SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
KARPOV OPENS CHESS SCHOOL IN PRAGUE
Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov (born 1951) is one of the greatest players of all time and certainly must rank up there as one of the most successful sports stars of his generation. Even though long retired from competitive chess, Karpov is still remarkably active in the chess world and always on the go. Infact, he spends more time in hotels than he does at home!
Where ever Karpov goes, the media and local politicians cluster around him. Last year he and Kasparov tried to storm the gates of FIDE, but with little success. Just last week Karpov was in the news for heading some company to produce a new car (Karpov is reputed to be fabulously wealthy, having made billions in the oil industry)
And Karpov has his own MacDonald’s-like franchise: The Karpov Chess School. This weekend it was announced that Karpov was going to open a chess school in Prague:
Karpov to open chess school in Prague Tuesday
14/6 Tass 30
PRAGUE, June 14 (Itar-Tass) — Renowned Russian chess player Anatoly Karpov is to open a chidlren’s chess school bearing his name in the Czech capital on Tuesday. The unique educational establishment is being brought into being on the basis of the Aurora chess club.
Karpov arrived here together with his wife and a daugther on Sunday. He took part in the opening ceremony of a Czech Chess Trophy 2011 tournament.
Speaking of the new chess school, the famous chess grandmaster pointed out, “We shall give methodological assistance to the school and monitor the training of sportsmen”. He is also planning “in prospect to organize a tournament involving children representing various children’s schools”.
At the Czech Chess Trophy 2011 opening ceremony, Karpov was greeted by Czech President Vaclac Klaus who is a great chess enthusiast. Klaus was present at the ceremony not only as Head of State but also as a chess admirer to root for the playing of his son Jan who was taking part among 20 Czech chess players in a simultaneous performance session with the curent world chess champion, Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand.
Karpov had already visited the Czech Republic in January 2011 and participated in a chess tournament for young people in Lidice (a small township 20 km from the capital) where only two games out of 26 were drawn. The mayor presented a silver badge of honorary citizen to the Russian sportsman. They discussed for the first time the idea of opening a chess school under the grandmaster’s patronage. That tournament was dedicated to the memory of the Lidice children who had died in the village that had been burnt down to ashes by the Nazis on June 10, 1942.
Not all of Karpov’s initiatives with his franchised chess school have been successful, however. The reader might remember the debacle in Toronto several years back:
I wrote about this mis-adventure on my blog in an article entitled: ‘‘What ever happened to decency in Toronto?”
Hal Bond, then CFC president, has been followed by one financial scandal after another
I recommend you read the article. In essence, at the height of the CFC’s financial meltdown, the CFC president (Hal Bond)–without any permission from the governors–gave $8,000 dollars to an unknown ‘for profit’ start-up in Toronto as a contribution to establishing the Karpov school. The school and the start up went belly-up some months afterwards; the money was never returned.
CMA oligarch Larry Bevand rented vacant space in his Toronto store to the Karpov school.
The $8,000 ‘donation’ is unheard of in CFC history. The source of the money was a windfall from Gordon Ritchie’s wildly successful Canadian Open and CYCC held in Ottawa in the summer of 2007. Ritchie unwisely decided to hand over more than $30,000 of its profits to the CFC to be used for the promotion of chess amongst youngsters. While we now know what hole that $8,000 disappeared into, we don’t know anything about the fate of the remaining $22,000.
Ritchie: ”… a surplus was transferred to the CFC for the promotion of chess in the future only to disappear down a black hole.”
Recently on one of the chess message boards in Canada, Ritchie wrote of that money, saying that it had simply disappeared down a ”black hole” ! There was never any accounting of it, nor do the financial statements of the CFC of the time even mention it! The money simply disappeared without a trace!
I recommend the reader to take a look at the blog.
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS