Coffee, Chess, Iran,Cheating …
I kid you not! There is really a woman-owned family business in Portland, Oregon that brands itself ‘Hard On Coffee’! How do they try to stand-out in the competitive coffee market? With humor and creativity!
Coffee, but for grownups…
Will FIDE dare to SUSPEND Iran?
The simple truth is that FIDE does not feel the need to follow its own rules. Period. Why not? There are several explanations:
- It is inconvenient to engage in political issues that are bigger than themselves.
- Super-power politics
- It has been profitable to play one side off the other ($$$)
Here on this blog I have written extensively on the issue of POLITICAL BOYCOTTS in the chess world and how FIDE has continually refused to properly tackle the issue. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are just some of the more prominent boycotters.
In recent years, because of the success of the powerful BDS movement, Iran has been singled out — by the Israeli-funded anti-BDS lobby — for punishment. And for good reason. For example, take a look at this article that I wrote focusing on Iran from last year, and it will give links to more such topics published here on this blog:
Since Dvorkovich was elected in October 2018 FIDE and made Nigel Short a VP, some progress has been made to address the issue of Iran’s boycott of Israel.
Short deserves credit for not letting Dvorkovich ignore the Iran problem, and last month even saw FIDE make some sort of ‘ultimatum’ to Iran.
But, will anything come of it? I doubt it very much. At least, not in the next couple of years. Dvorkovich does not really get to decide important issues that go against the Kremlin’s strategic interests.
And what of Nigel Short? He was able to ‘overlook’ similar problems with Saudi Arabia several years ago, probably because FIDE pocketed several million dollars in the process.
And here, as Shakespeare liked to say, lies the rub: Iran is just the tip of the iceberg. A very big iceberg where there are no innocent sides. Politics is a dirty game, and the truth is that in the chess world we are all whores. We negotiate for the best deal for ourselves. Nigel included.
FIDE will find a way to delay and delay…as it always does. Hopefully when Nigel Short takes over from Dvorkovich he will be able to do something concrete.
Stalker or Peeping-Tom; but no Heroine
Here is a rather sad follow-up story regarding the recent cheating scandal this past summer involving the young Polish female star Patrycja Waszczuk.
Chess24 interviewed the ‘eyewitness’, the equally young Katarzyna Dwilewicz, and a rival of Patrycja.
Apparently, by her own confession, Katarzyna followed Patrycja into the female washroom during a tournament, quietly installed herself adjacent to Patrycja’s washroom stall, sleekly climbed up on the toilet seat and – undetected, of course – peered over to spy on Patrycja.
Patrycija — as Katarzyna anticipated — was using a cell phone to cheat!
To make the story short, Katarzyna — quietly stepped down and later went to the tournament organizers/arbiters and told them what she saw. Eventually Patrycija was banned for 2 years for cheating.
MY OBJECTION TO THIS
This story is reminiscent of the Igor Rausis cheating scandal of 2019 when a photo was published of Igor Rausis discovered cheating in a washroom stall during a tournament game. Except that this time there was no photo.
In most countries what Katarzyna did would be considered illegal and — depending on what country this transpired — possibly constitute a prosecutable crime that could see jail time. She deliberately stalked another person, followed her to a washroom and then proceeded to surreptitiously invade her privacy and spy on her.
All without said person’s knowledge or consent. And remember: cheating in chess is NOT a crime. And certainly, Katarzyna could NEVER be considered an ‘eyewitness’. By any definition, legal or not.
What is our chess community coming to when we encourage young people to break the law or engage in immoral/unethical acts? I think it is a sad statement when such behaviour as seen in Katarzyna’s case is rewarded or re-inforced. Either by the chess community or by sites such as Chess24.
To be continued…