FIDE in Crisis?!
Is FIDE burning?
When Arkady Dvorkovich became the new FIDE president in October of last year, everyone (or almost everyone) felt confident for FIDE’s immediate future.
And why should anyone have thought any different? Dvorkovich had good looks, youth, wealth and powerful connections.
But sometimes things are never as simple as they first appear, and now it appears that dark clouds (smoke!?) are beginning to block Dvorkovich’s sunshine…
It took less than 10 days for the rain to fall on Kouatly and Dvorkovich’s parade. On Tuesday February 12, readers might recall, FIDE officially started an optimistic campaign to try to become part of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.
But on the Thursday of the following week a resounding ‘no’ was communicated to FIDE. Of course, this per se was not a surprise to me, but the speed with which the decision was made definitely surprised me.
And what is more, even today none of Chess.Com, ChessBase or other popular chess sites, which so enthusiastically reported the start of the campaign, have given their readers the news. Are they still in SHOCK? Must be…
This is another great idea gone sour. Unlike the IOC campaign, however, it is not yet officially dead. It is simply comatose…
Readers will recall that one of the highlights of Dvorkovich’s FIDE campaign was the news that FIFA wanted to work with FIDE , possibly create a number of joint projects that could exploit and develop mutual symmetries and asymmetries.
Well, in the more than 6 months since this idea was first conceived, apart from a number of meetings between the heads of FIDE and FIFA, no progress has been made and on February 21 FIDE tried to put a positive spin on a failing project:
Spin or no spin, this announcement reads like a rejection letter from a publishing house that does not want your book.
If FIFA and FIDE were to have any success working together, then something would have already appeared. As it stands now, Dvorkovich’s election announcement back in June(?) of last year was not the golden goose we all hoped it would be.
Is the ECU leaving FIDE?
When the ECU president Azmaiparashvili and the ECU vice-president Dana Reizniece-Ozola visited Lisbon earlier this month as part of a pan-European “working visit”, rumours were already flying that Azmaiparashvili was planning to have the ECU formally leave FIDE sometime in 2019 and become the ONLY official body representing European chess interests, excluding FIDE from any direct influence or role.
It is all just rumour at this point, but signs have appeared over the recent months that the ‘divorce’ is very much advancing.
For instance, if you visit the ECU’s official websites (twitter, facebook, etc) finding a FIDE-logo is akin to looking for a needle in a hay stack. There are simply none! As well, planned European championships’ posters and websites follow suit.
Readers will recall that during the FIDE presidential campaign, the ECU voted overwhelmingly against Dvorkovich. Azmaiparashvili even campaigned on behalf of Makropoulos and wrote very anti-Russian statements on his personal facebook page.
Add to this that much of the ECU leadership is either anti-Russian or from former East-Block territory, and we do not have to use our imagination too much to see that the rumour of the ECU leaving FIDE is not without some grounds.
This, if it comes to pass (there is an extra-ordinary meeting of the ECU in Macedonia next month) will be a real test to Dvorkovich’s leadership skills. Time to put down the violin and put out the fires…