Intel, Sony & Amazon act on Coronavirus Uncertainty
Should FIDE cancel UAE congress?
Does FIDE’s leadership really know what it is doing? Last week FIDE director-general Emil Sutovsky confidently predicted — on his personal FaceBook page — that the coronavirus panic would end sometime this week.
As we can witness today, the exact opposite has happened and the number of deaths and confirmed cases are rising daily.
Yet, FIDE has not even made any public mention or reference to coronavirus on any of its social media apparati.
With little more than 2 weeks before an Extraordinary FIDE Congress in the UAE is scheduled that will bring together hundreds of FIDE’s representatives from all over the world, it is time for FIDE’s leadership — including director-general Emil Sutovsky — to take a good, sober look at what is happening in the world and then do some deep soul searching.
Companies pull out of Barcelona’s MWC
What is happening in Barcelona, Spain is something that FIDE should pay very close attention to. The world’s biggest tech show — Mobile World Congress (MWC) — is scheduled to take place at just about the same time as FIDE is supposed to meet in the UAE.
Already a number of the world’s biggest tech companies have pulled out, citing UNCERTAINTY and CONCERN about coronavirus. Just to mention a few of the biggest names: Amazon, Intel, Sony, LG, Ericsson. The actual list (LINK) of companies that have cancelled as of half an hour ago is 16, and this is expected to grow by the hour.
What is ESPECIALLY important for FIDE to consider here is that Spain has only 2 confirmed cases of the virus; the UAE has 8 (!).
POST SCRIPT: It was just announced this afternoon that the Barcelona organizers are considering cancelling the event all together. A final decision will be made this Friday.
FIDE reluctant to cancel UAE plans?
I think that much of FIDE’s reluctance to act up to now on the coronavirus issue has to do with sponsorship money, not any risk or uncertainty related to health issues.
The 2020 World Chess Championship is slated to take place later this year in the UAE, with atleast a 2 million dollar guraranteed prize fund. Should FIDE cancel the upcoming Extraordinary FIDE Congress at the end of this month, then FIDE could risk losing its sponsorship.
But should this be a good enough reason to justify ignoring the coronavirus and the potential health risks to hundreds of FIDE’s members?
It is time for FIDE’s leadership to assume some responsibility, come clean and acknowledge that there are real, legitimate concerns, fears and uncertainties behind the present world wide health crisis caused by the coronavirus.
Remember that the English government just yesterday declared the virus an ‘imminent threat’. That is not panic. That is a responsible decision.
To be continued