SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
In hindsight, my blog yesterday on the FIDE election could not have been better titled (Fide election nonsense) given the cartoon-like behaviour that took place in Moscow later that day. Now it is either up to the Russian courts or the Russian Chess Federation’s re-scheduled meeting (possibly May 20 or a week later) to declare (il)legal the palace coup by Karpov’s supporters.
The facts are few , and those that are known seem to be disputed, depending on who you speak with. The bare essence, from what I have been able to put together is as follows:
There were 2 meetings of the Russian Chess Federation (RCF), or there were 2 non-meetings (illegal) of the Russian Chess Federation.
One of the meetings (or non-meetings) had the President of the RCF (Arkady Dvorkovich ) but no quorum
The other meeting (or non-meeting) had the presence of FIDE presidential candidate Karpov , his long time colleague Kasparov, but NO President of the RCF and ONLY supporters of Karpov!
The Dvorkovich meeting recognized that there was no point in going ahead with the meeting because doing so would be contrary to RCF constitution. They rescheduled the meeting to a later date.
The Karpov meeting chose to ignore the procedural details of the RCF constitution, and went ahead anyway and with a show of hands held a democratic vote , which not surprisingly voted unanimously 17-0 for Karpov’s candidacy.
The May 20th meeting of the Russian Chess Federation (or whatever, within the next 2 weeks) should be an exciting affair. I for one would like to see the minutes of the Karpov meeting presented at that meeting. Any gross procedural error will automatically invalidate the Karpov vote and cast a very poor shadow on the integrity of his campaign.
Already the President of Russian Chess Federation, Arkady Dvorkovich, has given an interview ( http://interviews.chessdom.com/arkady-dvorkovich
) where he explains his position and the reasons for re-scheduling the RCF meeting. It is just a translation of what he originally said in a Russian newspaper, but worth reading. Dvorkovich has strong ties with Russian president Medvedev.
And the FIDE President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, has published a letter of clarification on yesterday’s circus in Moscow. You can find it at: http://www.chessbase.com/
Kirsan labeled Karpov’s meeting as one ”shrouded in clear deceit”.
On Karpov’s campaign site (http://www.karpov2010.org/
) we find his version of yesterday’s events. Karpov writes very confidently that yesterday’s meeting ”effectively ends Ilyumzhinov’s bid to extend his term”
. and goes farther “It was a remarkable moment not only for me, but for Russian chess and FIDE. The open dialogue and open vote were examples of the transparency that will mark our campaign and administration
This last quotation , in particular, will cause me to re-think my support for Karpov as president of FIDE. People like myself, who were born and brought up in open, transparent and democratic countries, often have ideas of what those words mean very different from individuals who were born in totalitarian regimes. There was certainly NO open dialogue yesterday because there were NO supporters for Kirsan present. And there was certainly no transparency in Moscow at either of the meetings! Another reason why the minutes are so important. And especially, if the RCF president was not there, who chaired the meeting?
While I certainly agree that a vote of 17 in a field of 32 is a majority (50% plus 1), the fundamental issue is whether there was a legitimate meeting in the first place, and whether procedure was being followed. OR whether it was just 17 people deciding that no meeting was necessary because the majority always is right!
Finally, I find curious that no one spoke for Kirsan at Karpov’s meeting. And were all of the 17 votes legitimate? (I mean, was each of them entitled to cast a vote? I recognize the name Razuvaev in the list of voters that Karpov listed –Razuvaev is one of Karpov’s seconds for decades! )
We should not also forget that in any open and legitimate vote where 32 votes can be cast, in the case of a tie it is the president who decides which side wins. That is, if the vote is 16-16, then Dvorkovich would decide the result himself. Could this explain why he was not present at the meeting? And was Karpov afraid of an open discussion because maybe one of his 17 voters might have changed sides?
Lots of questions, doubts and more questions. Next week, when the courts open again in Moscow and new information might come forward, we readers might actually get some concrete information, and not just propaganda! FIDE lives in interesting times….
”It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives.”
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS