Oktyabrina by Ivan Proskurin
Good morning, Sunday Coffee! The middle of the month of October (already!) and still the world has not stepped back from the brink. I find myself more frequently asking coffee for inner strength. In these trying times I get my faith anyway I can. By the cup. Black. No sugar…Amen! (And Fuck-U , Donald Trump!)
Coffee, Garlic and how to avoid Dracula
Coffee is amazing: it has something for everybody, even for those who don’t really seem to like coffee. There is coffee with beer and there is coffee with wine. (Coffee with stronger alcohol is yesterday’s news). Coffee with food. Now some one has invented coffee made entirely of garlic…
Phil Haley RIP 29.5.1924 – 13.10.2017
At the ripe old age of 93, Phil can not complain! But for those who are left behind, another grand old man of Canadian Chess has passed away and has left us poorer.
Life had been good to Phil. He found a profession that made him happy and he never looked to change, working for 37 years at Imperial Oil until he retired in 1983. He met a lovely woman when he was still quite young, Betty-June, and remained with her to the day he died.
As for his chess contributions, they are too many to mention all here. I suppose that his work with FIDE stands out, dating back from the 1960’s right to when he retired as FIDE Representative and Zonal President of Canada in 2001. Pairings expert and International Arbiter.
I first met Phil in 1987. had just passed away and Phil was interested stepping forward and represent Canada in FIDE. He stood for election at the CFC annual meeting in Toronto, but was narrowly defeated by his old nemesis Divinsky. But in 1994 he succeeded in uprooting Nathan and served as Canada’s top representative in FIDE until 2001.
While representing Canada in FIDE, Phil was pretty conservative, pushing for a more transparent and accountable organization than it was, first under Campomanes, and later Ilyumzhinov. He was tireless and made numerous contributions to FIDE’s democratic life. Unfortunately, democratic life in FIDE died pretty quickly as Kirsan’s presidency advanced. Even so, Phil was always pragmatic and he remained optimistic. He took some pride in being one of the few lone voices of dissent.
I will miss Phil. My condolences to Betty-June and the rest of the family.
Meanwhile, back at the FIDE Congress….
The 88th FIDE Congress in Turkey comes to an end today. A fair amount of nonsense has been written about some relatively insignificant episode that took place in the first day:
These FIDE meetings must be pretty boring if it is necessary to ‘sex it up’ with such foreplay. Apparently the FIDE treasurer – who reported almost a million dollar surplus from 2016 – mentioned that it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep the FIDE bank account open (I assume because of some fallout with regards to the US sanctions against Kirsan) and suggested that this was all Kirsan’s fault!
The FIDE treasurer at the beginning of the meeting had great expectations
He then surprised everyone present with a ‘non-binding’ motion requesting those present to politely ‘ask’ Kirsan not to run in 2018, no doubt thinking that such radical surgery would be an effective solution to the bank account problem! (An equally intelligent alternative was to simply close the FIDE bank account, hand the million dollars over to Makropoulos and then politely ‘ask’ him to hide it under his mattress…think of all the bank charges that could be saved! On second thought, that million dollars might get mixed up with all the other millions under the bed hiding from Greek taxes… )
The result of the vote was 20 against, 37 for and 2 abstentions (!) According to Nick Faulks over on the English Chess Forum, and who must have heard before hand that this piece of theatre was going to happen, some of those who were initially inclined to vote for the motion changed their minds and supported Kirsan.
The FIDE treasurer when ‘normal’
The rest of the meeting since then has been pretty boring and Kirsan is alive and well and no doubt still planning to run for re-election next year.
FIDE elections are about 3 fundamental principles:
With that in mind, it is no wonder that no rational person attending the FIDE Congress has stepped up and announced him running against Kirsan next year. Neither Azmaiparashvili nor Makropoulos want the job.
There has been some talk about the president of the FFE (france) Kouatly perhaps being interested in running one day, but he wisely prefers to wait for Kirsan to retire first.
Probably a good item to follow the 88 FIDE Congress, and that ends today’s Coffee article…
The white rabbit
Link John Prentice was one of the most powerful FIDE executive board members for more than 2 decades.
Link and do a search on my blog for his obituary