Canada’s dilemma: Garry or Kirsan?
With the 2014 FIDE election just around the corner, it seems like a good time to reflect on how Canada should vote. Those of you who have been faithful readers of this blog since it began back in 2009 will know that I don’t often shrink from calling a spade a spade. I have criticized FIDE, Kirsan as well as Kasparov. Often. (Sometimes all in the same post!) And why not: there is a lot to criticize!
If we all had a personal vote in the FIDE elections, then for my part, I would abstain! Sorry Kirsan and Garry!
BUT I don’t have a vote. None of us do…only the member-federations have that privilege. How should Canada’s chess federation (CFC) vote? Back in 2010 I argued that the CFC should support Karpov (Kasparov).
Chess federations are NOT individuals, and I believe that it is vital for those incharge of their federation to vote NOT according to their personal opinion, but instead to vote according to the best interests of their country.
What are Canada’s best interests? Notice that I do not ask ‘What are the CFC’s best interests?’ For the Canadian chess federation, it makes little difference which candidate wins: Canada is a minor player in the chess world, participates in the regular FIDE-calender events and pays its dues on time. A federation such as the CFC–which is struggling to survive day to day in a non-chess country–has nothing to gain; Kasparov or Kirsan at the top will make no difference.
BUT, the CFC should vote in a manner that best serves the country’s interests. The CFC should vote according to Canada’s long-held values and beliefs. And historical alliances. Canada, its closest neighbour (US), western Europe and the Commonwealth share the same values and beliefs. Unless there is a very good reason to do otherwise, we should support one another. Besides, everyone recognizes that it is time for FIDE to see a change at the top…
Voting for Kasparov (regardless of what one thinks of him personally) is in Canada’s best interests. If we don’t like the way he runs FIDE in the next 4 years, then we can always vote him out in 2018. The present leadership of the CFC has already decided to support Kirsan…but one of the perks of living in a free country is our right to change our minds.