SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Blame it on the CFC leadership for a failed policy that has reduced the national championships to using the third-world practice of awarding cheap IM and FM titles as door prizes just for participating, and this in the midst of ever weaker playing fields and small prize funds. Some of these IM titles have been given to mere 2200-level players who have not played well–nor against the strongest players– but had never the less managed to get 6 points out of 9 games by beating relative patzers.
There has also been a call recently by some of Canada’s top international players to stop using the super-inflated CFC rating system as a qualification criterium for international events. Even Nakamura has expressed a negative opinion of the CFC rating system. And of course, I have written often on this blog of the total mess that has been created by all of the ‘experts’ who have overseen changes to the rating system in recent years.
This writer can not remember a time in his life (I am 57 years old) when being Canadian Champion has meant so little to either the CFC or to Canada’s top players. There are 8 living Canadian GMs but only one of these GMs has played in any of the last 2 Canadian Zonals. None have played in the last Canadian Open. Again, only one played on the National Team in Turkey.
On the official October FIDE list, only 3 of these GMs are listed as active, but only one ever participates these days in Canadian chess tournaments.
Both myself and Tyomkin have not played in a Canadian tournament for going on to close to a decade (I haven’t played in Canada in the past 9 years, Tyomkin a bit less) Worse still, most of Canada’s top young players increasingly want nothing to do with the CFC and Canadian chess. Most prefer–when they do play chess–to play abroad or in the US.
Full FIDE list (top 25 Canadians) Active and in-active.
And what about GM Anton Kovalyov? The Argentine Chess Federation (FADA) still lists him as an Argentine player. And the fide transfer page has no mention of any future change to the CFC. Could it all be just one more hoax played out by Hal Bond?
After having published this yesterday, I was later informed that in a chess article written by Anton for the Quebec chess magazine Echecs Plus (which should soon appear) he explained part of the problem:
“I started the federation switch process for Canada in 2011, but unfortunately due to FIDE‘s confusing rules and the Argentinian chess federation (FADA) objection the official switch to Canada might take up to two years. During this two years period I’m like in a limbo, I’m between Argentina and Canada, but can’t really represent any of these countries in FIDE qualification events, Fortunately for me any Canadian resident can play in the Canadian championship and if I would have won the event I would qualify to the World Cup to play under Canadian federation (it starts around August 2013, just after my federation switch comes to end).”
No doubt Anton is in a tricky situation today, but it appears to me to that the FIDE rules are quite clear, and not confusing at all. If Anton had left all of the paperwork to Hal Bond then I can understand why nothing is clear! Switching federations is well explained in the FIDE rules and many of my colleagues have already done so, with relative ease. The important thing to remember when switching federations is to have competent people on your side: the FIDE rules explain exactly what documents are required, how much money (or not) it is going to cost and how much time it will take.