Last night NM Sulaiman Smith made an appearance at the Ironman Chess Club. In 1995 Sulaiman attended the Million Man March in Washington D.C. (https://www.britannica.com/event/Million-Man-March) and former GCA President Thad Rogers began to call him “Sulamillionman,” and then laugh.
When Mr. Smith extended his hand it was greeted by my fist. Sulaiman grinned while turning his hand into a fist, and we then “bumped.” Ever since Barack Obama gave his wife, Michelle, “the fist bump heard round the world”
it was interpreted by most people as the friendly gesture it was meant to be and politicians were soon fist bumping one another on TV chat shows. Some called it the “fist bump of hope”. The more straight-laced New York Times said it was a “closed-fisted high-five”, according to Leonard Doyle writing in the Independent. Unfortunately Leonard also wrote this: “Millions of people saw Mrs Obama daintily bump fists with her husband last week just before he claimed the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination at a rally in St Paul, Minnesota. More common on the sports field, the gesture was decried as “Hizbollah hand jabbing” on the Human Events blog. On Fox News, the host asked, in all seriousness, if it was, “a terrorist fist jab?”.
I liked the bumping of fists as opposed to the antiquated custom of shaking hands, which only spreads germs, and disease. It has been my experience that every time I have greeted a person of color with the fist a smile has been received. After moving into farm country in Lavonia, Georgia, I made the mistake of offering a fist one time and it went around the mostly white community that I was “one of them.” As in, “You know, he’s from Atlanter.” (The misspelling is intentional) Lavonia is deep in the heart of Trump country. I was like a fish out of water for three years before making it back into civilization.
“The handshake has existed in some form or another for thousands of years, but its origins are somewhat murky. One popular theory is that the gesture began as a way of conveying peaceful intentions. By extending their empty right hands, strangers could show that they were not holding weapons and bore no ill will toward one another. Some even suggest that the up-and-down motion of the handshake was supposed to dislodge any knives or daggers that might be hidden up a sleeve.” (https://www.history.com/news/what-is-the-origin-of-the-handshake)
Checking the usual Chess websites today found this article at Chess.com: Coronavirus: Should Players Shake Hands Before A Chess Game? by Peter Doggers. (https://www.chess.com/news/view/coronavirus-shake-hands-before-chess-game) Peter provided a link to the “…upcoming World Senior Team Championship (March 5-15 in Prague)…” and off I went.
Once clicking on (http://www.wstcc2020.net/information/fide-medical-security-protocol/) this was found:
FIDE Medical security protocol
MEDICAL SECURITY POLICY AND PROTOCOL FOR UPCOMING FIDE EVENTS
I will not provide everything given as protocol because you can click onto the link and read it for yourself as it is quite lengthy. I would, though, like to share some of the unbelievably insane things, even for FIDE, written, beginning with number
“3. Masks shall be made available for use by participants who have flu-like symptoms”
Now I do not know about you but if I were playing in the World Senior Team Championship this would NOT make me feel better about attending the event. It gets worse, or better, depending on your perspective:
“Participants who are coughing or sneezing are especially encouraged to use these masks to avoid possible spread of the covid-19 virus.”
Yes sir, it certainly would give me a feeling of assurance to know my opponent sitting only a couple of feet across the board was wearing a mask as he was dying of some Wuhan pathogen developed in a not so secret laboratory in China. How about you?
It gets better, or worse, depending…
4. The events rooms shall have proper and well-functioning ventilation and air circulation with fresh air intake.
“This measure will ensure that the air in the meeting rooms is fresh and that the meeting rooms have rapidly circulating air at all times to minimize the risk of transmission of covid-19 virus.”
This did not work well for the unfortunate passengers confined to quarters breathing the “rapidly circulating air at all times” taking a “three hour tour” aboard a cruise ship.
Click on and check this one out:
Now take the “three hour tour” in a minute:
Then there is:
5. Events rooms shall not be overcrowded and there shall be sufficient physical separation between people.
This shall minimize the chances of possible transmission of covid-19 virus between meeting attendees.
I love the “sufficient physical separation between people” part considering this headline:
Stand Back: Flu Virus Travels 6 Feet
By Rachael Rettner January 31, 2013
“If you know someone who is suffering from the flu, you might want to keep your distance. Infectious flu-containing particles exhaled by a sick person can travel at least 6 feet, according to a new study.”
FIDE has invariably been a place to go for laughs, but this is ridiculous to the point of absurdity, especially considering the very lives of Chess players are concerned, especially so when it comes to Seniors because professionals know the most susceptible among us are male Seniors. For example:
Why the Coronavirus Seems to Hit Men Harder Than Women
Women mount stronger immune responses to infection, scientists say.
Coronavirus deaths at Washington nursing home show seniors at high risk of contracting the disease
People over age 50 are more susceptible to respiratory illnesses, and related complications
Published: Mar 2, 2020 3:09 p.m. ET
Coronavirus’ Top Targets: Men, Seniors, Smokers
February 27, 2020
When it comes to the decisions made by FIDE in the Wuhan pathogen matter I am reminded of a now (in)famous scene from the movie Jaws when the possibility of closing the beach on the fourth of July is being discussed with the mayor, who must decide between people dying or losing money:
When it comes to the life of a human Chess player and money which do you think the F.I.P.s (Fools In Power) within FIDE will choose? As my father, a very religious man, was frequently fond of saying during the sixties and seventies, “God save us all.” I will add, “From FIDE.”