06 March 2013

A House Divided

With the London Candidates tournament fast approaching, I'll take a break from the Zonal Overview, last seen in Zonal Overview 2013 3.x & 4.x, and return to the subject of FIDE politics, last seen in What Is Going on Here. In that post I quoted Silvio Danailov, President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, which had lost a bid for organizing the Candidates event to Agon and its representative, Andrew Paulson:-
I have met Paulson & Co several times and I immediately realized that [they] are not serious and will be a complete disaster for chess after the Candidates where Azerbaijan pays the bill. So far this is their only sponsor. The London Grand Prix was one of the worse organized big chess events ever; everybody could see it. They have no money, no sponsors and absolutely no idea about chess at all.

Those are strong words, coming from a person who is also President of the European Chess Union (ECU) and a member of the FIDE Presidential Board, the highest decision making group in international chess. Were these opinions sour grapes, petty politics, or something more substantial? To find out, I started following Danailov's Twitter feed, Silvio Danailov on Twitter. Following are excerpts [sometimes translated from Russian by Google Translate with minor editing for punctuation; I've left in untranslated words]. First, here are a pair of tweets on Agon's attempts to organize the other Grand Prix events.

Feb 19: Madrid Gran Prix will be cancelled soon. You guess what will happen with Paris & Berlin, it's not so difficult to predict. Pray for Lisbon guys

Feb 19: You can bet on it

A few days later this was followed by comments on a retweeted FIDE announcement (WCOC = World Championships & Olympiads Commission).

Feb 25 (FIDE @Fide_chess): WCOC recommendations approved by the Presidential Board

Feb 25: All these recommendations are shameful and discriminatory for ECU and Europe. BTW, the WCOC commission is the worst by far in FIDE.

Feb 25: I hope next ECU GA in Warsaw in November will not approve this nonsense.

Feb 26 (Chess-News.ru @Chess__News): Russian version -> Translated version 'FIDE adopted the recommendations of the committee for the World Championships and the Olympic Games, which are called the infamous Danailov'

Feb 27: Chess Churov again blather and PR deshego, his favorite spetsialnost. Mozhet calm down, this nonsense will not work on the [GA] in November.

Feb 27: Of course he forgot to mention that out of $ 50,000 prize money to Asia and America FIDE makes $ 35,000.

Feb 27: So in fact the prize in Asia and America 15.000 $, a in Europe on his proposal to be 150.000 €. As saying pochuvstvayte difference

Feb 27: So he, along with FIDE true boritsya fiercely for the rights of players in Asia and America

Feb 27: That's the main problem, you write too much and you're always the same. (From the comments chess-news.ru)

I think 'Churov' refers to Evgeny Surov, the editor-in-chief of Chess-News.ru. It's worth noting that the 'prize money' is for the Continental Championships, and that the European continent is not organized the same as the other continents. In Europe, the European Championship is the only opportunity for European players to qualify for the World Cup, the next stage in the World Championship cycle. The other continents offer zonal tournaments in addition to the Continental Championship. After this, we return to the Grand Prix.

Feb 28: Panic. Desperately moving back to the usual suspects: Baku, Jermuk, Nalchik, Elista, etc,etc. The question is, are they available any longer?

Feb 28: I won't bet on it

Feb 28 (Mikhail Golubev ?@mikhail_golubev) they have Grozny (the capital of the Chechen Republic) in reserve: several years ago they wanted to make a top event there

Then back to comments on the WCOC.

Mar 1: Riddle of the day: What is the reward awaiting Churov chess FIDE for the faithful service of his Greek head this year? Reply soon, hurry-:)

Mar 1: Answer the riddle of the day: Presidential nomination for the World Cup in Tromso, the same that he has already received in [Khanty] 2011 for the dedication and achievements.

Here I'm baffled. The six nominees of the FIDE President for the 2011 World Cup were Kasimdzhanov, Sutovsky, Nielsen, Ding Liren, Bologan, and Moradiabadi. What do any of them have to do with Churov/Surov? In any case, no one should be surprised that the presidential nominations are used for political reasons. What other purpose would they serve? Finally, a few days ago, we had a pair of retweets.

Mar 4 (Chess-News.ru @Chess__News): Russian version • Mar 4 (Chess-News.ru @Chess__News): English version, Ilya Levitov on FIDE: "There's Not Such an Organisation. Their Actions Are Supported Neither By the Idea, Nor By Any Plan"

Levitov is a FIDE Vice President and also a member of the Presidential Board. The Chess-news.ru article started,

Ilya Levitov, the Chairman of the Management Board of the Russian Chess Federation, strongly criticised the international chess federation in the recent interview given to Sport-Express : "Unfortunately, I have not any kind of relations with FIDE. That's because in reality this organisation doesn't exist. Their actions are supported neither by the Idea, nor by any plan. They meet, discuss something and make some decisions, which have no influence on the chess world. FIDE is remembered only when it prepares another mean trick for the chess players.

So we have the President of the European Federation badmouthing attempts to organize World Championship events on his continent. We also have a FIDE Vice President saying, 'I have not any kind of relations with FIDE'. What is wrong with this picture?

1 comment:

davidetal said...

Beyond bizarre. Extraordinary how chess politics gets dragged down to levels that pertain in ex-USSSR countries...