Adapting to Covid-19
Chess Emerges from Dungeon
This summer’s Biel Chess Festival, one of the iconic chess events on the European chess calendar, will take place between July 18 and July 29.
While normal OTB (over the board) chess has already returned in some small pockets in Europe, the Biel event will mark the definitive return of prestigious chess events.
Social distancing and hygiene are of course to be respected, as well as the use of plexi-glass between the opponents. The boards and pieces are to be cleaned after each round. You can read the 5-page summary of steps taken to ensure that the virus will not spread in the playing hall HERE.
The diagram above (blog header) is inspired from today’s issue of The Hindu, which interviews Indian superstar Harikrishna (#26 rated in the world today).
General re-Opening Catches FIDE by Surprise!?
Last week’s online meeting of the FIDE leadership ended without any firm committment on the date of return to normal activity from our illustrious FIDE. At present, FIDE has not made it a priority to return to normal.
There was, obviously, talk of getting the Candidates Tournament up and running (it was cancelled at the halfway point on March 26 in Russia because of Covid-19 complications) and FIDE hopes to be able to say sometime more about this later this month. When and where the tournament might be resumed, for example.
However, there are naysayers out there that believe that it will be some time before FIDE actually gets its act together and resumes normal activity. The Covid-19 created a real crisis in FIDE: for the first time since 1939, all over the board activity stopped.
Since Dvorkovich became president in 2018, the FIDE leadership has been characterized by general incompetence and total lack of transparency. The Covid-19 crisis accentuated the rot in the organization.
No one on the inner group that Dvorkovich has chosen to run FIDE has any skill-set or abilities that are applicable to a large international organization like FIDE.
Unlike the previous FIDE administration, Dvorkovich has surrounded himself with pawns. Gone are the business leaders, Phd’s and professional administrators.
FIDE seems to be much more interested in investing in ONLINE chess, and is clearly not aware or simply uninterested that the rest of the world is anxious to return to some sort of normality sooner than later.
Fortunately for chess organizers, like those in Biel , FIDE does not really run the chess world, but instead limits itself to coordinating a finite set of World Championships and their qualifiers.
If FIDE were to never return to the OTB world, then the slack could easily be picked up by others….