Twelve women played Chess in the Women’s Grand Prix in Lausanne, Capital city of the Swiss Canton of Vaud in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Nana Dzagnidze, rated 2515, and Aleksandra Goryachkina, rated 2579, tied for first place, each with seven points.
The deciding face-off between Nana Dzagnidze and Aleksandra Goryachkina is about to begin | Photo: David Llada
The younger woman, Goryachkina, who recently drew Ju Wunjun in a match for the Women’s World Championship, was the only undefeated player.
The composite rating of the players participating in the tournament was 2511, barely over the minimum requirement of 2500 for entry into the Grandmaster class. The ratings ranged from a low of Marie Sebag (2443) to the high of Wenjun Ju (2583). World human Chess champion Magnus Carlsen is curently rated 2862. Magnus, the man, is clearly rated two classes above the women’s champion, Ju.
Why is all this money going to segregated tournaments consisting of only women? Women are free to play in Chess tournaments where everyone, regardless of sex, is allowed. This means the women are having their cake and eating it, too. Women want more than equality. Why is this allowed when there are male Grandmasters rated from 2443 to 2583 who have resorted to cheating in order to survive?
In my home state of Georgia the 2019 Women’s Championship was held at the Atlanta Chess Center, located in Roswell, the seventh largest city in the Great State of Georgia. There were a total of seven players. Jill Rennie, rated 1416 going into the tournament, took first place by winning all four games.
Jill upset the highest rated player, Evelyn Qaio (1756), in the third round.
Evelyn Qaio vs Jill Rennie
I have no idea how much money Jill won with her upset win even though I reached out to the President of the Georgia Chess Association, asking for particulars of the tournament:
Michael Bacon <email@example.com>
To:Scott R. Parker
Tue, Jan 14 at 4:02 PM
The article concerning the 2019 Georgia Women’s Chess Championship at the Ga Chess News website was brought to my attention by a reader of the blog. It was suggested that maybe I should have written something about the tournament. With that in mind I would like to ask a few questions.
I am under the impression it was a GCA event. Please correct me if I am wrong.
There were only seven participants in the women’s tournament. How usual, or unusual is it for the GCA to organize any tournament containing less than ten players? Prior to this event what was the last event organized by the GCA in which so few players attended? Has the GCA, to your knowledge, ever organized an event in which less than ten players participated?
How many GCA women’s championships have been held in the history of the GCA?
What were the monetary prizes? Was the money put up by the GCA? Or did the entry fees pay for the tournament? Did the GCA make money from holding the tournament? If so, how much money did the GCA take in? Did it lose money? If so, how much money did the GCA lose from holding the event?
Prior to the tournament was there any discussion concerning having the women players vie for the women’s title while playing in the Georgia Chess Championship? For example, the women could possibly have played for a trophy and/or cash in the State Championship while also being eligible for other prizes, such as a class prize. (As an aside, this could have been done with the Senior tournament, for example, which has habitually had a small turnout for many years, or decades, excepting the one held in a nice hotel by Smuggy. Yet even the low number of players in the Senior last year dwarfed the small number of players in the women’s event) Has this been discussed by the board members previously?
What is the justification for holding a completely separate tournament for only women?
Does the GCA have any plans for holding a tournament for people of color exclusively?
Has the GCA considered holding a tournament only for people with only green eyes? Would the GCA ever consider such a proposal?
How many women are members of the GCA? How many Georgia women are members of US Chess? (Correct me if it is still called the “USCF” but I am under the impression the “F” was dropped…)
To have a completely separate tournament for any group how many members would be required by the GCA? For example, if the GCA decided to hold a tournament for only people of color how many members would there have to be?
Change “people of color” above to “blind.” How many members would have to be blind?
What is the plan for the 2020 women’s championship?
Does the GCA segregate the boys from the girls in scholastic tournaments or do both sexes play in the same tournament? If the latter, why are the girls not segregated from the boys? (Point being why are the women segregated but not the girls?)
Lastly, (unless and until I come up with another question!) are you aware how other states administer their women’s championship(s) and, if so, did how other states hold their tournament(s) affect the decision to hold such a subdivided tournament?
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,
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.
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.
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.
An article, Garry Kasparov told us what it’s like to live in fear of being assassinated by Putin, by Jim Edwards, appeared on the Business Insider website.
Garry Kasparov and Jim Edwards
These are the main points given in the article:
In 2007, a former KGB general warned that he believed former chess champion Garry Kasparov was next on a list of Putin critics to be assassinated.
Putin is suspected of condoning the assassination of 14 people in the UK.
