God Save Us All From FIDE

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?”.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/was-this-really-a-terrorist-fist-jab-the-right-says-so-845141.html

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:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/02/coronavirus-infections-keep-mounting-after-cruise-ship-fiasco-japan

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.

Say what?

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.”

https://www.livescience.com/26753-flu-virus-travel-six-feet.html

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
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/older-people-account-for-more-than-half-of-the-us-coronavirus-cases-are-seniors-at-risk-2020-02-07

Coronavirus’ Top Targets: Men, Seniors, Smokers

Karen Weintraub

February 27, 2020
https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/925855

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.”

Grandmaster Igors Rausis Caught Cheating!!

Igors Rausis (58) Under Investigation Of Cheating

By Peter Doggers
Updated: Jul 12, 2019, 6:51 AM

GM Igors Rausis

is under investigation for cheating after he was caught with his phone during a game at the Strasbourg Open. The 58-year-old Latvian-Czech grandmaster had raised suspicions after he increased his rating in recent years to almost 2700.
During an open tournament that is taking place July 10-14 in Strasbourg, France, a phone was found in a toilet that had just been used by Rausis. He later signed a declaration that the phone was his.
Whether he was using his phone to get assistance from a chess engine is not clear at the moment.
In a comment to Chess.com, Rausis said:
“I simply lost my mind yesterday. I confirmed the fact of using my phone during the game by written [statement]. What could I say more? Yes, I was tired after the morning game and all the Facebook activity of accusers also have a known impact. At least what I committed yesterday is a good lesson, not for me – I played my last game of chess already.”

https://www.chess.com/news/view/igors-rausis-58-under-investigation-of-cheating

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.

Hung Up

Gull 3 (3116) vs Hannibal 1.5×12 (2998)
TCEC Season 7 – Stage 2
Rd 5
2014.10.29
D41 QGD: Semi-Tarrasch, Keres Counterattack

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 cxd4 6. Qxd4 exd5 7. e4 Nc6 8. Bb5 dxe4 9. Qxd8+ Kxd8 10. Ng5 Be6 11. O-O Kc7 12. Ngxe4 Nxe4 13. Nxe4 Rd8 14. Bf4+ Kb6 15. Ba4 f5 16. Nc3 Bc4 17. Rfc1 h6 18. h4 Bb4 19. a3 Be7 20. b3 Bd3 21. Bxc6 bxc6 22. Re1 Bxh4 23. Na4+ Kb7 24. Nc5+ Kb6 25. Rac1 Rd5 26. Be3 f4 27. Bxf4 Bf6 28. Be3 Bf5 29. Ne4+ Kb7 30. Nxf6 gxf6 31. Rc4 Rh7 32. Rec1 Bd7 33. Bc5 a6 34. a4 h5 35. Rf4 h4 36. Kh2 Rd3 37. Rb4+ Kc7 38. Rb6 a5 39. Ra6 Rxb3 40. Rxa5 Rg7 41. Ra7+ Kb8 42. Rd1 Rb7 43. Ra5 Rb3 44. Rd6 Rf7 45. Be3 Rb4 46. Rd3 Rh7 47. Bc5 Rb1 48. Bd4 1-0

The game ended when “Black’s connection stalls.” Black got “hung up,” as we say in the South, as in, “Honey, I got hung up at work,” or, “Honey, I got hung up in traffic,” or my favorite, “Honey, I got hung up paying the bar tab.” That is when she says, “Honey, it is obvious our connection has stalled.” This actually happened to me back in the ’70’s. It went something like this:

Blues Brothers Tunnel Scene

It is not just chess playing machines that sometimes become “hung up.” A recent example would be GM John Nunn, called “Dr. Death” at the House of Pain, by a Master level player from England, David Fletcher. In an article, “John Nunn Behind the Board Again at World Seniors,” (http://www.chess.com/news/john-nunn-behind-the-board-again-at-world-seniors-2325), Peter Doggers writes, “He played his last official game of chess in August 2006, but now he’s back at the chess board: John Nunn. The English GM and acclaimed author is playing in the 50+ World Seniors in Katerini, Greece.”

Dr. Death had produced four wins and one draw before sitting down behind the Black soldiers in the sixth round to face GM Zurab Sturua from the country of Georgia.

GM Matthew Sadler left a comment on October 28, 2014, “However, this is not a dream story as of yet. Nunn’s first tournament in eight years is a tough one with no less than 11 rounds scheduled. Besides, yesterday he suffered a devastating loss”:

Sturua, Zurab (2523) vs. Nunn, John D M (2602)
World Senior 50+ 2014 | Katerini GRE | Round 6.1 | 29 Oct 2014 | ECO: E60 |

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 c6 5. Bg2 d5 6. Qb3 O-O 7. O-O Qb6 8. Nc3 Na6 9. Qxb6 axb6 10. Na4 Nd7 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Bd2 e6 13. Rfc1 b5 14. Nc3 b4 15. Nb5 Nb6 16. b3 Rd8 17. Ne5 Bf8 18. Nd3 Bd7 19. Nc7 Rac8 20. Bg5 1-0

The Chess Bomb (http://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2014-senior/06-Sturua_Zurab-Nunn_John_D_M) showed this possible line leaving White up “only” 1.1 (20… Nb8 21. Nc5 Bc6 22. Bxd8 Rxd8 23. a4 bxa3 24. N7xe6 fxe6 25. Nxe6 Re8 26. Nxf8 Rxf8). In the modern chess world this game would have been played to checkmate, but Dr. Nunn comes from the chess world of last century. One of the kibitzers on the Bomb explained the decision to resign as ” self-disgust.” This is the kind of thing that happens to a 59 year old player who has not played in almost a decade. Fatigue takes a toll and the brain gets “hung-up.” A Senior begins playing moves that look good to him in his mind, but once played on the board he soon realizes his “connection has stalled.” This leads to what is popularly called a “brain cramp.” Nearing 60 a man realizes that out of a week of days he will have one or two when things just do not seem to compute. He is working just as hard at the board as the day before but realizes things are not quite right because his brain is “hung-up.” This is disconcerting to a Senior in the same way as when he calls on the Old Soldier to jump to “Ten Hut!” but it remains “at ease.” In addition, Dr. Nunn’s biorhythms (http://www.facade.com/biorhythm/ ) show he was, and is, at his low ebb intellectually and will stay there for the duration of the tournament. This is mitigated somewhat by his being in a high phase physically, or it could be made worse because when one has much energy it is more difficult to understand why such poor moves are being produced.

Madonna – Hung Up (Official Music Video)