki from Poland and until the end of 2007 the head office of EDC was located in Poland. The current president of EDC is Janek Mäggi and the head office of EDC is the Chess House in Tallinn. EDC oganises European championships in draughts and its task is to promote draughts as sports in Europe as well as attract new member countries.
Estonian Draughts Association (www.kabeliit.ee) is an umbrella organization of Estonian draughts clubs and is also member of the Estonian Olympic Committee. The association is also member of The World Draughts Federation and the founding member of the European Draughts Confederation (EDC, www.europedraughts.org).