SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The much anticipated 82nd FIDE Congress came to a close last Saturday without being engulfed in any controversies or confrontations regarding new FIDE fees, licences or rating hikes. This was greeted with relief thru-out the chess world. As was written in an earlier blog
running up to the Congress, proposed fee-hikes threatened to bankrupt many organizers who wanted to have their events FIDE rated.
For instance a one-time 10 euro fee for every player who has a FIDE rating followed by a 30 euro annual fee. Plus heavy financial sanctions against those organizers who do not comply. The Dutch chess federation wrote a very strong objection
to these new proposals, and was soon followed by other FIDE member nations.
THE US DELEGATION AT THE FIDE CONGRESS: IA Sophia Rohde, IA Walter Browne, Zonal President Francisco Guadalupe, USCF President Ruth Haring, Executive Director Bill Hall & FIDE Delegate Michael Khodarkovsky
However, the Executive Board of FIDE wisely decided to dump its proposed hikes and new licenses and many of the individual items never even made it to the discussion table. USCF President Ruth Haring wrote on the USCF website”If you have been following the reports from Krakow you have read about a number of proposals in various commissions to impose new fees for a wide range of activities. Though some of these fee-related proposals were withdrawn or delayed for discussion at the next Congress, it is clear that there is a push by FIDE to license and regulate all aspects of chess. It seems that generation of new revenue streams is behind these ideas. I personally believe that imposition of new fees in conjunction with licensing and regulating all aspects of FIDE chess events during these exceptionally challenging economic times will result in fewer FIDE events being organized and held throughout the world.”
So it very much appears that FIDE’s ruling elite has not permanently shelved its ambitions to expand FIDE’s revenue streams by feasting on its own flesh and blood (the average FIDE rated player) and no doubt more will be heard of this in coming years.
Maka…what is his name?!
Canada’s FIDE representative, Hal Bond, promises
to write a full report on his FIDE-related activities in Krakow, once he will have physically recovered from the consumption of huge quantities of Polish alcohol and nightly debauchary….no doubt all part of his promoting Toronto’s bid for the 2016 chess OLYMPIAD (!) (PS: since this blog was posted earlier today, Hal Bond has published his report on the CFC website message board! I have always been fascinated at how quickly one can do one’s job once there is some incentive…)
Copyright by Mike MagnanYes, that is right!
A group of Toronto chess amateurs has pulled together something resembling a bid and trucked it off to the FIDE congress in Karkow. This is just the necessary first step in a very long screening process by FIDE before awarding an Olympiad bid to any potential host. The actual vote will be taken sometime in the next couple of years. Before then, FIDE representatives will visit Toronto to ascertain the level of financial committment, experience and to inspect the playing site and accomodations.
This is not
the first time that someone from Toronto has tried to submit a bid for an Olympiad (in 1990 a mysterious figure–Toronto organizer Milosevich-: -went to the FIDE congress in Novi Sad to peddle his craft. He went away empty handed when it was realized that he had forgotten his cheque book back home: in those days a $50,000 deposit was necessary with the bid)
Although this writer had first heard of the 2016 bid months ago, I have refrained from writing about it because of the scarcity of information and detail. There is still very little credible information on the bid, but it appears that the city of Toronto has put up some seed money for the bid application.
I for one would love to see an Olympiad in Toronto. If memory serves me well, North America has never organized an Olympiad. This would be a first.
However, aren’t the Toronto organizers a bit out of their depths? Scanning the names of those directly involved in the administration of this proposal, does anyone involved have the past experience in a project of this size? Everyone mentioned is just someone from inside an otherwise failing Toronto chess community.
Besides, the more pertinent question is HOW MUCH??
would an Olympiad cost to organize and run in Toronto? The winning 2014-bid (Tromso
, Norway) started planning in 2007 (7 years before!) and today their budget is just shy of 15,000,000 euros–approximately 9,000,000 is government money. The official contract with FIDE was only signed last week at the Krakow congress, 3 years before the event. I invite the reader to check out the winning bid’s website
for details and compare it to Toronto’s effort!
The city of Tromso has just 68,000 inhabitants. I doubt if a bid from Oslo (the capital of Norway) could have matched the fundraising capacity of the smaller city. Smaller cities usually have an easier time getting government support (they can better argue their bid in terms of regional development, international recognition and economic impact) than bigger cities. Case in point was the wildly successful 1988 Chess Festival in St.John, New Brunswick, which raised a cool $2,000,000 for the event!
1988; Chess Festival and Prime Minister Mulroney and yours truly
Tromso can argue that having an Olympiad will have a BIG impact on the city. There is no doubt there. Toronto can not argue the same! A sprawling city of some 6,000,000, Toronto is the financial, cultural and entertainment capital of the country and is an international city in every respect. Every year 25 millions of tourists visit and hundreds of international conventions are held. Let’s not forget about film festivals and professional sports! Each boosts the local economy.
A chess Olympiad in Toronto would not boost its economy and would have mimimal impact (if any) on hotels, restaurants and shops. The local organizer must pay the full lodging of each and every of the several thousands of participants. This would in turn discourage the level of government sponsorship. This means that an Olympiad organizer would probably require something like 80% of its budget from private sponsorship!
And chess players are known to be reluctant to part with their dollars…AND media coverage would be a hard sell and depressing: in 1988 CBC often focused on the waste of taxpayers money for a chess festival in the middle of winter! Would private sponsors really want this?
IN ANY CASE, I would love to see an Olympiad in Toronto! I am a Canadian chess player and that is reason enough for me! I wish the Toronto group of amateurs the best of luck with their bid
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS