SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
I’ve been quite busy this week. Catching up this evening on chess news around the world, I can’t but fail to mention that FIDE–in its infinite wisdom–backed down on its intended obrigatory registration of players by the middle of this year. This is good news as it avoids a nasty showdown between the FIDE leadership and the national chess federations (ncf).
Many view FIDE’s recent attempts/obsession with licencing as a cash-grab, and every player –where ever he/she/it may live–would have to register with FIDE and then later be licenced and probably have to pay a yearly fee. As mentioned last week on this blog, the original idea circulating in FIDE was of the order of 30 euros a year per player. Multiply this by hundreds of thousands of registered players world wide….you do the math and you will see that we are talking about tens of millions of euros!
Everyone now expects a quiet lull before FIDE once more tries to find a way to bring up the cash-grab. Sooner or later there is bound to be a collision. My own view is simple: if FIDE wants more money, then it needs to find more sponsorships and organize more activities. Provide better and more services. Then it can charge more…
FIDE has no individual player members….just ncfs. It already collects fees from each, yearly. But it has no rights to collect from the individual members of each ncfs simply because they play chess! That is entirely a national responsibility, far beyond FIDE’s jurisdiction. Hopefully, it will stay that way!
If you have been following chess in Argentina (FADA) recently, then you would know that only today have the FIDE rated players of that country had their elos officially published on the FIDE website. FIDE has a policy that if a country’s federation falls behind in its payments/dues to FIDE then it de-lists all of the country’s ratings and this essentially screws both tournament organizers and the players themselves!
As for chess in Argentina itself, there was a recent coup that threw out the acting president Barrera ( link ) and had him replaced. Much to joy of everbody–including FIDE, which instantly recognized the change–except to Barrera and his gang, ofcourse.
BUT this may not be the end of the story! Today on the official FADA website the junta published a long letter describing the actions behind the coup. Whether this means more instability and possibly legal action is still an open question. Barrera can argue that the entire process was illegal. Who says that chess is an intelligent game played by reasonable people?! The proof is lacking…!
Closer to home, Montreal resident Anton Kovalyov (born 1992) is still listed as an Argentine player at 2606. As mentioned several times last year ( link ) his situation is very irregular, especially since when he wanted to change federations to Canada first FADA objected and secondly, the paperwork apparently hasnot been filed correctly. The FIDE website for transfers does not even mention Kovalyov’s case…
Anton wrote to me last year , explaining his side of the situation ( he should know it better than me, I suppose) and he fully expects to be listed as a member of the CFC later this summer. But if this is the case, as the FIDE rules explains, then his name would have already been published on the transfer page of FIDE. We will just have to wait and see…
IN ANY CASE, the young champion is not moving to a better federation. As my readers will undoubtedly know from the dozens of examples that have been described on this blog , the CFC is one of the most corrupt and inept federations in the entire chess world.
Virtually none of the top players have anything to do with it–myself included. There has not been an official audit of the CFC in years (the CFC Executive always arranges excuses) and the Canadian government has also stripped the federation of its prized tax/charity status that it was granted a number of years ago. About one third of the members have left the federation, many in protest of the CFC leadership and failed policies.
Few believe that the CFC has more than one or two years left before it completely disappears and is replaced…hopefully by a real national federation. One that does not just respect its own rules and constitution, but one that ALSO respects rule of Canadian law. Some this year have tried to move in that direction by eliminating the corrupt governorship system (voting system) of the CFC, but it failed for technical reasons (improperly presented and rushed). We will just have to have more patience…