Nigel Short For FIDE President

It was with pleasure I read the exciting news when GM Nigel Short

announced he would be running for POFIDE on the Chessdom website.

Nigel Short announces candidacy for FIDE President 2018-2022

May 7, 2018

“The English Grandmaster Nigel Short has announced his candidacy for FIDE President at the upcoming elections during the Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018. Nigel Short chose a Norwegian newspaper, Aftenposten, to break the news. In an interview he says that he “believes the chess world deserves a better alternative”. The full details of Nigel Short’s campaign will be announced by the end of May.

This candidacy comes amid huge battle between Makropoulos and Ilyumzhinov,

the other two candidates for FIDE President.”
http://www.chessdom.com/nigel-short-announces-candidacy-for-fide-president-2018-2022/

FIDE needs change, drastic change, which is acknowledged by those paying attention to what has happened to the Chess World while Kirsan has been piloting the Starship with his team.

Unfortunately Kirsan’s starship FIDE has gone into a nosedive. As is said, “The ground is coming up fast.” Simply put, the Chess world cannot survive another term of Kirsan the ET.

Ilyumzhinov speaks about the proven secret to eternal youth

“On 8 May, in an interview to the National News Service, the president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said that chess lessons not only increase life expectancy but also help to ensure healthy old age.

“As the president of FIDE, I would like to say that chess has a beneficial effect on the psyche and on the moral and physical state of a person. People aged 50 and over are strongly encouraged to play chess or at least practice it for half an hour. Chess is the only way to prevent aging memory loss.” (http://kirsan.today/en/analytics/item/2310-ilyumzhinov-speaks-about-the-proven-secret-to-eternal-youth.html)

This is but one example of the strange things Kirsan the ET has said while piloting the starship Chess. Certainly there are many other ways “…to prevent aging memory loss.”

The other candidate, Georgios Makropoulous,

has been Kirsan’s deputy for about two decades. One reads Makro has been “running things” while Kirsan visits despotic dictators and travels the universe with his out of this world “friends.”

Makro is a bureaucrat (An official who is rigidly devoted to the details of administrative procedure) who knows where the bodies are buried.

“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”― Albert Einstein

It is folly to believe Makro will somehow avert the coming crash landing of the Starship Chess.

Before writing I researched Georgios Makropoulous. This is the headline from one of the articles dated 2013:

Georgios Makropoulos: “Ilyumzhinov Is the Biggest Guarantee at This Moment In FIDE”

“At least we have Kirsan as our guarantee. Kirsan is the biggest guarantee at this moment in FIDE, if something is wrong. He is always there asking if we have some problems.”

“Are you also asking about my personal weaknesses? That’s an interesting question… I am very loyal to my friends and I think that is not always very good for FIDE.” (http://chess-news.ru/en/node/13774)

What else do you need to know about Makro?

The peripatetic Nigel has long written a column for the best Chess magazine in the world, New In Chess, concerning his adventures while traveling the world. Mr. Short has been a roving ambassador for Chess all of his adult life, and his writing has been fascinating.

The Dutch World Chess Champion Machgielis Euwe

was president of FIDE from 1970-1978, and Grandmaster Fridrik Olafsson

of Iceland was POFIDE from 1978-1982. Compared to those taking the helm after their departure they did an outstanding job of piloting the ship of Chess. FIDE needs a leader who actually plays Chess. When was the last time you noticed either Kirsan the ET or Makro the functionary actually play the Royal game? I was unable to locate any articles or videos with Makro playing Chess, but it was easy to locate Kirsan the Et playing the Royal game. Here Kirsan is in all his glory:

In the article, FIDE Money Transferred To Fiduciary Accounts, by Peter Doggers, May 14, 2018, one reads:

“On May 4, FIDE transferred its money to two fiduciary accounts after the Swiss bank UBS had closed its account at the start of the month. This was revealed by FIDE’s treasurer on Sunday.

It took the World Chess Federation two weeks, but finally the national chess federations and everyone else have been informed about the whereabouts of FIDE’s money. And still, questions remain.

It all started in February, when FIDE treasurer Adrian Siegel shared with the world that FIDE’s bank, UBS in Switzerland, threatened to close their bank account because of president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s presence on the sanctions list of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

UBS agreed to postpone the deadline to April 30, but no longer. And indeed, the account was closed, and FIDE has been without a bank account since.

Active as ever on social media, GM Nigel Short has been focusing on this money issue since he announced his candidacy for the FIDE presidential elections. On Twitter he asked the same questions as in our previous report, wondering whether FIDE’s money was now “in a mattress” or “sent to Qatar”—the latter, because the Qatar Chess Federation’s president Khalifa Mohammed Al-Hitmi had offered FIDE to use his accounts.

The @FIDE_chess administration, headed by Makropoulos, transferred millions out of the @UBS account, before it was closed on April 30th. Where is the money now? If they have opened a new account in FIDE’s name, why are they not telling us? Or is it, perhaps, in a mattress?
— Nigel Short ( @nigelshortchess) May 8, 2018

Question to @FIDE_chess: can you confirm that the FIDE millions have been transferred to Qatar, as suggested by Makropoulos here? https://t.co/5kMUFoYWl3 If so, are they in a FIDE account? If not, can you kindly explain why you are not committing a criminal offence? #Governance
— Nigel Short ( @nigelshortchess) May 9, 2018

There’s a slight issue with that, because Short is not in Athens and won’t be for another month. He is the top seed in a tournament in Kolkata, India which starts today, and he will be away from home for over a month. In a tweet, he asked for scans of the documents.

In the spirit of complete transparency, I have asked @FIDE_chess Treasurer to send me scans of the relevant financial and legal documents as I will not be back in Athens, to examine them myself, for over one month.
— Nigel Short ( @nigelshortchess) May 14, 2018

Questions remain, such as whether the two trust companies in Switzerland and Hong Kong are reliable, and whether the recent actions of FIDE officials have followed the correct procedures. A more general question is whether FIDE could have avoided the loss of its UBS account, and the legal costs connected to this.

“I am afraid that we have to pay an essential five-digit amount for the lawyers since the really had to struggle with UBS which initially have even frozen our money,” said Siegel.” (https://www.chess.com/news/view/fide-money-transferred-to-fiduciary-accounts)

Imagine that…Nigel is participating in a CHESS TOURNAMENT! That is who he is and what he does, and has done most, if not all, of his life.

Medical students must take the Hippocratic Oath. One of the promises within that oath is “first, do no harm.” Under the leadership of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Georgios Makropoulous Chess has been irrefutably harmed. GM Nigel Short has devoted his life to Chess. He has enhanced the Royal game for many decades. Chess needs, requires, new leadership. I do not know if anyone can save Chess. I do know that without change, drastic change, Chess will not survive in the marketplace of ideas. The Kremlin

has thrown its support to Kirsan and the ETs. This is the same Kremlin that subverted and perverted the last Presidential election in the United States of America.

Chess needs a new “face.” The POFIDE is the face of Chess. Nigel Short will be a positive “face” and spokesman. I believe Nigel Short is the best man for the task.

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Is The Most Powerful Man In Chess A Lunatic?

What people who do not play Chess think of the Royal game matters. If people consider those who are in control of the game suspect, the Royal game is suspect. For decades the top man at FIDE, the governing body of World Chess, has been ridiculed by the press. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is the President of FIDE, and the man who has made Chess a punch line to some kind of sick joke about Chess.

The following article at the Deadspin website is yet another in a long line of articles (https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/chess-with-qaddafi-and-aliens) (https://www.rferl.org/a/chess-ilyumzhinov-denies-resignation-russia/28393841.html) disparaging the FIDE President, and by inference, the Royal game.

The Most Powerful Man In Chess Is Maybe A Lunatic

By Patrick Redford 3/30/17

The sports world is replete with notably wacky commissioners and leaders, and for all the wild shit that the Sepp Blatters and Oleg Tinkovs of the world get up to, the World Chess Federation’s president probably has them all beat. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

has been the top dog at FIDE since 1995, and for most of that time he was also president of Kalmykia, a majority-Buddhist, semi-autonomous Russian republic in the Caucasus Mountains near Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Dagestan.

Ilyumzhinov is also a world-class kook who believes that chess was invented by aliens, and has repeatedly claimed that he was abducted by aliens in 1997 and taken to visit a distant star.


Ilyumzhinov has sensationally claimed he was taken on a trip through space (Getty)

The way he sees it, aliens will inevitably come back to Earth and “take us away” as punishment for “bad behavior.”

That he’s remained atop FIDE for as long as he has despite unnervingly detailed accounts of his supposed alien abduction is one thing, but the fact that he’s held onto power despite some shady associations is more surprising. In 2006, Ilyumzhinov boasted about his friendship with Saddam Hussein and has claimed that history will exonerate him. A few months before Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi

was tortured and killed by rebel forces 2011, Ilyumzhinov flew to Tripoli to play a game of chess with Gaddafi and his son. When leaders condemned Ilyumzhinov for smiling for photo ops and hanging out with a repressive dictator, he insisted that chess could play a role in the peace process.

Two years ago, the United States announced sanctions against Ilyumzhinov for “materially assisting and acting for or on behalf of the Government of Syria.” Ilyumzhinov, who visited Bashar al-Assad

in 2012, claims that the only involvement he had in Syria was when he delivered chess sets in 2012 and tried to lobby Assad to incorporate chess into the country’s primary school curriculum. (Chess lessons are compulsory in Kalmykia.)

Ilyumzhinov is a longtime friend and ally of Vladimir Putin,

although the Russian state replaced him as president of Kalmykia in 2010. When Ilyumzhinov was re-elected FIDE president in 2014, Putin personally congratulated him. The longtime chess leader is a businessman who made his millions in the wave of privatization following the collapse of the USSR, though like so many others who became fabulously wealthy during this period, it’s unclear exactly how he got so rich.

Grandmasters and chess federation officials have accused Ilyumzhinov of using his role as FIDE president to promote Russian foreign policy, and Ilyumzhinov has been a vocal supporter of Putin’s military annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and advances into Ukraine. The Panama Papers revealed that Ilyumzhinov controlled a network of secret shell business centered in the British Virgin Islands that controlled TV rights and commercial rights of official FIDE events.

FIDE has been trying to get Ilyumzhinov out of the paint for a long time. Russian chess legend Garry Kasparov

tried to oust him in 2014 with the support of several Western chess federations, but Ilyumzhinov prevailed, perhaps thanks to him paying off a bloc of minor chess federations. After the sanctions were announced in 2015, Ilyumzhinov announced that he’d be stepping away from all legal, financial, and business operations at FIDE, although he remained president.

This week, it appeared that Ilyumzhinov would finally be resigning from his post. FIDE released a statement on Monday announcing that Ilyumzhinov had resigned at a board meeting in Greece over the weekend after getting into an argument over the U.S. sanctions. However, Ilyumzhinov quickly denied that he would be leaving and decried the announcement as fake. FIDE executive director Nigel Freeman pointed out that Ilyumzhinov ended the meeting by repeating “I resign” three times then storming out.

