Monday- YES, again! For those who have nothing better to do with your time, there are 233 days left this year. LINK However, I always kind of liked Monday’s. I have instinctively associated ”back to the grind” as being coffee-related!
Monday is an apportunity to make sure that if world war III suddenly started on Tuesday (Damn you, Putin and Obama!) , then my stash of coffee would be enough to last atleast until the radioactive clouds arrive above my bunker…(!). Then I would have to kiss my ass good-bye…coffee in hand, ofcourse!
Joking aside (I hope the part about Tuesday is a joke!) I found a precious little Mormon blog that you might want to investigate:
It is true that Mormon’s are not allowed to drink coffee! I learned the hard way: back in the early 1990’s the Mormon church set up a little mission in Guarda where I live (population 35,000). At the time there were not many english-speaking people living in Guarda, and so I visited their mission and attended a few sermons. I found the experience very positive and enlightening (I had previously known nothing about the Mormon religion), and even when they tried to convert me I kept my sense of humor.
HOWEVER, when I was explained that I would have to stop drinking coffee if I was to become a Mormon, then I realized that the Mormon church–no matter how wonderful a religion it is–was NOT for me. (This is a true story! I still have the Mormon bible that I was kindly given.) Several years later I went back to their mission but found that the doors had been closed some time before: apparently several of the newly converted got into a fistfight and the police had to be called. Even today, Guarda is about the only city in the world where Mormon missionaries do not visit.
NO MORE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHES?
Say it isn’t so! Well, not yet, atleast. But an article appeared Saturday in a respected blog that argued that it was time to can the whole idea of a world chess championship match and simply let the ELO ratings decide things…
It is a cruel world we live in today, especially since we chess players are supposed to be so creative! Just a few days before this artcle appeared, grandmaster Sutovsky came up with an equally horrible idea to pay for the Carlsen vs Anand world championship match by setting up a ‘pay per view’ business model! In any case, the blog article concludes that only Carlsen and Anand are really interested in the match , anyway. That is probably an exaggeration: Anand’s wife and Carlsen’s father are ALSO very interested in this match! Personally, I think that if Carlsen’s team went back to Bill Gates and apologized for humiliating him virally, then Bill might have second thoughts and sponsor a match that apparently no sane business man wants to get close to…
KASPAROV CAMPAIGN SUFFERS SETBACK?
Kasparov let it be known over the weekend that one of his campaign’s most prominent members, Shiek-Mohammed-bin-Ahmed-al-Hamed, had suddently withdrawn from Gary’s presidential ticket because of private issues:
”The Kasparov 2014 campaign team announces that Sheikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Hamed has withdrawn from the Garry Kasparov 2014 FIDE presidential ticket effective immediately. Sheikh Mohammed regrets his withdrawal which was necessitated by serious private issues. Garry Kasparov and the entire campaign team thank Sheikh Mohammed for his efforts on the campaign and for chess.”
The Shiek’s place has been given to Ian Wilkinson, a well known lawyer , chess organizer and president of the Jamaica Chess Federation. It is not expected that this will negatively effect the Kasparov campaign.
Meanwhile, FIDE today officially announced the respective Presidential tickets of both candidates. The Shiek’s sudden withdrawal was briefly mentioned. Here are the two candidate’s presidential tickets:
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov – President
Georgios Makropoulos – Deputy President
Abraham Tolentino – General Secretary
Aguinaldo Jaime – Vice President
Martha Fierro Baquero – Vice President
Adrian Siegel – Treasurer
Garry Kasparov – President
Jan Callewaert – Deputy President
Ignatius Leong – General Secretary
Afrika Msimang – Vice President
Ian Wilkinson – Vice President
Rex Sinquefield- Treasurer
Who will Clint vote for?
MEANWHILE, BACK IN CANADA
As I wrote last Thursday, elements (apparently not all of them Canadian) favouring the Kasparov campaign pressured the CFC prez Vlad Drkulec and threatened to upsurp the traditional process by which the CFC normally decides its FIDE vote. Fortunately, this attempted ‘coup d’etat’ has failed and/or called off. But issues raised , both publically and privately, have not gone away…
WHO DID HAL BOND REALLY VOTE FOR IN 2010?
In 2010 Canada’s FIDE rep, Hal Bond, publically admitted to the CFC to be in a position of conflict of interest, as a significant part of his income comes from politically appointed IA (International Arbiter) plumb jobs (by the FIDE president himself).For this reason, in 2010 I tried to pressure the CFC junta to declare PUBLICALLY for one candidate or the other, and to let Hal Bond simply vote as pre-determined by the CFC.
