Coffee, WADA, FIDE and related Nonsense
Tata Steel a Big Success!
Congratulations to the organizers of this year’s Tata Steel (Wijk Aan Zee) tournament! It was definitely a challenge given the pandemic conditions that are worsening even as I write. But in the end everything paid off and few will soon forget the exciting final rounds.
Russia accepts CAS 2-year ban
Rusada, the Russian Anti Doping Agency, has decided against appealing the December CAS decision of a 2-year ban on Russian sports. This puts to rest the long saga of endless accusations and denials of state sponsored doping. Read more HERE.
Hopefully, anyway. Here on this blog I have been following this story as it developed. For those who are not current, the following podcast gives a pretty good summary:
In essence, for the next two years (starting December 2020), Russia will not be able to bid, organize or host any world class sporting event. And only those Russian athletes who have not been directly embroiled in the doping scandal will be permitted to take part in world class events such as the Olympics.
But more to the point, Russian athletes will not be able to represent Russia — they will have to be neutral — will not be able to display the Russian flag or play the Russian anthem. Nor will any political representative of Russia be allowed to attend.
As an example of how things will work, this past weekend the Russian luger, Roman Repilov, won a world championship event in his sport, but could not represent Russia or have the Russian national anthem play when he was awarded the gold medal:
His name had never gone beyond the narrow circle of his discipline, but Roman Repilov has just made history. By winning the gold medal at the world luge championships, Sunday January 31 in Königssee (Germany), he became the first Russian crowned world champion under neutral colors and flag, since the suspension of his country for a period of two years.
According to the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), handed down last December, Roman Repilov was not engaged for Russia, but on behalf of the Russian Luge Federation. He was wearing a blue outfit from Russian Olympic Committee outfit supplier Bosco, but the Russian flag was not clearly visible.
After his victory, the Russian anthem was not played. It has been replaced by the official music of the International Luge Federation. Finally, his name was accompanied by a simple white flag illustrated with a blue luger on the giant screen displaying the results of the competition.
FIDE remains silent
FIDE and the chess world will likely be one of the most affected sporting communities as a result of CAS’ decision. Dvorkovich’s intention to organize world class events in Russia during the two year period of the ban is now impossible.
Several days after CAS delivered its final statement in December, Dvorkovich wrote on the official FIDE social media his intention to organize several Grand Prix’ and an Olympiad in Sochi! For the past several weeks, FIDE has not retracted these plans and Dvorkovich seems to have disappeared from public sight. No alternative plans for the above events have been made public. The chess world is in limbo…
FIDE to destroy chess rating system?
FIDE provoked a firestorm among the grandmaster chess community in the middle of last month when they announced that from now on FIDE will ELO rate online events on the same basis as over the board tournaments.
Almost universally, leading players protested the controversial decision, some going as far as claiming that this will destroy modern chess. Online chess is a whorehouse of feverishly compulsive cheating-
As for my own opinion, I can only lament the short sightedness of the Dvorkovich leadership. This clearly shows that he has no respect for the game or for chess traditions. He failed to get any comprehensive feedback from the chess community before going all in in online chess and decided to simply deny the reality of the amount of cheating that is taking place…