SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
-David Lavin ,29-6-2010 on the CFC message board
The CFC is about to hold its AGM in Toronto in a couple of weeks time and one should not be suprised that no new blood is expected to run for any position within the leadership. Instead, the usual game of musical chairs will be played out with the same familiar faces simply parking their butts on different chairs…someone should do a film about chess-zombies in the CFC!
But what really takes the cake is that everytime the same familiar people play this exact same game, the ‘new’ president makes a statement about what a ‘great’ team they have this year and how lucky we should all be to have such wonderful people….yawn!
The most important position in the CFC is the presidency, ofcourse. Leadership is required. Not unsurprisingly, no one wants that chair… but straws were drawn and it appears that Bob Gillanders lost. So he will be acclaimed president at the AGM. My condolences, Bob!
I don’t know much about Bob other than we exchanged a few friendly emails last year, inviting me to do a simul and lecture at the Mississauga chess club next time I am around in the area. Other than that, Bob was elected treasurer 2 years back and then resigned a few months later to become a CFC office employee receiving a salary (only to be sacked by David Lavin when he wanted more money than what David felt he was worth!).”I recently joined the ranks of the “screwed by the CFC” crowd.”
Bob wrote to me soon afterwards. I suppose his becoming president of the CFC will be his year of vengence
Anyway, joking apart, on the CFC message board Bob does not bother to present a campaign platform, nor does he even bother to give any biographical material on his background. Times certainly have changed in the CFC! Bob does hint, however, that he would like to see a new salaried position open in the CFC, so would it be cynical of me to wonder how long Bob will be president before he resigns and applies for the job!? (I am serious!) I assume that Bob, if he is not unemployed, has lots of free time on his hands…
So where’s the BEEF?
David Lavin, the CFC president from 2008-9, is also curious. Yesterday on the CFC message board he challenged those running for CFC executive positions to consider their running as a sort of job application!
”If anyone takes the time to review the candidate’s speeches in years=past Governor’s letters, you’ll find a lot of incredibly well-intentioned verbiage that resulted in complete inaction. No candidate for President ran on the platform of losing $30,000+ every year but that is exactly what many of them did.
So why not treat this election as what it is — a job application. If anyone has ever hired someone then you know that the best indicator of future actions is past actions. After all, people can say anything — but actually doing something is a different story.
So in addition to the usual beauty contest questions we should know the answers to these questions as well:
A) Outside of chess, what are some of your greatest successes. (Success breeds success!)
B) Outside of chess, what have you accomplished that was difficult and which took place over many months (let’s see if they can actually deliver over time).
C) Where are you currently employed and what are your professional accomplishments (If someone can’t succeed when being paid then they probably will eventually just give up on a volunteer position).
More meat, less rhetoric, is really what the CFC needs.” David Lavin
More than 24 hours have passed since David’s posting, and not one candidate for any of the CFC executive positions has stepped up and given some bio…how long should we hold our breath?
THE RACE THAT NEVER WAS…
Checkmate, comrade Karpov!
Yesterday, June 28, was the last day to register for the FIDE election. It is now official: there are only 2 candidates for the FIDE presidency, incumbent prez Ilyumzhinov and challenger Karpov. The official voting will take place in September during the 39th Chess Olympiad.
There were no surprises. The long rumoured ”third candidate” did not show. His identity can now be made known: Silvio Danailov (who is officially a candidate for the ECU presidency) worked hectically up to the last moment trying to gather the necessary support, but must have realized in the past few days that there was little point in getting involved in a race that was over before it even began.
, the president of the only Buddhist nation in Europe–the Republic of Kalmykia– was seen as a type of saviour when he was first convinced by Karpov and Campomanes to become president of FIDE in november of 1995 at a FIDE meeting in Paris. At that time FIDE was in awful shape, still reeling from the hemorrhage created by Kasparov and Short when , in 1993, they robbed the FIDE crown jewels ( the official title of World Championship) and in doing so ruptured the chess world in one blow. The entire qualification structure for the championship was destroyed and would take years to rebuild.
Kasparov and Short created a rival professional organization, PCA, funded with 32 million dollars from INTEL. However, by late 1995 INTEL and Kasparov’s relationship soured and they were soon divorced. The PCA then disintegrated in short order and became just one more example of Kasparov’s disasterous leadership. Kasparov would later admit that leaving FIDE was the biggest mistake of his professional life.
In the 15 years since the Paris meeting the world , FIDE and the game of chess have witnessed enormous changes. The internet has changed the way corporate sponsors look at the global market and chess has become a big loser. Without TV appeal or any real visibility, corporate sponsors are not interested and the result is that FIDE is now entirely dependent on the deep pockets of the Kalmyki billionaire, who reportedly has given as much as 50 million dollars to FIDE’s projects.
Ilyumzhinov has succeeded in bringing back into the FIDE fold the title of World Champion and has by now consolidated his considerable control over FIDE. He is at the height of his popularity, and despite a number of well publicized scandals involving the actions of people near him, Ilyumzhinov has earned much respect in bringing stability to FIDE.
All smiles in 2006: Ilyumzhinov with his defeated challenger, Bessel Kok
Not everyone is happy of course, and Europe in particular has every reason to want to see Ilyumzhinov go. FIDE has become increasingly dominated by non-European ways of thinking. The faster time controls and especially the ‘zero-tolerance’ philosophy have undermined much of Europe’s historical contribution to the modern game of chess in the past 500 years. In his campaign platform, Karpov has promised a return to the ‘federalist origins’ of FIDE.
A european movement for change in FIDE.
The FIDE structure of democracy has marginalized Europe’s present day influence and Ilyumzhinov is also seen to have cleverly manipulated Europe’s perceived elitist
attitude against the 3rd world vote:”Is it going to be a battle of classes (European Chess) and the masses (Asia and South America etc) for the FIDE Presidential seat?” http://chessheroes.blogspot.com/2010/06/philippines-supports-kirsan-ilyumzhinov.html
Karpov and Ilyumzhinov in Cuba earlier this month
Karpov’s entry into the presidential race earlier this spring was at first seen as motivated by a mixture of European interests as well as a gesture of goodwill by the popular former World Champion. Many people in the chess world viewed the conservative thinking Karpov as a natural successor to Ilyumzhinov and quickly signed up in support of his candidacy.
However, when suspicions arose that Karpov was probably nothing more than just the public face for a NewYork-based group of influential business men mesmerized by the controversial Garry Kasparov, a full retreat was soon sounded. The result today is that the Karpov 2010 campaign for the FIDE presidency has crashed and burned in what will probably go down in chess history as the most lop-sided defeat in modern times.
It is rumoured that the Ilyumzhinov camp had already more than 90 committed votes (out of a total of 174 possible votes) at the beginning of June, and this has probably increased since then. In the past weeks the Karpov camp has experienced some blistering embarrassments:
a) While Karpov was campaigning in Cuba, the incumbent president Ilyumzhinov showed up and stole the show when he announced a series of tournaments with 500,000 dollar in prizes. Karpov, in contrast, was empty handed.
b) When Karpov and Kasparov were in Peru campaigning, the President of the Peru Chess Federation sent a letter to FIDE committing its vote to Ilyumzhinov! It was also announced that Peru would be the site of the first tournament that Ilyumzhinov talked about in Cuba.
c) On June 28 Arkady Dvorkovich convened a meeting of the RCF (Russian Chess Federation) where it was decided –in no uncertain terms–that the RCF would support Ilyumzhinov’s candidacy and that Alexander Bakh’s June 23 letter of support to Karpov was invalid. It was also announced Bakh’s resignation from the RCF.
Kasparov, Karpov and Bakh at the failed palace coup in mid May in Moscow
Yesterday Nigel Short was at the FIDE offices handing in the necessary documents to make Karpov an official candidate for the FIDE presidency. It was the deadline!
Nigel had his daughter take this foto
On the Ilyumzhinov campaign website (http://www.onefide.com/
) the official
number of countries who support Ilyumzhinov’s election is now up to 55. This is considerably more than the count from last week, but still FAR from the real count. It appears that Kirsan wants to milk the publicity value of the high-octane 2K-campaign for all it is worth and he could not do that if it looked like a landslide…
However, it must be becoming painfully clear to the Karpov managers that they are fighting a lost cause. Can we expect to see some desertions in the near future? Not sure, but I doubt that either Karpov or Kasparov will give up the fight! Both individuals are celebrities and it must be nice to visit countries and meet presidents and leaders! It is probably the style of life that they have become accustomed to over the years. No matter what the result of the FIDE election in September, both will remain super-stars in their own right.
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS