How are you today? The year might see its end fast approaching, but chess activity seems to be as strong as ever!
Lots of fun and games in London (the site of the Carlsen – Caruana marathon) with even Kasparov taking part; Buenos Aires hosts its strongest tournament in almost a decade, while the super strong Asian Continental on the other side of the globe kicked off just yesterday. On top of that, on Xmas day begins the World Rapid and Blitz Championships in St.Petersburg, Russia.
What Chess and Coffee have in common
Coffee & Health
It is always a good day when we can proudly face the naysayers and argue that drinking coffee is good for you! Recent research indicates that coffee can help delay the onset of Parkinson’s or dementia!
It all has to do with the combined effect of two substances found in most coffees: caffeine and a fatty acid known as EHT. Together, in a mechanism not yet fully understood, they work to prevent or delay the necessary circumstances for Parkinson’s or dementia setting in.
You can read the original scientific source here . Although the research is ground breaking, it is not finished: the question of just how much coffee needs to be ingested for the benefits (described above) to kick into action has not yet been answered. And if drinking above this minimum quantity will have any detrimental effects…HOWEVER, we need to be positive! Coffee is an amazing drink!
Coffee and A.I. nonsense
And nonsense it is! The gist of this article is that in the near future some biometric-AI-gadget attached to our body will warn us when we have had enough coffee to drink. No robot is going to tell me when I have had enough coffee! And I also don’t like the word ‘dependence’…coffee makes me a better human being.
Judit Polgar: FIDE ‘Honorary Vice President’
Judit Polgar needs no introduction. Retired as a professional player some years now, Judit has become a tireless chess organizer and promotor, much like her sister Susan. She is respected around the world for her work.
Just today FIDE announced that Judit was made a ‘Honorary Vice President’ of FIDE.
I think this is a good move from FIDE’s perspective, and Dvorkovich deserves some credit for making this decision, as Judit’s reputation will certainly raise FIDE’s esteem in the eyes of many of its critics.
HOWEVER, I wonder whether FIDE should have instead made Judit some sort of ‘Goodwill Ambassador‘ for FIDE.
The reason I say this is that ‘Honorary Vice President’ is an official position within the FIDE organization:
As an ‘official’ of FIDE, Judit is bound by regulations of what she can or can not do that would not affect her if she was a ‘Goodwill Ambassador’. Specifically this one:
Judit is being asked by FIDE to do exactly the same kind of work that she is doing and has been doing so well for several years now, or atleast that is her understanding of things.
What Judit does in her personal life might enter into conflict of interest if one day in the future one or two of the organizations that she has created find themselves in a competitive position vis a vis FIDE’s objectives.
I think that this kind of unnecessary conflict of interest could be avoided by simply making Judit a Goodwill Ambassador, not limited by any of FIDE’s regulations regarding ‘official’ positions.
FIDE and Saudi Arabia
I don’t like the way Dvorkovich has handled the visa issues involving Saudi Arabia and Israel. It smacks of lack of transparency and political opportunism.
First we are lead to believe that FIDE has pulled the event from Saudi Arabia because of this impasse and relocated the event in Russia (St.Petersburg) as some sort of desperate effort to not have to cancel the event.
Hundreds of MSM sources, in the absence of any other explanation other than what FIDE and Sutovsky have offered, write as much.
Then, all of a sudden, FIDE announces that the tournament will be ‘partnered’ by Saudi Arabia and that it will be called exactly what it was called last year when the event was held in Riyadh. And, by the way, the prize fund has also increased!
And here we are, almost a week later, and still there is no official website of the tournament. Can you believe it? A million-plus dollars event and no website? Nor do we know who the sponsors are.
This is no way for a professionally run organization to behave…opaque, vague and deliberately un-informative.
Welcome to Cold War 2.0 ?