Friday potpourri and other nonsense
LETTER FROM FIDE PRESIDENT
Earlier this week Kirsan Ilyumzhinov posted this open letter on the FIDE website, stating the obvious, namely that in the next four years a lot of hard work will have to be done in order to realize all of the promises made during the recent presidential campaign. Kirsan thanked Kasparov for being a worthy adversary, for having shown that FIDE is a democractic organization (!;I don’t think this will go over well with Gary) and called on a spirit of unity and cooperation in the chess community. A sort of ”let us all live happily ever after…” letter. We will have to wait and see how much of this comes to pass…
Karpov, Kirsan and Campomanes. Paris 1995
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov burst onto the FIDE stage for the first time in November 1995 at a FIDE meeting in Paris, presided by the then FIDE president Florencio Campomanes, who then abdicated in favour of Kirsan. Up to that point, virtually no one had ever heard of the Kalmykian president.
Kouatly, Kirsan, Campo and Durao
Campomanes recognized that new blood was necessary in order to move the chess world out of the rot and political stagnation that had been created when Kasparov/Short stole FIDE’s crown jewel (the world title) and created their own (short lived) chess organization , PCA. Kirsan has been re-elected ever since.
FIDE was created in the summer of 1924, and in the 90-years since has had a grand total of 6 presidents, including Kirsan. There is no limit to how long a president may serve, and Kirsan’s 19 years is certainly NOT the longest! However, considering his youth, wealth and popularity, Kirsan could conceivably become the longest serving president in the organization’s history!
Two points worth mentioning: First, it is not uncommon for such large international organizations to have long serving presidents. The IOC, for example, created in 1894 by Coubertin, has had just 10 presidents! The first president (Coubertin) served for not less than 29 years; Samaranch for 21 years. Today the IOC has put a limit to how long a president may serve: 12 years.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin. President for 29 years!
Second, despite efforts by Kasparov (and others) to convince people the opposite, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is still the NEW KID IN TOWN! With the exception of Kirsan, the chess community’s political leadership and the political landscape has changed very little in the past thirty years or so; it is always the same people with their hand in the cookie jar! Kasparov, for example, had already acquired a well deserved reputation for controversy and scandal a full decade BEFORE the Paris 1995 meeting when Kirsan first appeared on the chess stage .
And every challenger that Kirsan has had to face since in the FIDE presidential elections had been around MUCH LONGER than Kirsan has! So in a sense, as funny as it may appear at first sight, Kirsan is STILL the CHANGE that everyone has been so vocal about wanting to see in the chess world!
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE CHESS CLUB…
Just nice to look at!
The French Championship is currently taking place , and as it does every year, within a general chess festival that attracts thousands of players and spectators. Numerous secondary tournaments and chess activities are scheduled. Here we see a photo of the two best French players, Bacrot (sitting) and Vachier-Lagrave (standing). Bacrot must have thought it would be great fun to play in a simul. As could be expected, he was quickly found out, but this did not seem to bother Vachier-Lagrave.
Kudos to Gibraltar for another super-successful chess tournament at the Caleta Hotel, this time the Junior International. LINK. Stuart Conquest is one heck of a GREAT organizer! He even contacted me to see if any of my Portuguese students might be interested in participating…it is that attention to personal detail that makes the difference between a good tournament and a GREAT tournament!
FROM TEAM MATES TO ENEMIES ?!
Lagno has had to make several difficult and stressful decisions in recent times. First she divorced her French husband (and grandmaster) Robert Lafontaine, and then just this year Kateryna changed her federation from Ukraine to Russia. The latter ‘move’ has no doubt been much complicated because of the confrontation in the Ukraine between east and west.
Ukraine star player Natalia Zhukova , and former team mate of Lagno, refuses to forgive Lagno for switching federations. “Getting rid of the parasites is always painless. Well, love cannot be forced. If she doesn’t want to play for Ukraine, why do we need such people? We didn’t communicate at the Olympiad, she avoided it. Cleansing is always for the better.”
Not unexpectedly, the Russia vs Ukraine match was the centre of attention in Tromso. Ukraine won! But that did not stop Russia from taking the gold medal. Zhukova , playing board 4, won her game to give Ukraine the victory.
Here we can see an obviously content Zhukova get up immediately after her team’s win. I should remind readers that Zhukova does not dislike the russians: she is married to grandmaster Alex Grischuk, a member of the Russian National Team!
I have no idea what this is, but I think I would like it if I did know !
RARE PHOTO OF BRUCE LEE!
Bruce Lee reading what appears to be a movie script. Definitely not pleased! ”BRAITHWAITE?? What kind of name is Braithwaite??”
I have been thinking of taking up bowling…
Like chess, form is important
Ditto last comment!