Sunday Coffee, chess, Kirsan and potpourri
I survived April Fools. But not by much…I was heading off to a team match here in Portugal yesterday afternoon when the train that I was on came to a dead stop. Apparently some kilometers in front of us another de-railed. Fortunately no one was hurt. For some 5 hours confusion reigned as the entire train system came to a complete stop while a clean up and restore operation took place. Nobody seemed to know exactly when normality would be restored…
Needless to say, I missed the team match. The best I could do is arrive back home just short of midnight. My team just managed to draw, having to forfeit me on the first board. Moral of the story: travel at your own peril on April Fools…
Kirsan since the PB coup
I don’t know if you have been following the most recent scandal in FIDE. Perhaps the coup leaders (Makropoulos and Freeman) had expected a different reaction in the chess world from the indifferent ‘yawn’ that has taken place. Apparently no one is interested or shows the least bit of concern…as if everyone just assumes that this is merely one more problem that Kirsan will resolve in his favour.
Kirsan: GrandMaster of social media
I don’t read Russian, so I don’t really know what the Russian speaking chess community has been saying about the coup, but I suspect – from what I have been able to find out – that it is entirely pro-Kirsan and anti- leaders. However, I do pretty well with the romantic languages, and it is very clear that the coup leaders have NO real support for their actions.
The mainstream media has even completely stopped writing about it. From the ‘experts’ that I have talked to, apparently the PB (presidential board) has no real jurisdiction in any matter concerning the President. On top of that, Kirsan is the only elected official amongst them and answers only to the General Assembly. Makropoulos, Freeman and others are merely appointed by the President.
As for the ‘resignation’ that allegedly took place, the coup-plotters should have really tried better , but not having any letter of resignation from Kirsan to publish on the FIDE website, they instead put an unauthorized, unsigned and misleading that caught everyone – including Kirsan himself – by complete surprise.
One of the reasons for Kirsan’s incredible longevity as FIDE has been his almost daily stream of social media content that he puts out via twitter, blogs and chess media outlets. Since the coup, Kirsan has been very busy showing the rest of the chess community that he is alive and well. More than that: he is meeting with heads of state and visiting international tournaments. Kirsan is showing us that he is still FIDE’s president. FIDE’s legitimate president, regardless of what one might think of the man.
Where do things go from here?
Apparently there will be a meeting of the PB in Athens sometime this month to ‘discuss’ the present dilemma facing the Presidential Board. If suspicions are correct, then there must be money behind the coup. Which means, in turn, that someone will soon come forward as a candidate for the FIDE presidency in 2018.
Who will that person be? There are names floating about. Kasparov: but he has no chance against Kirsan, having alienated the entire world chess community in the past two failed campaigns in 2010 and 2014. Karpov: he would be an excellent choice, but he is pro-Kirsan and will not throw his hat into the ring. Makropoulos: this is hardly serious. His reputation in the world is even worse than Kasparov’s. Kouatly – the of the FFE – is possible, but would he really want to be humiliated losing by a huge margin to Kirsan? Better for him to wait for Kirsan to step down…
I think that FIDE is going to become an exciting topic in coming months, possibly right thru to the 2018 General Assembly at the next Olympiad (Georgia, Sept 23 to Oct 7). For this reason I have put a link to Kirsan’s blog on the right sidebar at the top so that readers can just click and find out what Kirsan is up to on a daily basis.
I will keep the readers posted as things heat up…
The coup plotters used the FIDE website as Trump uses Twitter, to confuse and mislead the chess community and try to legitimize their actions at the PB earlier that same day.