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User Rating: / 8
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 10 October 2013
By GM Kevin Spraggett, Canada, FIDE 2544
Kevin's blog (parental advisory)

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Chess politics, for all its noise and whoop-la, is a total bore. On October 7 in Tallinn (Estonia) the delegates of the FIDE Congress held in said city were treated to the official kick-off of Gary Kasparovs 2014 campaign for the FIDE presidency. While it had long been rumoured that Kasparov was going to make yet one more biddespite the bitter experience in 2010no one was really certain who would make up Kasparovs team. Now he has ended the speculation.

Having quite a competent team beside him , including  moneybags Rex Sinquefield and Sheikh Mohammed bin Ahmed AlHamed, Kasparov then  presented  a  surprisingly tame 6-step campaign platformincluding colourless cliches and unenthusiastic  promises (more sponsors, more transparency, more chess in schools,  better management etc)that sounded a lot more like a minor municipal by-election in Canada than a serious effort to transform the chess world.

I think that the feedback by readers of ChessVibes pretty much sums up the chess worlds take on seeing yet one more Kasparov initiative to take control.  I think the chess world is tired of both Kirsan and Kasparov, and turning the 2014 FIDE election into splitting hairs by seeing which individual they like less is going to guarantee that chess politics continues to be a total bore. At a time when ISSUES should be discussed instead, the election could quicky get  bogged down in the personality faults of the candidates (and there are many!).

But dont get me wrong!  I believe that Kirsanwhile well intentioned and sincerehas failed miserably to live up to his original promises when he first took control of FIDE  in late 1995. The fast time controls, the lack of transparency and democracy, Kirsans unique management style, the excessive focus on getting IOC approval and especially Kirsans  lack of sophistication when dealing with the media has all contributed to  marginalize chess in todays global corporate world.  I think that, while not a bad leader, should Kirsan not want to change course on his ideas for the chess world, then the chess world would be better off without him.  Eighteen years is long enough to learn from ones mistakes

HOWEVER, is Kasparov an alternative?  No, I dont think so. For as much as one can find ways to find fault with Kirsan, most in the chess world trust FIDEs future in his hands  more than in Kasparovs hands. And who is on Kasparovs team would not change the way most see this issue.  Kasparov is notand never wasa team player.

Other posts by GM Kevin Spraggett:
Time controls, Frank Marshal and Nuremberg 1906
World Junior Concludes
Capablanca's Final Advice
Chess Thriller: GM Moskalenko vs. GM Vallejo Pons
5-second tactics
Friday 5-second tactics
Happy 70th birthday to GM Kavalek
Today's Insight into Chess
Tactical workout-2
Tactical workout
6-time Portuguese Chess Champion Rui Damaso's Chess Brilliancies
Ode to the Kings's Gambit
Good news for old chess players
Lothar Schmid
Chess un-plugged!
Deceptively simple chess
Erich Eliskases
Robert Byrne

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 October 2013 )
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