European chess champion Meier: I’d rather go to Uruguay

“Georg Meier’s move to the Uruguayan Chess Federation is perfect,” says the German Chess Federation’s website. This is followed by a long article about the career of the 34-year-old grandmaster and his 123 appearances in the national team. At best, wrong leads can be found about the motives for his departure. Is he moving away? Has he discovered his connection to his mother’s homeland? Neither nor. Georg Meier is fed up with his treatment by the German Chess Federation: “My reputation and my dignity have been trampled for almost a year and a half. I have to get out of this toxic environment. “

From his point of view, it started with an insult that Elisabeth Pähtz tweeted. The German top player counters that Meier had previously teased not only against her, but also against others. Pähtz paid for the insult. She reciprocated by suing Meier for having published her insults from a private chat, and the Erfurt district court agreed with her. The dispute escalated further in an open letter that Meier initiated. The majority of national players demanded and achieved the dismissal of national coach Dorian Rogozenco, who is said to have preferred Pähtz. Even after that, the bullying by fellow players and officials continued against him, claims Meier.

In retrospect, Pähtz says: “We all make mistakes, and it is unrealistic to believe that they only happen unilaterally.” Research shows that in the case of bullying, there is often a fluid transition between victim, viewer and perpetrator. And that bullying leads to even more bullying. In the German Chess Federation, personal criticism and insults are also common at the official level. He parted ways with long-time employees and his chess youth in a dispute.

“No need to prostitute me”

Chess Federation President Ullrich Krause announces the association’s regrets about Meier’s departure via a spokesman. The question of whether he can confirm that one is happy internally to get rid of a trouble spot he leaves unanswered. In response to the national players’ dispute, Krause had announced a code of conduct. According to information from this newspaper, the Chess Federation President has a draft that was never passed on to the squad players. Instead, the new advisor for competitive sports should deliver a new draft.

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When Germany became European champions in 2011, Meier won the decisive game on the second board in the last round to make it 2.5: 1.5 against Armenia. Arkadij Naiditsch, who was playing on the first board at the time, moved to Azerbaijan in 2015 for financial reasons. When his contract there expired, Naiditsch wanted to return in 2020, but the German Chess Federation refused to allow him to resume – to Meier’s horror.

He is now turning his back on the German Chess Federation as the second European champion. In future he will represent the country in which his grandparents sheltered and his mother grew up. The Uruguayan Chess Federation, which applied for a change to the World Chess Federation on Sunday, will neither pay him entry fees nor invitations to high-ranking tournaments. As a bank clerk and amateur, says Meier, “I don’t need to prostitute myself. I just want to play chess in a comfortable environment. ”

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