Interview with Ms. Sava Stoisavljevic, Secretary General on Silvio Danailov’s ticket in the forthcoming ECU elections and the first woman in history – chief arbiter of a Chess Olympiad


Ms. Stoisavljevic, we shall begin with the question which is not directly related to the elections in the European Chess Union. As the chief arbiter of the forthcoming Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, you have made the final inspection before the competition. Can you tell us something more about it?

You are right, I have spent four days in Khanty-Mansiysk with Werner Stubenvoll, the colleague from the Technical Administrative Panel. It was a very important visit, which among other things, assumed the defining of all the neccessary details. I am very satisfied by the cooperation with the organizers and I believe it is going to continue during the competition itself.

It seems that the media, particularily in Russia, gave a great deal of importance to your visit?

Yes, I have seen in many articles myself, and in a certain way, there are two reasons for this. Probably, the first reason is that I am the first woman in history that is going to take this important function, and the other one is that everyone have expected the effects of our visit, in relation to the controversial information that have been arriving during the very preparations. After everything that has been seen, I really think that we are going to have a very successful competition with excellent playing conditions.

What does this function mean for you as an arbiter and do you have tremor?

For me, this function represents the crown of my career of the chess arbiter which has not, actually, been a very long one. The acknowledgement and trustworthiness that I have been given indeed represent a great liability. There is no tremor, but there is great responsibility and constant examination whether all the details have been properly checked. Yet, the success itself is not going to depend solely on me, since the team of the arbiters consists of 130 members from many different countries.

To which extent your duties of preparing for the Olympiad allowed you to get involved in the elections in the European Chess Union?

When you shorten your sleeping time to three hours, and use your flights to prepare the materials, then you have a pleanty of time (laughter). Not making fun of this, I often like to repeat something which Silvio Danailov said upon one occasion: “I am a happy man because my job is at the same time also my hobby…” I really love chess, and when I finish work, I sit and play a few blitz games on the Internet…

We can see from your biography that you have been an extremely talented chess player?

Yes, in my country I won many titles and medals in all junior categories. I have been winning since the age of seven, and as a very young girl I attained the conditions for the title of the FIDE master and I won the first norm for the title of the international master. However, I soon discovered that I was not able to dedicate to chess in such a manner, but I remaind faihtfull to it through arbitration and organization of the competitions. I rarely play at some tournament, usually in rapid  chess, but those are the moments that I indeed enjoy in.

Since when have you known Silvio Danailov?

I had the opportunity to meet him during the European Team Championship 2009 in Novi Sad , where I also used to be the chief arbiter, but we did not have any special communication then. I have to admit that I was surprised when he invited me to become a member of his team, since we did not have an ocassion to cooperate before, but he told me that many of his friends recommended him to invite me.

Have you been thinking for a long time?

Sincerely, I did not do any thinking. I know pretty much on Danailov, as of a high professional and successful businessman, and I also liked the rest of the team that he gathered around him. I also have to admit that I was flattered because someone who is so much important and of a high standing in the chess world judged my work to be enough worthy to show me such a confidence and nominate me for the high function in the European Chess Union. The true is that this is my first time since I have been dealing with chess to get involved in chess politics and to make my choice in taking one of the sides. Up to now I mostly used to be an arbiter, or I would preform some administrative duties, being completely neutral regarding the elections.

Why do you think Silvio Danailov as a presidental candidate and your team are the best solution for leading the European Chess Union in the forthcoming period?

You may expect me to say: “Because we have the best programme.”  I really think that we do have the best programme, but it is the task that is not so much difficult to complete. The problems emerge when the elections are finished, and the promises are to be fulfilled. I cannot see any other people who are not in our team that would be more capable of attracting important sponsors to the chess world and make the European Chess Union a recpectable organisation. Just take a look on the fact how much money from the sponsorships Danailov has brought to the chess by his wise strokes for the past ten years and you shall understand what I am talking about. I give my best compliments to the candidates from the other two “tickets”, some of them being my good friends, but I am convinced that the delagates who are going to vote will recognize that we are the team which does not only have the best programme but also the most realistic ability to realize it.

If Silvio Danailov gets  elected for the president, what can you promise as a new secretary general of the Europen Chess Union?

The same things are true both of me and the other team members. There are about twenty organisations of the European Championships behind me, as well as the same number of competitions at the world and European level where I were arbiter. There is almost no representative of some European federation with whom I did not cooperate by now and exchanged tens of e-mails. I can declare to them: if I shall be elected, I shall continue to work in the same way as up to the the present! It may sound immodest, but I strongly believe that my previous work in chess represents the recommendation for the time that is to come.


Mrs. Sava Stoisavljevic (Serbia)-Secretary General- CV 

Mrs. Sava Stoisavljevic was born in Novi Sad, Serbia in 1974. She is graduate of Economic University in Novi Sad. She has advanced level in English and  intermediate level of Greek and Russian.

She began to play chess at age of 6. Mrs. Stoisavljevic was Youth Champion of Bosnia and Herzegovina few times, and became Youth Champion of Yugoslavia in 1992 and 1993.

Sava Stoisavljevic has been awarded with the title of women FIDE master in 2001, she has one WIM norm and won the National League in Serbia and Bosnia& Herzegovina few times. 

Mrs. Stoisavljevic has a title of International Chess Arbiter, she is a member of the highest chess arbiters group “A” and official FIDE lecturer. She is nominated for Chief Arbiter of the Chess Olympiad in Khanty Mansiysk and she is the first woman in history to occupy this position. 

Sava arbitrated in different international competitions, the most important among them are: Chess Olympiads (Bled’2002, Torino’2006, Dresden’2008), Women’s FIDE Grand Prix Tournament, Nalchik’2010, World Women Championship’2007, World Junior (or Youth) Championships’2003, 2005, 2006.

Beside this, Mrs. Stoisavljevic was Project Coordinator or Project Manager of more than 20 international chess events and European Championships. 

Some of the events which she organized are declared as the best organized with record number of participants: Individual European Chess Championship, Budva’2009, European Youth Championships’2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, etc.

Presently Mrs. Stoisavljevic is European Chess Union Grand – Prix Director, Secretary of the Balkan Chess Association and member of the FIDE Qualification Committee.


You can download the original article and CV in pdf format from here:

1. WE HAVE THE MOST REALISTIC ABILITY TO REALIZE OUR PROGRAMME- an exclusive interview with Mrs. Sava Stoisavljevic

2. Mrs.Sava Stoisavljevic-CV

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