FIDE President Dvorkovich Should Be Removed From Office

After being acquired by Chess.com the website chess24.com stopped publishing new articles so I stopped surfin’ over to the website. Today I surfed to chess24.com and was surprised to find an excellent article by Colin McGourty, Top arbiter sidelined over “Women, Life, Freedom” T-shirt (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/top-arbiter-sidelined-over-women-life-freedom-t-shirt).

It is a long and detailed article in which the author basically rips FIDE, and especially the Prez of FIDE, the nefarious Russian quisling, Arkady Dvorkovich, a new one. This writer salutes Mr. McGourty!

“Shohreh Bayat, who was forced to leave Iran in early 2020 after a scandal over wearing the hijab, has revealed she was personally asked by FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich to stop wearing a T-shirt with the message “Women Life Freedom” at the Fischer Random World Championship in Iceland. She did, but only to wear the Ukrainian colours instead, and since appears to have fallen out of favour with FIDE.”

Shohreh Bayat with the Women Life Freedom T-shirt in Iceland | photo: Lennart Ootes (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/top-arbiter-sidelined-over-women-life-freedom-t-shirt)

“Shohreh Bayat is a FIDE Women’s Master and early on in her chess career decided to become an arbiter as well. Perhaps the pinnacle of her new career came when she worked as the Chief Arbiter at the Ju Wenjun vs. Aleksandra Goryachkina Women’s World Championship match in early 2020, but it was a success overshadowed by non-chess drama.”

“Shohreh switched to the English Chess Federation and continued to work as one of the world’s top arbiters. Then in October last year she was Deputy Chief Arbiter for the World Fischer Random Chess Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland, just as women’s rights in Iran had suddenly become centre stage again. Two young women had died in mid-September, with women across the country protesting by taking huge risks to remove their hijabs.”

“It was natural that Shohreh would show her support, as she did by wearing a T-shirt with the message “Women Life Freedom”. She performed her duties without issue and, in what FIDE had billed as the Year of Women in Chess, this could have been positive all round — an illustration that women can take top roles in chess and support their fellow women. Her appearance, if anything, brought extra positive publicity to the event, and it broke no rules — there was no dress code for arbiters.”

“Alas, that’s not how FIDE approached the issue. FIDE’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer David Llada says he was first to raise the topic with Shohreh and describes “doing activism” in her role as “inappropriate and unprofessional”.

“That brings us to the real issue — Dvorkovich personally contacting Bayat to ask her not to wear the T-shirt.”

“Arkady is said to have accused Shohreh of mixing sports and politics, but there are two obvious responses. One is that in this case it was less “politics” than an appeal for basic human rights, something FIDE’s own Charter requires the organisation to promote.”

At this point GM Peter Heine Nielsen, long time second for World Chess Champ Magnus Calsen, weighs in via twitter:

“The @FIDE_chess charter specifies that we shall strive to promote the protection of human rights.

They are defined in the charter as the UN universal declaration of human rights: https://un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights

It means we have an active duty to promote protection of human rights.”

The article continues:

“The other was that it was clear hypocrisy, since Arkady Dvorkovich remaining FIDE President is the single most political statement made by the organisation.”

“Dvorkovich was a high-ranking Kremlin official for the decade from 2008-18, serving as adviser to Dmitry Medvedev and then as Deputy Prime Minister, including in 2014, when Russia invaded Ukraine for the first time. Arkady has never expressed regrets about that decision, instead repeating Russian propaganda when asked about the topic by the BBC and other news organisations.”

“For chess, Dvorkovich, who organised the 2018 World Cup in Russia, ensured there was a steady flow of Russian money into the game. That meant a lack of genuine commercial sponsorship was no issue, but also came at the cost of FIDE’s events being used for what has been termed “sportswashing”.