Ilyumzhinov has since claimed that he offered to step down during an “emotional” conversation with board members, but that it was not a formal offer of resignation. He says that FIDE put out their initial statement in an attempt to push him out and chalks up his confusing remarks to his shaky English skills. The Kremlin voiced its support for Ilyumzhinov to stay in office, and it appears that Ilyumzhinov will hold onto some form of power for the time being, no matter how many aliens and dictators he cozies up to.

https://deadspin.com/the-most-powerful-man-in-chess-is-maybe-a-lunatic-1793846998

Brain Damage
Pink Floyd
Produced by Pink Floyd
Album Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii

[Verse 1: Roger Waters]
The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path
The lunatic is in the hall
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paperboy brings more

[Chorus 1]
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

[Verse 2]
The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You rearrange me ’til I’m sane
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There’s someone in my head but it’s not me

[Chorus 2]
And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

[Outro]
I can’t think of anything to say except
Hahahahahahaha!
I think it’s marvellous!
Hahaha..

https://genius.com/Pink-floyd-brain-damage-lyrics

Glen Stark Responds

I read about a fellow named “Glen Stark” at Chessdom (http://www.chessdom.com/virtual-candidate-in-ilyumzhinovs-ticket/) the other day.

“In the CV of the person named “Glen Stark”, as sent to several members of the chess community including members of FIDE and the Russian Chess Federation (see the images below), it is written that Glen Stark’s website is http://www.glstark.com and, among others, his CV (RUS) states that he is:

a) vice-president of the US government controlled executive board of Office of American Innovation https://www.darpa.mil,
b) a “member” of several private companies,
c) a member of the Board of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and
d) a member of the Writers Guild of America.”

The article gave an email for Mr. Stark so I sent him an email:

Mr. Stark,

I write a quasi Chess blog, the Armchair Warrior. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/)

Having read articles at Chessdom.com concerning your being on Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s ticket I thought an email from you would help clear up the question(s) concerning your existence.

I checked the name “Glen Stark” at the USCF, finding that someone named Glen Stark joined the USCF recently. Would that happen to be you?

16712307 Unrated Unrated Unrated NJ 2019-04-30 STARK, GLEN, V

Regards,

Michael Bacon

We were gone most of the day. Upon returning the following reply was found in my inbox:

Glen Stark
To:Michael Bacon
May 6 at 8:56 PM
Hello Michael:

Sorry to say that I am not the Glen Stark you are looking for. Looks like you have a Glen V. Stark. I am C. Glen Stark.

All the best.

Glen

My reply:

I greatly appreciate your response, sir. You need to be aware your email has been published at Virtual candidate in Ilyumzhinov’s ticket? (update 3) | Chessdom

We just returned home and I will post your reply, and notify you when published.

All the best to you, too!

Michael

The Schism between Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the Presidential Board

The Schism between Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the Presidential Board

Wednesday, 11 April 2018 13:50

The Presidential Board held in Minsk on 7-8 April, 2018 agreed that the relevant extracts of the Minutes of the 25-26 March, 2017 Presidential Board Meeting, the 10 April, 2017 Extraordinary Presidential Board Meeting and the 13-14 October, 2017 Executive Board Meeting regarding the President’s situation be published.

25-26 MARCH PRESIDENTIAL BOARD MEETING

In the 25-26 March, Presidential Board Meeting, at the end of the Agenda, the President raised again the discussion of the Agon debts. This matter had been discussed in detail earlier in the Meeting and the Board had agreed to set up a Committee of the Treasurer, Adrian Siegel and elected Vice President, Israel Gelfer to discuss these debts with Ilya Merenzon and to report to the Presidential Board the next day session about the payments to FIDE.

It was during this discussion that the President was making proposals trying to involve FIDE in his personal problems with Agon and to try and use FIDE to gain control of Agon by blackmailing them with the fact they had a debt to FIDE. As you can see from the Minutes, the Presidential Board did not want to fight with the President, but the President kept returning to the subject. The President did not deny anything that Mr Makropoulos revealed regarding their discussions. Finally the President declared his resignation and thus it was over the matter of the Agon debt that the conflict between the President and the Presidential Board started.

The following are the Minutes of this matter. Please see link here: (http://www.fide.com/images/stories/NEWS_2018/1/Athens_Presidential_Board_meeting_25-26_March_2017.pdf)

10 APRIL EXTRAORDINARY PRESIDENTIAL BOARD MEETING

The 10 April Extraordinary Presidential Board Meeting was called to discuss what further actions should be taken by FIDE following the President’s declaration of resignation in the March meeting.

After FIDE announced that the President declared his resignation, the President returned to Russia and immediately denied that he had resigned and started insulting the whole Presidential Board. He started giving interviews saying that the Americans and Kasparov were behind this and that there was a coup attempt being led by the Deputy President and the Executive Director.

During the Meeting, the President apologised for providing wrong information to the media and admitted that he had even asked Ms. Tsedenova to prepare a letter of resignation and that also whatever decision the Presidential Board took, he would agree with it. The Presidential Board unanimously reconfirmed the decision that the Powers of the FIDE President are fully delegated to the FIDE Deputy President and the President agreed that he would withdraw his previous statement that he would reclaim his powers. Finally the Presidential Board unanimously agreed that Mr Ilyumzhinov, while remaining as FIDE President, no longer could act on behalf of FIDE.

The following are the Minutes regarding the situation of the President. Please see link here: (http://www.fide.com/images/stories/NEWS_2018/1/Extraordinary_PB_Meeting_2017-_EXTRACTEDMINUTES.pdf)

13-14 OCTOBER EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING

Unfortunately, the President did not respect the decisions of the FIDE Presidential Board and continued to claim to act on behalf of FIDE. He persisted in attacking Presidential Board members and the attacks were becoming personal and defamatory.

The 13-14 October Executive Board Meeting unanimously ratified the decision of the 10 April Extraordinary Presidential Board. The Deputy President in his Report raised the matter of the President’s behaviour, giving documented concrete examples of the attacks. He also requesting the President to stop those around him from spreading these stories. At no time did the President deny any matter raised by the Deputy President. The Treasurer raised again the problems caused to our bank accounts because of the President being on the US Sanctions list. Following a long discussion, the Executive Board voted 37 to 20 with two abstentions requesting the President not to run in the next election.

The following are the Minutes relating to the Deputy President’s Report. Please see link here: (http://www.fide.com/images/stories/NEWS_2018/1/EB-Antalya-Minutes-2017.pdf)

http://www.fide.com/component/content/article/1-fide-news/10824-the-schism-between-kirsan-ilyumzhinov-and-the-presidential-board.html

The Right-Wing Chess Media

In a post published May 3, 2018,

Kirsan enroute to BIG win in October!

GM Kevin Spraggett,

writes:

“You have to hand it to the man! He has managed to out-finesse each and every of his political rivals since first taking control of FIDE back in November 1995 in Paris.

Today it very much seems that he is going to be the big favourite , once more, at the FIDE elections to be held at during the Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia. According to my own research figures, Kirsan is heading towards a 70% support level, sweeping almost all of Asia and Africa, with a new strategy that accepts that his support in the America’s might decline to 50%. Europe’s vote will be , once more, irrelevant, once all the votes are counted.”

The post culminates with:

“It is curious that while all of the recent FIDE presidential board drama has unfolded, not a single top player has voiced any criticism of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, or expressed any public opinion to support Makro and gang. Only the right-wing chess media (Chess.com, ChessBase, ChessDom, etc) have expressed any support for Makro.

From what I have been able to find out, most top players believe that Kirsan will be re-elected, and by a large margin, regardless of who runs against him. Once more, it seems, there is a large divide in the chess community and its self-elected ‘journalists’!”

To be continued…(probably tomorrow when there should be some news coming out of Moscow)

Until reading Kevin’s post I was unaware there were different “wings” of the Chess media. I cannot help but wonder what “chess media” constitutes the “left-wing?”

I began my quest to learn more about the Chess MSM (Main Street Media) and the difference between the ‘left’ or ‘right factions of World Chess, and what defines ‘left’ or ‘right’, and who belongs to each group, if there is a “group.”

First stop on the internet highway was http://www.startpage.com. I was, unfortunately, unable to find elucidation…but something unexpected was discovered at the FIDE website, which obviously flew under my radar.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov urged to resign

By Siranush Ghazanchyan 09 Apr 2018

The FIDE Presidential Board voted 14 to 1 with no abstentions to urge President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to resign.

The issue was discussed during a meeting in Minsk, Belarus over the weekend.

FIDE said earlier that its Swiss bank accounts would be closed after its president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was accused of facilitating transactions on behalf of the Syrian government.

Ilyumzhinov was added to a US Treasury Department sanctions list in 2015 for his alleged dealings with the Assad government.

The senior management of the bank extended the deadline from the original 28th February, 2018 to 30th April, 2018, but was unwilling to extend until the FIDE elections on 3rd October, 2018.

The Presidential Board recognized the dire situation and passed the following resolution.

“Dear Kirsan

The Presidential Board has resolved that:

In the light of:

a) The imminent withdrawal of FIDE’s banking facilities by UBS,
b) The inability of FIDE to obtain replacement banking facilities while you remain nominal President and
c) subject to US Treasury Department sanctions,
d) The consequent severe difficulties facing FIDE in funding its obligations and its commitments to the chess family,
e) The adverse publicity that reflects badly on FIDE’s reputation and undermines the confidence of all those who are or would be involved in chess,

That in the interests of the organization:

You should resign with immediate effect.

The resolution has been signed by FIDE General Secretary Abraham Tolentino, Adrian Siegel, Treasurer Vice-presidents Georgios Makropoulos, Martha Fierro, Herbert Bastian, Mohammed Kambuzia, Beatriz Marinello, D.V. Sundar, Khalifa Al-Hitmi, Israel Gelfer, Boris Kutin, Gulkiz Tulay, Honorary Vice-Presidents Javier Ochoa and Mario Ramirez, President of Americas Jorge Vega, President of ECU Zurab Azmaiparashvili,

http://www.armradio.am/en/2018/04/09/fide-president-kirsan-ilyumzhinov-urged-to-resign/

BTW, You will not be surprised to learn that Kirsan’s Wiki entry heads the list at http://www.startpage.com. This is second:

USCF Board Member Wants Kirsan “Taken Out”

Allen Priest

won election to his final three year term on the Executive Board of the USCF last year and is, fortunately, term limited.

At the USCF website there is a forum thread, FIDE Bank Account Closed–Time for a New Federation?

The poster known as ChessSpawn wrote:
“Back when the Panama Papers came out linking certain high profile Russians chess persons to Putin and when Mueller first took over the investigation, I speculated about Kirsan and FIDE becoming part of the investigation. The sanctions allegations against Kirsan indicate that he has likely been doing Putin’s bidding for a long time and not simply traveling to give away chess sets.” (Postby ChessSpawn on Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:45 am #324653 )

In a reply dated Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:14 pm (#324667) Allen Priest, obviously referring to the President of FIDE, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov,

wrote: “…those that put him in have to take the action to take him out.” (http://www.uschess.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=23866)

Take him out

To eliminate someone. To kill him. To remove someone from a situation.
“Osama bin Laden is a menace. We will take him out.” President George W Bush.
by Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill August 24, 2005

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Take+him+out

Weiqi (Go) Versus Chess

“Using a universally relevant metaphor, Zbigniew Brzezinski,

former National Security Adviser to US president Jimmy Carter,

wrote in The Grand Chessboard,

published in 1997 (http://www.takeoverworld.info/Grand_Chessboard.pdf): “Eurasia is the chessboard on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played.” China’s New Silk Road strategy certainly integrates the importance of Eurasia but it also neutralizes the US pivot to Asia by enveloping it in a move which is broader both in space and in time: an approach inspired by the intelligence of Weiqi has outwitted the calculation of a chess player.”
“The chronicle by Japanese writer Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972) of an intense intellectual duel, translated in English as The Master of Go,

contributed to the popularity of the game in the West, but Weiqi is a product of the Chinese civilization and spread over time in the educated circles of Northeast Asia. Kawabata, who viewed the Master as one of his favorite creations, knew that for China the game of “abundant spiritual powers encompassed the principles of nature and the universe of human life,” and that the Chinese had named it “the diversion of the immortals.”
(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-gosset/weiqi-versus-chess_b_6974686.html)

Several years ago I contrasted the number of players in the US Chess Open with the number of players in the US Go Congress, posting the findings on the United States Chess Federation forum, and was excoriated for so doing, except for one person, Michael Mulford, who put the nattering nabobs of negativism to shame by congratulating me for “good work.” Basically, the numbers showed Chess losing players while Go had gained enough to have caught up with, and surpassed, Chess. It has continued to the point that if one thinks of it as a graph, with Chess in the top left hand corner; and Go in the bottom left hand corner, an “X” would appear.

I have spent some time recently cogitating about why this has come to pass. Certainly world Chess (FIDE) being administered as a criminal enterprise for at least a quarter of a century has not helped the cause of the Royal game. It has not helped that members of the USCF policy board have stated things like it being better to work within a corrupt system than to leave the corrupt system. See my post, Scott Parker Versus Allen Priest, of November 29, 2017 (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/?s=alan+priest)

Now that the bank account of FIDE, the world governing body of Chess, has been closed I do not foresee anything but further decline for the game of Chess. IM Malcolm Pein,

Mr. Everything tin British Chess, commented for Chessdom, “The statement from the FIDE Treasurer was alarming to say the least, but not totally unexpected. As the statement said, we had been warned. All legal means should be used to remove Ilyumzhinov

from office as soon as possible. Taking away his executive authority has not been good enough for the bank and FIDE will experience difficulty finding another institution to handle it’s accounts and this threatens the viability of the organisation. ((http://www.chessdom.com/trouble-for-chess-as-swiss-bank-account-closed/))

Although both Weiqi (Go in America) and Chess are board games there are major differences between the two. The following encapsulates the drastic difference between the two games:

R. Saxon, Member of a GO club in Tokyo (3k). USCF B rated at chess
Updated Mar 14 2017

From my experience, GO players are far friendlier and more polite than Chess players, who are prone to both trash talk and to gloating after a win. This is especially true for club players and younger players. Chess players may engage in gamesmanship to psych out their opponent. I’ve known quite a few superb Chess players that were real nut cases. More than just a few, actually.

That has not been my experience with GO players. GO players are almost always successful and well-adjusted outside of GO. GO players are willing to say with sincerity that they enjoyed a game that they just lost. I don’t recall a Chess player ever being so gracious.

The nature of the game is a good indicator of the personality of the players that like them. Chess is an attacking game in which you try to control the center. It’s very direct and may be over quickly if a player makes a mistake. The idea of a “Checkmate” is like a home run or a touchdown. It’s a sudden and dramatic moment that appeals to a particular type of person.

Chess appeals to people who like to attack and who savor the win over the process.

GO, on the hand, is a slower game which starts at the corners and edges and only gradually moves to the center. It’s extremely complicated, but in a subtle way. GO strategy is indirect. It’s a game of influence and efficiency more than a game of capture. The best players are those that know how to sacrifice pieces for territory elsewhere or to take the initiative. Making tradeoffs are key. There’s usually no “checkmate” type moment or fast victory.

