SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The number one chess event of the year is entering its 2nd week. Round 6 is being played as I blog. And the FIDE Congress –which will culminate in the presidential election–is gaining momentum. Everything ends this coming Sunday. Below is the official schedule.
According to Hal Bond (Canada’s most controversial chess organizer-turned politico since the recent demise of Peter Stockhausen) and who is at the Olympiad as an arbiter and is officially representing Canada at the FIDE Congress (but only when he can get up early enough–something that apparently depends on the quantity of alcohol he consumes the night before at Bermuda-type parties ) Kasparov made a grande entrance arriving at the hotel.
”The politics are picking up now that the delegates have arrived. Someone from the Karpov camp – Kasparov I think, has shown up in a huge white stretch limousine. I don’t understand how this choice is particularly helpful. As one delegate laughed, “it is clear that both campaigns are doing everything they possibly can to lose this election.” –Hal Bond on the CFC public message board this past weekend.
Kasparov did not lose much time playing the role of legendary super-celebrity, willingly posing for photos and signing autographs. Here Gary can be seen surrounded by some adoring Irish lasses….(What is Una O’Boyle’s hand doing in Gary’s pocket??!!)
Ofcourse, one must not think that the chess-politicos are in complete control of their own PR status. Many of the chess players get a big chuckle out of playing the ‘smile for the camera’ game. In the photo to the left we can see one of the same Irish lasses get an equally affectionate hug from Kirsan. (Where is your hand, Una?)
Mark Bluvshtein has resumed his blogging at the Khanty Mansiysk Olympiad. I suggest you take a look (http://www.markbluvshtein.wordpress.com/) You will find games and photos, as well as personal observations of the Olympiad. Here is a photo of most of the Canadian Team with (should we be surprised by now?) Kasparov.
Mark is on the left, right beside former world champion Kasparov
FOOD FOR THOUGHT…
The organizers have taken great pains to ensure that everyone comes way from the Olympiad with nothing but the best memories. Especially, as far as food is concerned! A professional company from St.Petersburg was hired to provide the more than 9 tons of life-sustaining organic material that the players need to consume everyday! And they do it with great style!
”The professionals from St. Petersburg are responsible for providing catering services for the participants of the 39th World Chess Olympiad in the Hotel complex Olympic. Two central Olympic restaurants serve about 1500 people, while only 1200 visitors can be simultaneously accommodated there. The chess players consume about 9 tons of food per day. That’s a little bit more than the weight of a big African elephant and this amount of food is regularly served on the tables of the participants. The guests make their choice on a buffet without any limit, meals are provided calculating the average of 1.5 kilograms per person in each phase, taking into account the caloric content and the meat component. The meals timetable is adapted to the playing schedule taking into consideration the fact that players come back late after the rounds”. (official website)
”The organizers meet all traditional and confessional preferences of players. Pork, for example does not exceed 10% of the total course, as many of the guests of the hotel are Muslims. The vegetarian diet and dietary menu are always available in the distribution sector. It is not a problem to find it. A representative of any country has an alternative in accordance with his taste.”
MY DOUBLE IS AT KHANTY MANSIYSK?!
”Canadian Gm Kevin Spraggett’s double is also here in Khanty Mansiysk.” reports an Irish website (http://www.icu.ie/articles/display.php?id=281 ). No doubt a practical joke from some of my Irish friends. On the otherhand, perhaps Hal Bond has been disguising himself at night (in an effort to get into some of the more fashionable night spots!) as yours truly?!
Finally a word about the CFC coverage of the Canadian team in Khanty Mansiysk. One would think that if the cash starved CFC is going to spend what is likely to be approximately 25,000 dollars (including the latest 5,000 mistake when prematurely booking flights to and from Europe) in sending Canadian representation to the Olympiad, then the CFC Executive would use this opportunity to promote chess –and especially the CFC– back in Canada. If not in the public daily media, then surely amongst the chess community.
But we don’t see much effort being made in this direction. Infact, the CFC executive has zero coverage on the official federation website (http://www.chess.ca/
) . And nothing on the CFC message board, unless you count Bob Armstrong’s ”7:52 am . Move 26 – Thomas has Q vs 2 R’s. Each has a passed P. ” and ”8:00 Move 23 – Dina continues her K-side attack ( still no 0-0-0 ). She offers up a P to open lines with 23.g6.” type of personal contributions as something that should pass as more than just the eye-sore that it is.
Before leaving this item, I should mention that the CFC has made a big thing about creating the position of Public Relations Coordinator. According to the CFC website, ”The Public Relations Coordinator will be responsible for promoting the image of the CFC.” While this position has been vacant since its inception, I should point out that the CFC executive is doing a wonderful job in promoting the image of the CFC with its coverage of Canada’s performance at the Olympiad. One more great opportunity missed. Well done!
GM Antonio Fernandes (Portugal)
Antonio, a friend of the family, made his first appearance at an Olympiad in Nice 1974!
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS