Coffee,News, FIDE and so on…
Thank God it is Friday!
Congratulations! You have survived another week…in the Age of Trump we must celebrate each achievement, no matter how small. It might be our last! So you have a great weekend, enjoy yourself and remember: Carpe Diem!
Jerusalem GP another FIDE Miscalculation?
On paper the Jerusalem Grand Prix was supposed to be a real success story: Israel – which had never before held a supertournament – now playing host to the prestigious 4th and final FIDE qualification tournament for the Candidates Tournament. The culmination of Dvorkovich’s efforts in 2019 to bring chess to the world and open up new avenues to sponsorship!?
But things quickly went south before even the opening ceremony took place. All that the completely unimpressed Israeli press could write about the tournament was how Ilya Merenzon was ‘angry’ and disappointed with the Israeli government’s refusal to fund or get involved with any aspect of the tournament. They did not want to hear about it!
At the opening ceremony, no government official of any kind showed up. Infact, neither did Dvorkovich! (He had attended each of the previous 3 Grand Prix opening ceremonies – Moscow, Riga and Hamburg) And to make things worse, the chess playing public has really been critical of the fact that of the first 16 games played, only one had a decisive result.
I don’t know how I would have felt had I been in Merenzon’s shoes, but I do know that I would have never said anything – especially to the press – that might be seen as less than grateful to the Israeli government for being able to hold a chess tournament in central Jerusalem! Especially even BEFORE the tournament begins…
In any case, yet another disaster for the chess community. And for Dvorkovich personally. He is the one who partnered with Merenzon. If FIDE’s flagship tournament can not get any respect in Israel – which has a proud and rich chess tradition – then what chance does FIDE have in the rest of the world? Time to rethink your strategy, Arkady?
We can only speculate why Dvorkovich did not attend the Jerusalem opening ceremony. But approaching the half-way point of his term as FIDE president, he would have expected to have made more of a positive dent on the image of chess.
For the second time in as many weeks, key statesmen have avoided major international european chess events: first in Monte Carlo, Prince Albert did not appear at the ECU gala where Dvorkovich attended…And now Jerusalem where not one politico showed up for Israel’s greatest chess event.
July 20: World Chess Day ?!
The more things change, the more they stay the same! Case in point is what happened yesterday (December 12) at the UN. It must have been ‘feel good’ day, as 3 completely useless resolutions promoting world peace, solidarity and tolerance had very little trouble passing, even in the presence of the Saudis.
Mind you, no mention yesterday of the plight of millions suffering and/or dieing needlessly in Yemen, Niger, Siria or any of dozens of other ‘forgotten’ trouble spots in the world.
But one positive note: July 20 is designated ‘World Chess Day’ from now on. Whoopee Doo!
You can imagine my perplexity when I read this news. You see, I wrote an article here on this blog some 2 years ago about a little known fact that July 20 was ‘International Chess Day’, designated as such by UNESCO back in 1966!
Yesterday’s resolution by the UN just goes to show how little known this fact REALLY is. That, or somebody spiked their Xmas punch!
Well, I suppose any mention of chess is better than none…and HOPEFULLY this time around people will not be so forgetful…
To Be Continued…