27 August 2008

2008 Restricted World Championships

I added the winners of the recently completed World Junior Championship in Gaziantep, Turkey to my page on Other World Chess Champions (Restricted events). I also added a new page on the 2008 FIDE Knockout Matches to my page on the World Chess Championship for Women.

For photos from the World Junior Championship, see 2008 world young championship, from which the following is taken.

KIF_7617 © Flickr user karpidis under Creative Commons.

I assume it's a photo of the prize winners from the men's competition.


Because it's a tense situation which is still evolving, it's perhaps better to say nothing about the controversies surrounding the World Women's Championship. Unfortunately, the FIDE reaction to Appeal to FIDE: move the Women's World Championship (follow the links for the reactions) defies belief: FIDE President Ilyumzhinov: 'Do not mix politics and sport'; ECU President Boris Kutin: 'mixing politics with sports is clearly against the spirit of the international chess community'; Ilyumzhinov: 'It is not [the organizers'] fault that blood was shed.'

When Ilyumzhinov was abducted by extraterrestrials (see my Elsewhere on the Web, Kalmykia, 'The Home of World Chess'), did they erase his memory of FIDE sanctions against South Africa, or of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre? Even so, that doesn't explain Kutin's response. The players' safety, security, and peace of mind cannot be dismissed with weasel words.

People having longer memories than chess politicians might remember that in 2004, FIDE managed to move the venue of the World Women's Championship under similar, even less dangerous circumstances (see Elsewhere on the Web World Championships Galore). Future chess officials seeking executive position should be checked for the presence of a heart. The presence of a brain is clearly asking too much.

See also Chessbase.com's July report Women's World Championship in Nalchik, showing the geography of the region, and their more recent report Ilyumzhinov reiterates: we should not mix sport and politics, with reader comments. • For my previous posts on the event, including other changes of venue (Prague -> San Luis -> Iran -> Istanbul) see Women's World Championship 2008 [10 April 2008], and Women Put Kabardino-Balkaria on the Chess Map [11 June].

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