Then Nigel was off to Uganda and then Ethiopia. No news about his successes there in any media, chess or otherwise. Curiously, however, on Karpov’s campaign site this week , with conspicuous silence, there appeared the Angolan Flag among the list of countries that was supporting Karpov (!!).
There was no article mentioning that Karpov had gained Angola’s vote (which is usual when a prize catch is made–and Angola would be a prize for Karpov), nor was there any mention in any of the Angolan journals and newspapers that the Angolan Chess Federation had decided to vote for Karpov! Nor in any of the Portuguese media.
And it appears that yet one more ex-colleague of Karpov is siding with the Ilyumzhinov campaign: chessdom reports that Ivanchuk now openly favours the incumbent president! http://reports.chessdom.com/news-2010/ivanchuk-ukranian-media
”The leader of Ukrainian chess – Vassily Ivanchuk in his interview to “Vzgliad iz Odessy” said he was in favour of the incumbent President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov taking this position again.
Ivanchuk preferred Ilyumzhinov to the other candidate – the 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov. Vassily’s reason was that with Ilyumzhinov the life of chess professionals has become better.
As for the version that it would be much easier for Karpov, who is better known in the sport world outside chess, than Ilyumzhinov, to “promote” inclusion of chess into the programme of the Olympics, Ivanchuk thinks that first, it is not a fact. Second, Ivanchuk, with all due respect to wrestlers and athletes, has no wish to participate in the same Olympic Games with them, and prefers that chess stays aside, having its own Olympiad, as it is now. ”
I suppose the juicy news today is that Ilyumzhinov’s lawyers have finally filed papers for a libel suit against Karpov. If you remember correctly, Karpov mentioned something a while back about Ilyumzhinov being ”corrupt”.
No doubt the real reason for most of the silence in both camps is that this past week has just been business as usual: the FIDE election is not going to be won in the media, but in the back rooms. After all the huff and puff of endless communiques from Karpov’s campaign of how many European countries support him , the truth is that even if Kirsan were to give him all of Europe and all of the Americas, it won’t really matter much if Karpov does not make progress in Africa, Asia and the Pacific rim countries.
I understand that Karpov is running a very serious campaign, is actively calling his many chess-contacts that he has made over his long career and is asking for their support and help in swaying votes. Karpov is scheduled to visit South America sometime this month (Peru has been mentioned, but undoubtedly other stops will also be made). I hear that he intends to go to Malasia.
No doubt Karpov realizes that he is an underdog, but is serious about the FIDE presidency.
And what can we say of Kirsan’s campaign? If history is any indication, then we will only know how effective his backroom negotiating is once the election is held! But I would be surprised if Kirsan does not have already in his pocket some 60 to 70 votes. Being at the height of his popularity–and he is extremely popular today–barring a scandal or two, Kirsan has to be seen as the likely winner this time around.
Instead, especially with the CFC in such piss-poor shape, there has hardly been any transparency in any of its processes or decisions for a really long time now. The governors, in particular, have successively been reduced to a role of helpless spectator.
We have an absentee president who is bi-polar and can not handle stress, shows up at his government job about as often as his doctor lets him, has no internet at home because his wife won’t allow it. We should not be surprised that he is incapable of performing the responsibilities of his office. Eric Van Dusen’s most significant act this past year has been to deliberately shred potentially incriminating documents that might have tied many of his OCA buddies (including Hal Bond) to the disappearance of 120,000 dollars from Trillium.
Nobody knows where his side-kick VP is either, he has disappeared also. Clearly there is no leadership at all at any level and so it is not surprising that in this vacuum the problems that do arise do not get solved. ”Solutions” are not sought: decisions simply get imposed, as in the Bluvshtein/Livshits scandal.
If memory serves me well (it normally does!) in 2008 the CFC did not encounter any significant problems with the Selection Process–which is something of a record in the CFC!
That is because we had a president who–regardless of what you thought of his policies or how effective they were– was a hands on type of president and who was honest and would not stand for any tinkering with the rules or creative-bullshit interpretations.
And because David Lavin had been out of chess for such a long time (20 years or more) he had no idea of how much the ethics of the CFC leadership had deteriorated. For instance, on September 1, 2008 he wrote me with regards to a development regarding the 2008 National Team:
What David did not realize is that this is exactly the way the CFC had been running since 2000! And worse: the CFC later reached the point where it literally sold the team…(you will have to wait for my long awaited article on Canadian chess for these details) To David Lavin–a very successful businessman–the kind of stuff that had been taken as ‘normal’ by previous CFC administrations was a horror story and it was totally unacceptable! And I think most Canadians would think the same way….David naturally refused the offer of the donation.
Returning to this week’s favourite topic on the message boards in Canada, the 2010 National Team to represent Canada later in September, let me say that I don’t want to be too critical of those in charge of the Selection Process. I understand that when problems arose there was no one to turn to as the CFC executive has ceased to exist as a real body. (Hopefully that will change at this years AGM)
I congratulate Ron Livshits and Ilyia Bluvshtein for doing something that I have not seen happen before when similar scandals (or problems that have the potential to develop into scandals) have taken place in the CFC: coming forward and explaining their perspectives. This is a very positive precedent
I remember clearly when a similar selection scandal happened in 2006 (Chris Mallon was president): the CFC executive refused to even make public the name of the Olympiad Coordinator! There was zero transparency. Everything was a big secret. Even the contract that CFC signed with Brian Hartman selling the team was not made public: that is, it was RATIFIED by the governors without them ever seeing it!!
So, getting back to this year’s situation, I –as a member of the CFC–appreciate Ron and Ilyia coming forward. I believe that they both demonstrated good faith.
This does not mean that I agree with what they argue (I don’t!) or that I think they made the proper decisions once difficulties arose (I don’t think they tried very hard to look for alternate solutions. Instead they made easy, convenient and familiar decisions.). But given the circumstances, atleast we can see the process and where it failed.
As far as I am concerned, I believe that the Alberta Chess Association should take the CFC to court (they have the money to do this) for not following its own rules and sue them for every penny the CFC has.
Nikolay Noritsyn and Eric Hansen are both victims in this episode. Both are clearly talented youngsters and have a bright future ahead of them. No doubt Eric will have a bitter taste on his tongue for a long time to come whenever he thinks of the CFC, and that is understandable. When I was his age I experienced a similar victimization in dealing with the CFC and for 12 years I refused to have anything to do with the CFC and its National Team.
To Eric I suggest him follow in the steps of Anton Kovalyov and myself: disassociate yourself from any organization (like the CFC) that has no self-respect or any idea of what fair-play or rule of law is. There are plenty of tournaments in the US for you to play in and develop your talent. You are lucky that you live in a province where chess activity is growing. Nothing can stop you from reaching your potential…certainly don’t let the CFC discourage you from moving forward!
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS