SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
I think we can all agree that there is nothing more that either Karpov or Ilyumzhinov can add to their campaign that would be meaningful or might have an impact on the FIDE delegates’ decision on how to vote or that hasn’t already been said at some point or other during the past 6 months of campaigning. Both candidates have exhausted their arsenal of political weaponry (They have exhausted us!) They have said everything that there is to say…maybe they even said too much. Now it is time to vote and then to move forward. This is not a question of life or death. FIDE will survive regardless….
Yesterday it was announced that the final , desperate attempt by Karpov and gang to steal the election had failed. For 3 long months–every day without fail–we were reminded by the Karpov campaign that the Court of arbitration in Switzerland would likely disqualify Ilyumzhinov and majestically put Karpov on the FIDE throne. That there would be no need for a vote count. We were told this ,over and over again, until some amongst us even began to believe it!
CAS made its decision yesterday: the case was dismissed. Not a very remarkable victory for Kirsan–small infact–but a DEVASTATING loss of credibility for Karpov and his campaign managers no matter how you paint it. And especially his lawyers, who had not read with sufficient attention the rules and regulations of FIDE. Quite simply, CAS made the only decision that they could: in the spirit of fair play and in the spirit of the rules of FIDE.
At the end of the day, it was common sense and intelligence –not partisan politics–that emerged the winner.
We can not blame Karpov’s campaign to try to paint the CAS decision as something other than the setback that it is. Fortunately, we do not have to endure any nonsense that would try to make us believe that the CAS decision vindicated their desperate efforts. Both recognize that this battle is lost…
However, you can still see in their eyes (the recent videos from Khanty Mansiysk today) that they both want to keep fighting. That , if they could somehow manage it, it would be just grand for the FIDE election to continue for another 6 months or so…both have loved being on the centre stage and having the paparazzi close behind them.
The Karpov campaign very much reminds me of the Monty Python skit about the Black Knight, where , despite having all limbs cut off, he refuses to stop fighting. ”Just a flesh wound…”
Fortunately for the rest of all of us , this nonsense ends the moment the vote is announced sometime later today. Checkmate ends the game. Atleast for another 4 years….
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS