SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The tournament is heating up! Yesterday the Cuban Bruzon played a great game and managed to defeat me in a long game where I weakened in the final minutes of play and allowed a transposition to a lost Rook and Pawn ending. However, Bruzon deserves a lot of credit because he constantly found ways to maintain a small but annoying pressure on my position.
Boards one and two in yesterday’s 4th round. Board one saw a boring draw.
Today sees round six. Five players have 4.5 points: Bruzon, Cori, Edouard, Zilberman and Hamdouchi. At 4 points are 15 players, including yours truly. The tournament ends Sunday.
Brazilian grandmaster Giovani Vescovi has written an interesting summary of the FIDE elections that appeared yesterday. This can be found at :
According to Vescovi, it is time for a change in the FIDE leadership, if only because there is little sense in continuing down the same fruitless path: chess is becoming marginalized in the world and corporate sponsors want nothing to do with FIDE. Vescovi supports Karpov’s candidacy, though does not seem particularly enthusiastic about his chances, nor does he glow about any particular item in Karpov’s platform. Simply, change for change’s sake…it can hardly be worse than it already is.
Brasil has already committed its vote for Ilyumzhinov (http://www.onefide.com/
) and so it is curious to see how the top grandmasters in Brazil have such little influence over the self-serving politicos
in the Brazilian Chess Federation. The situation is similar in many countries, including Canada.
However, Vescovi has a persuasive argument why Brazil should support Karpov: he states that since Brazil is no longer a 3rd-world country (Brazil has one of the strongest economies in the world and its president –Lulu–is one of the most influential leaders today) Brazil should show leadership and follow the examples of many of the western countries that support Karpov. I also support Karpov for FIDE president (but with certain reservations, as already pointed out here on this blog)
The latest reunion of the Canadian Chess Federation discussed the issue of which candidate Canada should support. Apparently those in attendance were evenly divided as to their preferances…but in typical cowardly fashion it was decided to make that decision behind closed doors sometime in the near future.
While Canadian chess has nothing to gain from supporting either candidate , Hal Bond has made it clear that he would like to continue to do some FIDE arbitering abroad–and this would likely end should Canada vote for Karpov and Ilyumzhinov win. It appears that the CFC executive will support Bond’s cause….
Opportunism vs Principles
Hal Bond and Phil Haley (at a sprite 85 years )
Canada’s grand-daddy of IAs (international arbiters)–Phil Haley–has come out on one of the Canadian chess message boards and publically called for Canada supporting Karpov in no uncertain way and he has even suggested that Canada should become more involved in Karpov’s campaign.
While in the past Canada could always be counted on supporting the candidate that Europe would vote for, things have changed in recent times. Ilyumzhinov is expected to win hands down against Karpov (who will probably throw in the towel sometime in the next week or two), and it is worth asking the pragmatic question: why should Canada care about the 2010 election?
The election in 2014 will be much more interesting…by then Ilyumzhinov will be approaching 20 years as head of FIDE and even his most loyal supporters will sense the need for historical change at the helm of the international chess organization. I think that Karpov mis-timed his candidacy in 2010 (when Ilyumzhinov is at the peak of his popularity) and should he still be interested in four years time, then he will become the favourite to win.
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS