How are you today? Don’t know about the weather where you live, but here in Guarda (Portugal) it is rainy and cold. That is something unusual for the month of June, just two weeks shy of summer. Hopefully things will pick up soon…
Coffee and Peak Performance
The US Military has got it wrong once more! Thinking that people drink coffee in order to rationally optimize their ability to work and perform at a consistently high level, US army’s Medical Research and Materiel Command’s Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute (BHSAI) have found the perfect answer. An app for you to download and personalize.
Called 2B-Alert, this smartphone app will predict optimal sleep and coffee intake schedules for any given individual. All you need do is input some data about your coffee consumption and sleep habits and voila!
It is expected that many will be able to find this app useful, students, teachers, pilots, doctors, etc. You can read more about this here.
My issue with this app is its original concept: not all people are sheepish workaholics. In my case, I drink coffee because I love to drink coffee. If I want to work harder and more effectively, I would first speak to my boss about an incentive based pay raise…
Are you getting enough uncensored chess news?
Several weeks ago I wrote a short blip about how the principal english language chess sites seem like clones of each other when it comes to political content, what they report on and (especially) what they don’t report on.
When it comes to the more popular sites like Chess.Com, ChessBase, ChessDom and a few others, readers get a strict diet of right-wing, anti-Kirsan bias. And have been for years and years.
There is nothing wrong with being anti-Kirsan, or simply critical of Kirsan (lord knows there is MUCH to criticize), but when they deliberately ignore an important interview with Karpov, for example, because he criticized BOTH Kirsan and Makropoulos, then we have a problem relying on these sites’ ability to report honestly. How can we trust them to be factual and objective? Do we now need to fact-check everything they write?
Clearly this is becoming increasingly necessary. Not a single one of these sites even mentioned the Karpov interview from last week. Almost like it never happened. One of the most influential figures in modern chess speaks out on a topic that is of such importance today and it is ignored!
No doubt Karpov’s remarks did not align with the unwritten policy of these english language sites to avoid any criticism of Makropoulos in the run up to the October 3rd FIDE election.
The Africa Factor
I am currently writing an indepth article on the detrimental effects of FIDE elections on African chess development. African Chess already faces so many serious natural obstacles. Constant war, poverty, distance, economic inequality. Experts are agreed that only a unified community can work to make progress under such dire circumstances.
Africa does not need another vicious FIDE election, with its false promises and dirty money, to stump African chess any further.
The 2014 FIDE election literally tore African Chess into two opposing camps. There was just so much money and shameless promises being openly offered for votes in 2014 from Kirsan & Co. and from the Kasparov Foundation. How much progress has been achieved since then? Very little of any real substance!
In 2018 the situation in Africa is once more spiralling into a proxy war, a FIDE-generated political chaos as the election fever gathers momentum. Makro & Co. demand 100% loyalty. We find that the ACC (African Chess Confederation) has had its status effectively suspended (and with it, its yearly budget from FIDE) because in January of this year they openly supported Kirsan for re-election.
Kirsan Ilymzhinov enjoys great respect and popularity in Africa.
HOWEVER, in its place, we find that some arrogant statement from the president of FIDE America, Vega, who has NOTHING to do with any aspect of Africa, was published, effectively relegating all further communiqués from Africa unnecessary and irrelevant. Such a tone would not be tolerated in North America today. Black lives do matter.
Today the ACC president, Ncube, finds himself under constant threat of being brought before the FIDE ethics commission on trumped up charges. The ACC Secretary, Fumey, resigned at the end of May, citing FIDE making it impossible for him to carry out his duties.
African chess is once more the innocent victim as Makro’s FIDE spirals out of control in a frenzy for votes.
My article (probably in the first week of July) will contain a number of interviews with key African figures, and will analyze the present situation in Africa, given the current FIDE election.
From what I have been able to gather so far, despite the Makropoulos pressure, Africa is going to heavily support Kirsan in October. Makro has open support only from 3 nations: Egypt, Lybia and Algeria. Probably Angola will follow, as an Angolan is on Makro’s ticket. Short will likely pick up 6 to 8 votes. The rest will likely be divided between Kirsan and ‘abstain’.
But nobody really knows. The situation is a complete mess, and can change from week to week. Divide and rule! Not surprisingly, this topic is not even mentioned on the english language chess websites that I mentioned above…
To be continued…