Kasparov has lived in exile in New York since 2013. “Look I’m an optimist and I think it will not last forever,” he told Business Insider.
Putin will be a major issue at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year because US President Donald Trump will address the meeting. Putin and Trump have a relationship that baffles outsiders.
Trump gets unusually positive coverage in the Kremlin-controlled Russian media, Kasparov says.
Excerpts from the lengthy article:
When I met Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess grandmaster and Putin critic, in Lisbon recently, he was sporting a large Band-Aid on his forehead. The wound had been sustained in the back of a taxi in London on the way from Heathrow Airport to a conference in Canary Wharf. With traffic crawling along, as it always does in London, Kasparov decided he didn’t need to wear a seatbelt.
Then the taxi driver slammed on the brakes.
“I was just talking to my wife, talking to my mother, looking at my phone. And next thing I remember I’m just lying on the floor with my head covered in blood,” Kasparov says. “At first, I was screaming because — now it looks fine — but I was bleeding for more than an hour, so it was pretty nasty. Then I realised how lucky I was because I had my glasses on me, these glasses, one inch down, could be my eyes. One inch on the side could have been temple.”
Kasparov went flying across the back of the Hackney cab, and hit his forehead on the top side of the jump chair. After a couple of stitches at Newham University Hospital Urgent Care, he posted a picture of his injury on Twitter. It spawned a rash of jokes in response: “Lame assassination attempt, Putin is desperate,” that kind of thing, Kasparov says. “The best one was, ‘are you preparing to play Gorbachev at Halloween?’ I was lucky, but now I buckle up.”
That Putin joke is only half funny.
Kasparov really is one of Putin’s potential assassination targets. In 2007, the former KGB general Oleg Kalugin told Foreign Policy magazine that Putin’s targeted killings would one day reach Kasparov.
Cryptically, Kalugin said: “People who knew them are all dead now because they were vocal, they were open. I am quiet. There is only one man who is vocal, and he may be in trouble: [Former] world chess champion [Garry] Kasparov. He has been very outspoken in his attacks on Putin, and I believe that he is probably next on the list.”
Kasparov is no longer one of Putin’s most visible critics, but Putin still regularly assassinates inconvenient Russians. Fourteen people have been killed in the UK on Putin’s orders, according to an exhaustive investigation by BuzzFeed.
As world leaders, billionaires, and oligarchs meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, again this year, Putin and Russia are suddenly one of the biggest issues at the conference.
That’s because US President Trump will address the Alpine gathering for the first time. Trump has repeatedly expressed his enthusiasm and admiration for Putin. And many in America believe Russia covertly interfered in the 2016 presidential election in a way that swayed votes toward Trump.
Russia is normally mere background noise at Davos. While Russia has a large military and is not afraid to flex its muscles in Crimea, Ukraine, and Syria, the country itself is relatively poor. Its GDP ranks below Italy and Canada, and only just above Spain — a country whose economy was so heavily battered by the 2008 credit crisis that it still hasn’t fully recovered.
Russia’s influence in the West is limited in large part because European and US companies are afraid of doing business with Russia, precisely because of the ever-present threat of showing up on Putin’s radar.
That means individual ex-patriot Russians in the West who disagree publically with Putin — like Kasparov — can never go home. Does Kasparov worry about being in danger from Putin?
“Would it help? I live in New York, so what else can I do? I live in New York, I don’t drink tea with strangers,” he says.
“Tea with strangers” is a reference to the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian FSB secret service agent who was fatally poisoned in 2006 when he met two Putin agents at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair who placed radioactive polonium-210 into his drink.
“I don’t travel to certain countries where I believe that my security could be in jeopardy. So, unfortunately, the list of the countries I have to avoid is growing,” Kasparov says.
Of course, the big unanswered question for everybody in Davos is, what is the true nature of the relationship between Putin and Trump? Does Putin have some kind of hold over Trump — as the infamous Steele dossier suggests? Or is it simply that Trump really likes to be in the presence of powerful people, and that Putin — and ex-KGB man — is playing him like an asset, as James Clapper, the former US director of national intelligence, believes?
Kasparov doesn’t believe it is quite that sinister.
“No, what I saw from the beginning of the US presidential campaign is that the Russian press they like Trump but for different reasons. So they started liking him because he could help them to portray US elections as a circus. And this is, by the way, a part of Putin’s message, both inside and outside of Russia. Truth is relative — everybody’s bad. We bad, they bad,
we corrupt, they corrupt. We don’t have democracy, they have a circus. So that was the original message,” he says.
“America-bashing is 24/7 on all the Russian channels, on Kremlin-controlled media,” Kasparov says. “Trump is an exception. Trump personally is not criticised. The only criticism, mild criticism, is that he’s too weak to fight the deep state, which is amazing. … So everything’s bad in America. Except Trump, who’s a good guy.”
I have never understood what our Republican Presidents have seen in Vladimir Putin. For example, George Dubya Bush infamously said, “I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialog. I was able to get a sense of his soul, a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.”
Dubya has even painted a picture of Vladimir Putin:
The best chess magazine on the planet, New In Chess, has a regular feature, “Just Checking,” in which questions are posed to famous players of the Royal game. One of the questions that has been posed most often is, “What is the stupidest rule in chess?” The answer given most is, “The zero-tolerance rule.” It is more than a little obvious most players do not care for the FIDE’s draconian rule. Peter Heine Nielsen, Boris Avrukh, Daniel King, and Ivan Saric, all GM’s answered the question posed with the zero-tolerance rule, with the latter going on to add in NIC 2014/2, “In the whole history of chess (and also sport) there hasn’t been such a stupid rule. It puts huge pressure on the players before the game. This was the easiest question.”
Since there is almost universal agreement among the best human players in the world it would seem those who promulgated the rule would have rescinded it long ago. To understand why they have not done so is to understand what kind of people are those who administer FIDE. They obviously know how the players feel but obviously could care less. These despotic dictators simply do not care what their “subjects” think about the rule. These are people who insist on imposing their will on chess players because they understand they are much inferior compared to the great players. Draconian dictators do not listen to their subjects because they expect their inferiors to listen, and obey, them. They expect this no matter how much it hurts the Royal game because they could care less about the game of chess. These despots care only about ruling the game.
The players should get together and organize just as the Major League Baseball players did decades ago. I have no idea why they have not done so, but it could be because they compete it is difficult for them to agree. Yet they seem to be in total agreement about the zero-tolerance rule. What top level chess needs is a man like Marvin Miller, who was head of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966 to 1982. “He was responsible for negotiation baseball’s first collective bargaining agreement in 1968, which included the first rise in the minimum salary in a decade; salaries would rise exponentially during his tenure, reflecting growing revenues. He was a key figure in the development of free agency, and he led the players through strikes in 1972, 1980 and 1981, and lockouts decreed by the owners in 1973 and 1976. Hank Aaron said he was “as important to the history of baseball as Jackie Robinson.” Red Barber called him one of three most important figures in baseball history, alongside Robinson and Babe Ruth.” (http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Marvin_Miller)
In an article, “King talks with Kirsan,” on the Chessbase website, dated 8/11/2014, GM Daniel King asked Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the mediocre player and FIDE dictator, who said he has traveled the universe in an Extraterrestrial spaceship piloted by otherworldly entities, “There is one FIDE rule that many many chess players are unhappy with, which is the zero tolerance rule. For example, there was a young girl here, a ten-year-old girl here, who unfortunately came two minutes late to the game and she lost. It seems very harsh. Would you consider reviewing this rule?”
Kirsan the ET answered, “We have a technical commission consisting of chess players and arbiters and I remember in Dresden in 2008 at the General Assembly, we decided that everyone should be on time. You remember the football match between Brazil and Germany? Can you imagine if both teams arrived five minutes late?”
GM Daniel King: “Of course, but chess isn’t football. This girl was young and innocent and was very very upset. There are many other incidents where a player has arrived a little late just by accident and this seems very harsh.”
Kirsan the ET: “Ok, write your proposal and we will discuss it at the presidential meeting. However, the Chief Arbiter (of the Olympiad) came to me five minutes ago and said, “Mr. President, it’s very good, no one is late. At 2 PM they start.” For me it’s not a problem because this was decided by the majority. I remember in 1998, when I organized the World Championship match between Vishy Anand and Anatoly Karpov in Lausanne, Switzerland, in the presence of the president of the Olympic Committee, in the Olympic Museum, with dozens of cameras, many journalists, the mayor of Lausanne, some high officials of the Swiss government, hundreds of spectators. At 3 PM, Vishy Anand was there sitting, but not Anatoly Karpov. We waited 10-15 minutes, and the president of the Olympic Committee turned to me and asked how I could expect to join the Olympic games in such circumstances.”
GM Daniel King: “I understand completely for professional chess, but it seems to me there is a big difference between professional chess and amateur chess.”
The added remark, “And we will have discipline,” sounds like something one might hear from a grammar school principal, or a despotic dictator. For chess to survive as a viable game Kirsan the ET has got to go back to the stars, along with his benefactor and power behind the scenes, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.