Being unfamiliar with the word sent me first to the dictionary, and then another, before inputing the word into DuckDuckGo search engine where the most succinct definition was found: “The term sportswashing is used when a country organizes, sponsors or takes ownership of high-profile sporting events, where the purpose is to divert attention from matters worthy of criticism; such as human rights violations or crimes against humanity.” (https://www.nhc.no/en/sportswashing-what-is-it-and-why-should-you-care/

At this point GM Peter Heine Nielsen

again weighs in with a tweet: “I just don’t get it:
A t-shirt with a slogan promoting human rights is unacceptable and making chess political.
But having Putin greet al the players of an online tournament he has nothing to do with, and having a panorama view of the Kremlin is not political ?”

“Dvorkovich sits on the Honorary Board of the Russian Chess Federation alongside the likes of Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu, and numerous sanctioned oligarchs. Exactly a week before February 24th, 2022, when some kind of attack looked inevitable, Arkady Dvorkovich handed out the prizes at a tournament for the Russian armed forces.”

Arkady Dvorkovich posed with the winners | photo: Russian Chess Federation

“The full-scale invasion that followed meant the government Arkady Dvorkovich had served for a decade had led his country and Ukraine to utter catastrophe.”

“Calls for Arkady’s resignation were immediate, but he stayed in place, giving an interview to Mother Jones (https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2022/03/chess-grandmasters-putin-russia-ukraine-war/) where he commented, “my thoughts are with Ukrainian civilians”. Any benefit from that interview, however, was immediately wiped out by his statement a day later as Head of the Skolkovo Foundation. He talked about a peace “with no place for Nazism”, a clear nod to Russian propaganda against Ukraine.”   

“Dvorkovich, who stepped down as head of Skolkovo before it was placed on the US sanctions list for supporting the Russian arms industry, has never renounced that statement, and also resisted all calls to resign. Some of his supporters claimed there was no need for resignation as his term was coming to an end, but Arkady then announced he would again put himself forward as a candidate for President. He faced no well-funded opposition and won comfortably.”

“So for Dvorkovich to lecture Shohreh Bayat about not mixing chess and politics would have been extreme, even if it not for the specific Iranian angle. At the time of the tournament, Iran had become one of Russia’s few military allies, providing drones to attack Ukrainian cities. Arkady intervening to suppress criticism of the Iranian regime could hardly provide worse optics for the game of chess.”

“Shohreh told chess24:

Since I wore those shirts, they removed (not re-elected) me from the Arbiters Commission. Then they appointed a Delegate of the Iranian Chess Federation as the Secretary of the FIDE Women's Commission and offered me to work under her (my oppressor federation) in the Women's Commission.

Meanwhile, they call me inappropriate and unprofessional for supporting Human Rights while they are silent about Iran keeping refusing to play against Israel due to political reasons.

I think everything is clear.

“Her case has been taken up by many prominent activists, including Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad.”

“Shohreh’s response in Reykjavik was fitting. She didn’t wear the “Women Life Freedom” T-shirt again, but instead came proudly dressed in Ukrainian colours.”

Shohreh Bayat in blue and yellow as Hikaru Nakamura went on to win his 1st official world title | photo: Lennart Ootes

The article concludes with the following: “It’s to be hoped that the recent exposure of FIDE’s approach will encourage the organisation to restore one of their most talented arbiters to a full role in the game.” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/top-arbiter-sidelined-over-women-life-freedom-t-shirt)

It should be obvious from the above that the President of FIDE, Arkady Dvorkovich, is a metastasizing CANCER inside the body of FIDE. The hypocritical Russian scalawag needs to be removed by any means necessary.

https://www.azquotes.com/quote/546771

It is long past time for the weaselly Dvork to go. Russia has committed genocide and war crimes in their futile attempt to subjugate their next door neighbor, the independent nation of Ukraine. THE PRESIDENT OF FIDE IS GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES because he is a part of the ruling class of criminals in charge of their beloved MOTHER FORKIN’ RUSSIA!

The United States Chess Federation should have already left FIDE, but there is not one person involved with USCF with the cojones to take the needed step. Each and every official of the USCF needs to take a good, long look into the mirror and ask him or herself some serious questions, questions that should have been ASKED and ANSWERED long ago. FIDE is being led by a WAR CRIMINAL. The USCF is part of FIDE and therefore complicit in what has happened to Ukraine. First Ukraine, then possibly US! For the good of the Royal Game this RUSSIAN cretin must step down and hand the reins of FIDE to former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand.

World Rapid & Blitz Funded With Dirty Money

Today an article appeared at Chess24.com entitled, World Rapid & Blitz begins on 26th as Carlsen faces dilemma. The opening paragraph: “World Champion Magnus Carlsen and US teenager Hans Moke Niemann will be in the same venue for the first time since the scandal that rocked the chess world in Saint Louis three months ago. The Norwegian faces a dilemma if he is paired against the teenager, who launched a $100 million lawsuit over cheating allegations.” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/world-rapid-blitz-begins-as-carlsen-faces-dilemma)

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/world-rapid-blitz-begins-as-carlsen-faces-dilemma

The following paragraph caught my attention: “The main sponsor of the event is investment company Freedom Finance, founded and owned by the Russian-born Kazakh financier Timur Turlov, who according to Forbes magazine has a net worth of $2.5 billion. He is among the many Russians who have been placed on the Ukrainian sanctions list. The total prize fund is $1 million.” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/world-rapid-blitz-begins-as-carlsen-faces-dilemma)

That sent me to the Duck,Duck,Go search engine to learn more about Timur Turlov in order to ascertain why FIDE would accept funds from someone on the sanctions list. An extremely long article was found. Brief excerpts follow:

Swindler Timur Turlov may be arrested soon

Swindler Timur Turlov

Swindlers of all stripes love flattery and praise. This is not a reproach, but a simple statement of fact – ask any psychologist or, even better, an experienced policeman: what is the most important feature of a swindler? And the answer will surprise you, because it will not be a desire to deceive as many people as possible and earn as much money as possible. No, this goal, of course, is there, but it is the goal. But the most important feature is narcissism and outright narcissism.

And it is on this that the majority of the most successful swindlers “burn”, and it is precisely the understanding of this important psychological feature that makes it possible to understand who is in front of you – a businessman corny “sniffing” his product to you, or an outright fraudster, after “cooperation” with whom you will remain naked and barefoot.

Because some headlines directly contradict each other. Judging by them, it turns out that Timur Turlov is a Russian, Kazakh, Estonian, Ukrainian businessman and leader. On the one hand, in the age of globalization, it seems like nothing surprising. But on the other hand, how does he manage to do it all and how does it all fit together?

Well, you will have to delve a little into the topic and try to understand who is “a successful businessman, billionaire, banker, investor, hero of the project” Russian Norms! ” “How to do nothing and earn a lot.” That in itself is already nonsense – the word “earn” means “work”.

Here is an excerpt from the official biography of our hero:

Incomprehensible, of course, for an ordinary person, but beautiful. The main thing that can be learned from this is that Timur Turlov is the owner of several companies. And a very wealthy person. And it works in several countries – in Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Germany and Cyprus.

This is all well and good, the reader will say, but what is the fraud? Yes, earning capital in the field of finance is not a very high moral activity, but there is nothing criminal in it. We are forced to agree, but with one caveat – not in this case.

As follows from everything that has been written about Turlov, his main brainchild is the Freedom Finance bank, which “gave access to private investors from Russia and Kazakhstan to American IPOs.” Limited Liability Company Bank “Freedom Finance” (LLC “FFIN Bank”) was registered at the address Moscow, Karetny Ryad street, 5/10, building 2.

As can be seen from the ownership structure, Turlov controls his bank through the “gasket” of Freedom Holding Corp., registered in Belize.

And for a person who is even superficially interested in finance, this is already a rather alarming factor. The fact is that Belize has a very, very liberal financial system, which is also protected from the interest of both the financial authorities of other countries and their own. In other words – an excellent offshore, in comparison with which the notorious Cypriot rest.

But that’s not all. The fact is that Freedom Holding Corp processes transactions in the United States for Turlov’s Kazakh and Russian clients. She contributed as much as 70% of Freedom Finance’s stock trading fees for the first half of fiscal 2021. This is not the data of anyone, but Forbes, so they can be completely trusted.

But that’s not all. The most important question concerns the so-called lock-up period (the time when shares cannot be sold) during the IPO – in Freedom Holding it is 93 days. This differs from brokerage services in the United States, which allow clients to place and cancel orders until an IPO takes place, Forbes writes. Freedom Holding’s practice described as “unusual” in an article by the Financial Journalism Foundation

This mild formulation actually means the following. An investor who has invested money in Freedom Finance is deprived of the right to dispose of it for 93 days. Without his knowledge or consent, bank employees can do whatever they want with them, and without not only any control on the part of the depositor, and without even informing him about all the operations performed with his money.

Another moment in the actions of Turlov’s structures painfully resembles a pyramid. Nothing in Freedom Holding’s filing explains how clients can benefit from a 93-day lockdown of their capital. This agreement, however, gives Timur Turlov’s Belize-based FFIN (Belize again!) Access to a large amount of cash for three months, with the sole obligation to deliver the newly issued shares at the end of the period. Sound familiar?

By the way, it is worth mentioning the “IPO syndication”. The English abbreviation is incomprehensible to the common man. But in reality, this means the initial mechanism for buying shares off the exchange before the enterprise goes public, that is, before the shares actually go to the exchange.

And the most interesting thing is that Timur Turlov’s firm does not have the right to operate with Western IPOs, but actively offers this service in the CIS and Europe. In doing so, Freedom Finance cites the extreme success of the average IPO sample. The conditionality of this criterion of success is obvious, but blocking money for three months is part of this very success.

But how does Timur Turlov collect and invest clients’ money in an IPO without having an appropriate license in the United States? The answer to this question lies in the configuration of the flow of money from small investors in the CIS to an IPO in the United States. These trades are carried out in an intricate maneuver: Freedom Holding clients send money to FFIN Brokerage Services Inc., a Belize-based broker-dealer whose website promises “direct access to the American market.” However, FFIN Brokerage Services is not a subsidiary of Freedom Holding. Instead, it is owned by Freedom Holding CEO Turlov, as clearly stated in a July 2018 statement from Freedom Holding itself. This is the answer to the question why such a huge part of the business is registered in Belize.

However, to all appearances, Turlov will soon end as well. Because the scandal has reached the international level: the already mentioned Foundation for Financial Journalism has released an investigation into the activities of Timur Turlov with a very eloquent title:

For those who do not know English, we give the translation: “Freedom Holding: the dumbest product of Kazakhstan after Borat.” In his article, Roddy Boyd examines Turlov’s activities and comes to the same conclusion that we are a classical pyramid. By the way, Timur Turlov and his structures repeatedly tried to remove Boyd’s investigation, but their appeals to the courts did not lead to anything: the article “Freedom Holding: the dumbest product of Kazakhstan after Borat” is still in the public domain. We recommend that you familiarize yourself.

By the way, Boyd also comes to the conclusion that the main mechanism of protection against collapse for the Freedom Holding pyramid is the same blocking of money for 93 days. This makes it possible to accumulate the amounts required for current payments.

After the publication of the above-mentioned investigation and a number of similar materials in the Western media, Turlov’s pyramid became agitated and began to actively “clog” the issue on the Internet with laudatory materials. However, we wrote about this at the beginning. Their goal, however, was not only and not so much to praise Timur Turlov, but to omit the journalists in search of an investigation who could not be removed by court decisions.

But the main question remains – why is Timur Turlov still continuing his activities and there are no claims to him in the countries of the former USSR, where he “cuts” the main “loot”?

And the small chest opens simply here. The point is, “cutting the little suckers” (sorry – investors) with the help of the Freedom Finance pyramid is more of a side activity for him. The main thing is that Freedom Finance LLC is an ordinary “laundry” for money that officials have stolen from the budgets of Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and those countries of the former USSR where Turlov works. According to the well-known economic expert Alexey Kushch, over the past year and a half, Freedom Finance Bank LLC has legalized several hundred million dollars for such odious persons as Bulat Utemuratov, Sergey Katsuba, Pavel Fuks, Margulan Seisembayev, Sauat Mynbayev, Andrey Birzhin, Askar Mamin and the whole a number of others. Nationality is very different: the entire spectrum of the former USSR.

But this is already the subject of another investigation and another big story. In the meantime, Timur Turlov frantically tries to disown comparisons with “MMM” and other pyramids. In the vastness of our former country, it turns out. But as a result of publications in the press, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission took over the activities of Timur Ruslanovich Turlov. And these are by no means the corrupt fiscal and supervisory bodies of the countries of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, whose top officials are served by Timur Turlov.
https://www.karabasmedia.com/swindler-timur-turlov-may-be-arrested-soon/

Raleigh Go Tourney to Benefit Ukraine

https://www.usgo.org/

On December 10th in Raleigh, N.C., local organizer Boris Bernadsky is hosting Go Rebuilds, a tournament to raise funds to benefit Ukraine. “All of the proceeds are going towards providing civilian medical supplies or helping displaced pets in Ukraine,” says Bernadsky. “We are working with two charities, but participants may directly donate to the charity of their choice.” A number of sponsors have already signed on to provide prizes, including Ai-sensei.com (all registrants will receive a basic membership), the European Go Journal (participants will receive a 3-month digital membership) and BadukPop; click here for the full list. Register here or email badukboris@gmail.com with questions.

Russian War Pigs

Ukrainians on Russian forces: ‘They lived like pigs’

‘We prayed to be liberated’: Inside a city recaptured by Ukraine after months of Russian occupation

EXCLUSIVE By Rebecca Wright, Sam Kiley, Olha Konovalova and Peter Rudden, CNN
Updated 8:11 AM EDT, Tue September 13, 2022

Izium, Ukraine CNN —

Burned-out tanks and trucks emblazoned with Russia’s signature ‘Z’ symbol lie at the side of the road, gutted and red with new rust. A collapsed bridge is covered in signs warning of landmines. Further along, the wreckage of a car is left alongside a destroyed petrol station surrounded by the debris of shelling.

These are the signs of Ukrainian victory and, for now, a Russian rout.

Ukrainian artillery made Russian soldiers run like pigs.

‘Who have we come to liberate here?’

Izium resident Valeriy said the locals in the city were angry with the Russians for their behavior.

“Where there were no people, (the Russians) stole everything,” Valeriy said. “They lived like pigs. We entered one house – and pigs live better.”

Makeshift beds are seen in the sleeping quarters used by the Russian forces in their underground bunker. Rebecca Wright/CNN


https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/13/europe/ukraine-izium-recaptured-intl-cmd/index.html

Russian Lukoil Chief Dies in ‘fall from hospital window’

Ravil Maganov was given a lifetime achievement award by President Vladimir Putin in 2019 (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62750584?piano-modal)

The chairman of Russia’s Lukoil oil giant, Ravil Maganov, has died after falling from a hospital window in Moscow, reports say.

The company confirmed his death but said only that Maganov, 67, had “passed away following a severe illness”.

Russian media said he was being treated at Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital and died of his injuries.

Maganov is the latest of a number of high-profile business executives to die in mysterious circumstances.

Investigating authorities said they were working at the scene to establish how he died. Tass news agency quoted sources saying he had fallen out of a sixth-floor window early on Thursday morning, adding later that he had taken his own life.

