SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
For the past 20 years or so FIDE Honorary Vice President and President of the Qatar Chess Federation, Mr. Khalifa Mohammed Al-Hitmi has done a great deal to promote chess in Qatar, as well as amongst members of the Arab countries and even all thru Asia. In an interesting and very frank interview at ChessDom, he spoke of his interest in bringing the chess Olympiad to Qatar as early as 2016 , the time that a small group in Toronto would like to do the same:
The former President of the Olympic Committee Sheikh Saoud Bin Khaled Al-Thani (left) and Khalifa Mohammed Al-Hitmi
” I was trying to organize the Chess Olympiad in 1996 in Doha but, God forgive Mr. Campomanes, he had something else in mind.
Now we are seriously thinking to host the Olympiad in 2016 or 2018 in Qatar. I discussed it with some FIDE people. We are doing some studies here, whether it is worth or not for us. Of course it would be worth for FIDE. Doha is very much capable to do any big chess event…
We want to make one more favour for FIDE and organize an Olympiad. We want to show how Olympiad should be organized.”
Is the Toronto bid going belly-up?
MEANWHILE, back in Toronto there is very little information about what kind of progress is being made as the May 2012 deadline to present a detailed bid to FIDE approaches. However, some ominous signs that the bid is falling apart are beginning to appear. Some people have become disenchanted with the way things have been run and have left the project for good.
Several weeks ago FIDE let it be known that any 2016 bidder should seriously
consider adding on a side-bid for the 2015 World Cup. Such an add on would entail an extra $2 million to $4million committment by the bidder. Add that on to the $20 million to $25 million pricetag that has been put on holding an Olympiad in Toronto and try not to laugh….or cry.
Toronto artist Mike Magnan’s proposed logo
A while back on this blog I wrote
about Toronto’s bid. At the time I mentioned the ”official” link
which, while it included very little real information or substance, atleast gave a list of committee members and their photos.
NOW, however, that list has disappeared (and their photos) and only David Cohen’s name and mug shot remains. Is this an indication that the committee has disappeared also? Could be, but the real question is whether this is indeed a case of the rats leaving a sinking ship?
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS