A word from the President of AIDEF

Dear ephile friends,


Chess: It is worth remembering that the origins of our game are lost in the mists of time between legends and an often controversial historical reality.


Chess is undoubtedly an Asian game, an origin located in the north of India around 600 AD is today widely accepted. The direct ancestor described by texts is the chatranj that the Persians would have received from the Indians. It was introduced in the South of Europe from the tenth century and the chess game as we know it today has existed since the beginning of the 17th century. Or nearly 400 years without any major modification except the contribution of the pendulum and the modification of the style of the pieces: the internationally adopted Staunton style dates from 1850. However, it will be necessary to wait for the creation of FIDE and the congress of 1929 in Venice to have the first official international regulation of chess.


We all know that chess is one of the most popular puzzle games in the world. It is practiced by millions of people in multiple forms: in family, between friends, in public places, in club, in tournament, by correspondence, against computers, on Internet, at amateur and professional level.


Since its introduction in Europe, the game of chess has enjoyed prestige and a special aura. He has largely inspired culture, in particular literature, painting and cinema, we call him "the king of games".


The game of chess has undeniable educational virtues: it makes it possible to develop logical thinking, to improve the ability to solve problems, to improve attention and concentration, to develop imagination and creativity, develop the capacity to foresee the consequences of an action, to promote memory, to strengthen self-confidence, to understand that it is often in the long term that one is rewarded for one's efforts, and so on !


Generally, the game allows the child to build himself, to encourage his autonomy and his responsibility because it allows him to work and discover by pleasure, to invent, create and transform his environment, to work focus and organize his thinking. These different notions should encourage and motivate the teaching of chess in schools.


It can also be argued that the game of chess, by mobilizing a lot of rational resources, has reduced violence. The intellectual conversion of warrior moods is not easy. but chess is also a dream machine, one can imagine that they contribute to it.


AIDEF is an association not only sporting but also cultural, created on February 24, 2007 in Cannes - France.


Our 9 founding members were the Royal Belgian Chess Federation, the Francophone Chess Federation of Belgium, the French Chess Federation, the Swiss Chess Federation, the Monegasque Chess Federation, the Luxembourg Chess Federation, the Tunisian Chess Federation and the Aosta Valley Chess Committee.


AIDEF is made up of chess federations of member states and governments of the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) or of French-speaking regional entities established for the practice of chess, in all countries of the world. .


To date, we have 47 members from 41 different countries.


Since the 81st FIDE Congress held during the September 2010 chess olympiads in Khanty-Mansiysk - Russia, AIDEF has been officially recognized by FIDE as an international affiliated organization.


Our goal is to assist in the development and teaching of the practice of chess in all of our members' territories, to promote and encourage the use of the French language in the world of chess and to bring together women and men of race, religion, color, different horizons having in common chess and French, and this, in order to allow the sporting, artistic, intellectual and moral values ​​that convey our noble game , to spread through them.


By promoting exchanges and relationships between French-speaking chess players, AIDEF wants to create a space for mutual aid and sustainable development. Sharing more experience, human and material resources while creating joint events, this is the goal we have set for ourselves.


AIDEF therefore offers the possibility to individuals from the four corners of the planet, having in common chess and the French language which act as links between them and that nothing would have brought together if it was not precisely the language and the passion for this game, to come together in an international association which represents them and asserts its status as a credible and respected interlocutor with public and private official institutions as well as with financial partners. We are establishing concrete bases for collaboration within the French-speaking international space, concluding partnerships, creating relationships, obtaining advantages and privileges of which our members are the direct beneficiaries.


The "RIDEF" - International Meetings of Francophone Chess - is our major event which has been taking place annually since 2013. It is gaining more and more importance each year and has become an expected global event.


It is an opportunity for all our members to meet not only to participate in the competitions awarding the various titles of champion and champion of La Francophonie, but also to share moments of conviviality conducive to developing north-south mutual aid between Francophones.

The first seven editions took place successively in Marrakech (Morocco), Beirut (Lebanon), Montreal (Canada-Quebec), Menton (France), Yasmine Hammamet (Tunisia), Tirana (Albania) and Paris (France).


This year, Tunisia will organize this event for the second time, a partnership having been concluded with the tour operator Go-makkah in order to be able to offer excellent conditions of play and accommodation to participants and accompanying persons in Djerba,


In addition to the main classic tournament, many activities are scheduled, including a FIDE coaching seminar, the blitz championship, a day of excursions, dinner and New Year's celebrations and the traditional closing gala.


Let us not forget that since July 1, 2017, following the decision taken at the FIDE Congress of Baku - Azerbaijan in 2016, the RIDEF have obtained the same status as the Commonwealth or Arab League championships, which implies that titles and standards are directly awarded to the former. In 2019, this enabled Milanto Harifidy Ralison to offer his 2nd title of International Master in Madagascar in Paris.


I am convinced that the health problems we are currently facing and the pandemic we are going through will only be bad memories when we welcome you to Djerba la Douce, sometimes also known as the Island of Dreams "


I hope to see you there even more than in previous editions so that we can all celebrate together in joy and good humor the transition to the year 2021!


Una Sumus people


Patrick Van Hoolandt, President of AIDEF