On June 22, 2010 I wrote on this blog:
‘Canada is a minor player in the FIDE world, but never the less 1-vote. Who will the CFC support: Karpov or Ilyumzhinov? Curiously, the Canadian FIDE rep (Hal Bond) has been very tight-lipped about his preferance. In 2006–before Bond’s time–the CFC made public many months before the election that they would vote for Bessel Kok.
Can this silence be interpretted that the CFC has not yet decided who to support, or that Bond does not want to embarrass himself and wants to see who is going to win before deciding? As an international arbiter with ambitions to work within FIDE, Bond might be in a conflict of interest here.
But I suppose we will have to wait for the AGM in Toronto before anyone asks the question that begs to be asked.”
The CFC ignored this issue entirely, despite growing doubt inside of Canada’s chess community:
From my blog July 23, 2010:
FIDE ELECTIONS EMBARRASSING CANADA ?
”In anycase, I think that Jean hits the nail on the head when he mentions that the longer the CFC delays in making a decision, Canada’s reputation will risk being harmed.
It is clear that Hal Bond wants his cake and eat it too: he wants to be FIDE representative of Canada and at the same time continue to represent his own personal interests in FIDE. He openly acknowledges that there is a conflict of interest. But as long as he does not step down as either IA or FIDE representative of Canada, the international embarrassment that Canada finds itself faced with will continue.
It appears to most of those removed from having direct interests in the FIDE election–and that is everyone except the CFC politicos–that there is no real problem here. Canada, as a member of FIDE, has a responsibility to faithfully representing the Canadian chess community’s interests—and that the CFC can not distinguish between this and personal interests.”
Nothing could move the CFC leadership, who stubbornly refused to act on the admitted conflict of interest and subsequent damage to Canada’s international reputation. I wrote on September 14, 2010:
”One of the enlightening things to have emerged from this election campaign is just how much the Canadian Chess Federation has slipped into disrepute in recent times. I can not remember any previous FIDE election where Canada was not one of the first countries to declare its intention to vote for one candidate or the other.
Instead, what we find is that Hal Bond–presently the FIDE representative and president of the Canadian zone–is living up to his reputation for caring only about his own self interests. At the recently concluded CFC annual meeting the controversial Mr. Bond explained that he felt he was in a position of conflict of interest (his own personal interests vs that of the responsibilities of representing Canada in FIDE).
You might think that this is being pretty above board and proper. But think again! An excuse was found for not taking a democratic vote on which candidate to support, and then the next thing we members knew is that the matter was referred to the CFC Executive for further discussion: Mr. Bond is an influential member of this same executive! Everything was to be decided behind closed doors!
What ever the outcome, it now appears that Canada’s reputation has been harmed in the chess world. The work of several generations of respectable Canadian representatives to FIDE has been undermined and tainted. What ever ambitions Mr. Bond had of landing some prestigious roles as an arbiter have likely disappeared. While this election has been very divisive in the FIDE family, there will not be much sympathy for those who try to play both sides to their own advantage.”
FINALLY, only weeks before the FIDE Congress and vote did the CFC publically take a stand and decide to cast their support for Karpov’s campaign. It took months of pressuring the CFC executive to do the RIGHT thing and show the necessary transparency.
NOW HOWEVER, as the identical situation repeats itself in 2014, it appears that lessons have not been learned! Worse still, rumours that Hal Bond did NOT cast his vote for Karpov are beginning to circulate both in Canada and internationally (the FIDE vote is secret ballot). Whether there is truth to this or not, is UNIMPORTANT. The image of Canada has been damaged, both by the CFC’s 2010 inactions and Hal Bond’s REFUSAL to step down as FIDE representative, despite him admitting to being in conflict of interest.
Transparency at the national federation-level helps make the FIDE election more transparent when the vote counting begins.
For this reason, there is a growing movement to put forward a NEW candidate for Canada’s FIDE rep position BEFORE the coming FIDE presidential elections. I think this will necessarily reflect very badly on the present CFC executive and especially Hal Bond himself, regardless of the veracity of the rumours. HOWEVER, we must not lose sight that those in the CFC (including Hal Bond) are responsible first to Canada and its chess community.
I will keep my readers up to date as this situation develops