In reply to Ulster's letter of resignation from the Irish Chess Union, the following letter has been sent to Drew Ferguson, UCU Secretary and David McAlister, UCU President.
Thank you for notifying us of the decision taken by the Ulster Chess Union at its meeting on 15th June. This issue was discussed at an executive meeting of the Irish Chess Union on 19th June. We regret that in your discussions no opportunity was given to the ICU to put forward its case (in particular in relation to finance) to your members. (For example, we introduced a special reduced rate for the unemployed, specifically to meet concerns reported to us from Ulster).
We are disappointed with your decision but agree that, in whatever circumstances, we will endeavour to maintain harmonious relationships.
We would like clarification of one point : whether the UCU is retaining responsibility for chess in all nine counties of Ulster or is limiting its organisation to the six counties of Northern Ireland.
We will continue as in the current year to welcome individual Ulster players as members of the Irish Chess Union and to offer them the same rights as all others to represent Ireland at international level.
In relation to events organised by the ICU (eg Irish Championships and Irish junior Championships), entry will, as always, be restricted to persons who are individually, members of the Irish Chess Union. In relation to representative events, where a team is picked by the UCU to represent the area, (National Club Championships, Junior Interprovincials, Interprovincials, etc) invitations could not be issued in the current circumstances. In addition, the annual grant to the Belfast Summerfest tournament would cease, as would its membership of the Grand Prix competition.
As regards your ambition to become members of FIDE, we could not support an attempt by the UCU to obtain recognition from Fide or the European Chess Union.
Eamonn Pitts, Chairman"