GO is a game of patience and position. It appeals to very bright people who don’t expect to win quickly but who are willing to earn success one small step at a time. GO players enjoy the process as much as the win.
(https://www.quora.com/What-do-chess-players-think-of-Go-and-Go-players)

There are many Chess players involved with Go. Natasha Regan,

a Woman Chess International Master who has represented the English women’s team at both Chess and Go, says: “When I learnt Go I was fascinated. It has a similar mix of strategy and tactics that you find in Chess and, with just a few simple rules, Go uncovers a whole new world of possibilities and creativity. Chess players may also find that they can use their Chess experience to improve in Go very quickly. I highly recommend learning this ancient but ever new game!” (https://www.britgo.org/learners/chessgo.html)

Consider, for example, this by Mike Klein: “Many cultures have nationally popular strategy games, but rarely do top chess players “cross the streams” and take other games seriously. That is not the case with GMs Tiger Hillarp Persson and Alexander Morozevich,

who long ago claimed the top title in chess, and who both now take go somewhat seriously.” (https://www.chess.com/news/view/chess-go-chess-go-morozevich-beats-tiger-in-dizzying-match-2272) Check out Tiger’s website and you will see annotated Go games along with Chess games (https://tiger.bagofcats.net/). Chess Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich

plays in Go tournaments,

and holds Go classes.

(https://chess24.com/en/read/news/morozevich-on-go-computers-and-cheating)

AlphaGo has done for the game of Go in America what Bobby Fischer did for the game of Chess when he defeated the World Chess Champion, Boris Spassky, in 1972.

The number of people playing Go has increased dramatically in the past few years. After the world-wide release of a new movie about Go, The Surrounding Game,

the number of people playing Go will increase exponentially. In a very short period of time the game of Go will be unrivaled, leaving all other board games in its wake.

Sometime around 1980 a place named Gammons opened in the Peachtree Piedmont shopping center located in the section of Atlanta called Buckhead, the “high-end” district of Atlanta. In was a restaurant/bar, which contained tables with inlaid Backgammon boards.

I quit my job at a bookstore and began punching the proverbial time clock at Gammons, which closed at four am. The Backgammon craze burned brightly for a short period of time, as do most fads, such as putt-putt. Few remember the time when putt-putt was so popular it was on television, and the professional putters earned as much, if not more, that professional golfers.
(http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/24/magazine/putting-for-the-fences.html)

Although quite popular for centuries, Chess lost its luster after the human World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov, was defeated by a computer program known as Deep Blue,

a product of the IBM corporation. The defeat by AlphaGo, a computer program from Google’s Deep Mind project, of first Lee Sedol,

one of the all-time great Go players, and then Ke Jie,

currently the top human Go player in the world, has, unlike Chess, been a tremendous boon for the ancient game of Go, which is riding a crest of popularity, while interest in Chess has waned.

I have wondered about the situation in the world considering the rise of China and the decline of the USA.

For example, consider these headlines:

China’s Rise, America’s Fall by Tyler Durden (https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-25/chinas-rise-americas-fall)

China’s rise didn’t have to mean America’s fall. Then came Trump. By Zachary Karabell(https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/11/15/chinas-rise-didnt-have-to-mean-americas-fall-then-came-trump/?utm_term=.59f66290ffff)

Is China’s Rise America’s Fall? by Glenn Luk (https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2018/01/03/is-chinas-rise-americas-fall/#41bd7a0d1e5f)

Also to be considered is the stark difference between the two games. It could be that the people of the planet are moving away from the brutal, war like, mindset of a war like game such as Chess and toward a more cerebral game such as Go.

“While in chess or in Chinese chess (xiangqi)


http://georgiachessnews.com/2018/01/09/why-you-need-to-learn-xiangqi-for-playing-better-chess/

the pieces with a certain preordained constraint of movement are on the board when the game begins, the grid is empty at the opening of the Weiqi game. During a chess game, one subtracts pieces; in Weiqi, one adds stones to the surface of the board. In the Classic of Weiqi, the author remarks that “since ancient times, one has never seen two identical Weiqi games.”

“In Written in a Dream, the polymath and statesman Ouyang Xiu (1007-1072), a magister ludi, captures the depth and mystery of Weiqi: “The Weiqi game comes to an end, one is unaware that in the meantime the world has changed.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-gosset/weiqi-versus-chess_b_6974686.html