From inside the bubble…
We are all waiting for the ‘official’ numbers from World Chess. Please, not ‘Alice in Wonderland’ numbers again, Mr. Merenzon! But why should we expect different? The world of chess-organizers, apparently, is a world of bull-shitters and half-liars; sleazy salesmen; promises of 600 million ‘regular’ chess players world wide; or of 23 million ‘members’ at ChessCom; and other inflated sexual fantasies.
Look at reality: just a week after the Carlsen – Caruana match in London, we are back at square one: the World Rapid and Blitz Championships has no official sponsor (or atleast no name, as of writing this) and is forced to find a reluctant organizer back in mother Russia.
Didn’t Dvorkovich say that this would stop when he came to the FIDE presidency? True, Saudi Arabia did not pan out this year (or was it not FIDE who took the tournament away from Saudi Arabia !?), but this likelyhood was known many months ago. It could have been anticipated…
It should have been anticipated! Dvorkovich & Co. just sat on their hands. Surely a sponsor (with a name) could have been arranged before now. A city somewhere outside of the usual handful of fall backs could have been found.
Or, maybe, FIDE tried all of this….and found out that NO ONE was interested. This I think is the most likely scenario…after all, Dvorkovich is no slacker.
IN ANY CASE, now those players who want to participate in St.Petersburg have less than 3 weeks to make arrangements, and worse of all, they have to go to their nearest Russian consulate…and bleed for a visa.
FIDE’s usual way of saying ‘Merry Xmas’ to chess players…the more things change, the more they remain the same!