Nepo’ wins Candidates Tournament
FIDE “Tournament of Shame” comes to end
Congratulations to Russian grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi for narrowly edging out his rivals and earning the right to play against World Champion Carlsen later this year for the World Title.
PR disaster in every respect
Rarely in the history of FIDE has the gross incompetence and the blind stupidity of its leadership manifested itself more clearly than in the Yekaterinburg Candidates debacle.
FIDE insisted to go ahead and hold the month-long tournament in the spring of 2020, despite the entire world closing down because of the virus. This resulted in not only one of the participants withdrawing in protest, but also the tournament having to be called off at half way point because of force majeure.
Fast forward more than a full year later — 2021 — despite having numerous opportunities to resume the tournament in the summer of 2020, the tournament finally restarted. And — once again — virtually all of Europe was being closed down because of the pandemic.
FIDE insisted that there was no risk to the players, and they proved it (?!) by playing poker, deciding that NONE of the players would be tested for Covid during the tournament!
Further, if one or more of the players would need to withdraw because of health concerns, then the tournament would continue regardless…last man standing wins!
Meanwhile, even in the city of Yekaterinburg all other sporting events, conferences and meetings had been postponed until the end of the year because of concern of the virus…
Fortunately, the tournament was completed yesterday without any major incidents. Now the players have to face the nightmare of returning to their respective country and all of the quarantine requirements that this involves.
The only vocal critic amongst the participants — of FIDE’s handling of the pandemic — the Chinese superstar Wang Hao, declared yesterday that he is giving up professional chess. Congratulations, FIDE!
Wang Hao has been reduced to a mere shadow of himself since last year, his play clearly several levels lower, his sensitive spirit no doubt victimized by unfair criticism and constant attacks by FIDE for daring to stand up to them.
Sputnik Vaccine gives Nepo victory?
No sooner is the tournament over than the ugly head of gross stupidity once more becomes evident. The president of the Russian Chess Federation, Filatov, publically declared that grandmaster Nepo’ won by virtue of having received the Sputnik vaccine before the tournament restarted!
A lot of comments appeared in our social networks in response to Andrey Filatov’s statement: “Nepomniachtchi’s confident play was based not only on technical training, but also because he was vaccinated with our Sputnik V on time. He gained psychological confidence at the tournament, now let Carlsen tremble – after all, Norway does not buy such a vaccine. “