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Lukoil board called for the conflict to end as soon as possible, expressing its sympathy to victims of “this tragedy”.

Chess For The Children

Upon awakening this morning it was my intention to end this blog. I am not getting any younger, and the re-election of the corrupt Russian stooge and lackey for mad Vlad Putin, Arkady Dvorkovich, who won “by a landslide,” disgusted and bummed me out. The headline at Chess24 says it all: Dvorkovich re-elected FIDE President by landslide.

The Dovrk & Vishy Anand: Partners in crime

The first paragraph says it all: “Arkady Dvorkovich, Russian Deputy Prime Minister from 2012-2018, has been re-elected as President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) for another four years. He defeated Ukrainian Grandmaster Andrii Baryshpolets by a landslide 157:16 vote at the FIDE General Assembly in Chennai, India, after the remaining candidates all withdrew.” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/dvorkovich-re-elected-fide-president-by-157-16-landslide) Mother would have said, “It was a put-up job.” The fix is always in when FIDE is involved. Colin McGourty writes in the excellent article: “The elections for FIDE President are always murky, with the principle of one federation, one vote meaning that countries with few chess players have the same power as major chess countries with tens of thousands of rated players. Inevitably it’s often a question of what a candidate can directly promise the delegates of a country, while another level of influence is diplomatic. The Russian government is reported to have directly campaigned through its embassies in previous elections.” With Russia waging war against a neighbor, Ukraine, the last person the Chess world needs as it’s “face” is a nefarious, underhanded Russian apparatchik who is nothing but a lackey and toady for Mad Vlad, yet that is what we the Chess players of the world have leading the main international Chess body. It does not bode well for Chess.

The news of the death of an old friend, classmate, and roommate has not helped but only enforced the funk into which I had fallen.

Then this morning with my first cuppa coffee I fired-up the Dude, surfed over the the New York Times and saw an article, replete with myriad pictures, that was positively fascinating. It was then the realization struck that I had at least one more post in me, especially after knowing immediately what song would accompany the post. I drained that cuppa Joe while listening to more than a few different versions of a wonderful song by a singer with a fantastic voice and narrowed the choice down to two different versions. But first the article, which unfortunately cannot include all of the pictures:

His Next Move: A Ukrainian Boy Starts a New Life Through Chess

After fleeing the war in Ukraine with his mother, Maksym Kryshtafor, 8, is using his passion for chess to help him assimilate into the United Kingdom.

By Megan Specia Aug. 13, 2022

Photographs by Mary Turner

YORK, England — Pints in hand, a group of men sat hunched over chessboards under the sloping ceiling beams of the Eagle and Child pub in York, in northern England.

Among them sat Maksym Kryshtafor, an 8-year-old Ukrainian boy with freckles and an impish smile, who navigated his pieces across the board with intense focus.

The group had moved its weekly meeting to an earlier time to accommodate its young guest’s bedtime, and he was soon impressing these chess aficionados with decades more experience.

“He’s really good for his age; there’s no question about that,” said Paul Townsend, 62, an avid chess player and member of England’s chess federation. “And he clearly has a talent.”

Mr. Townsend and his family are hosting Maksym and his mother after the federation essentially played matchmaker and asked if they would be willing to sponsor the pair.

More than six million refugees have left Ukraine for Europe, according to the United Nations, each facing the challenges of a life ripped apart by war: a strange land, an unfamiliar language and tenuous ties to support systems like education and health care — if they have any ties all. Finding a pursuit that provides focus and stability can help exiles navigate the anxieties and upheaval of restarting life far from home.

For Maksym, it was chess.

Maksym staring down his opponent before winning a game of speed chess in the Delancey U.K. Schools Chess Challenge in June.

Just four days after arriving in Britain, Maksym drew the attention of the local news media when he won a tournament in County Durham, about 45 minutes north of York by train. He quickly became known on the local chess circuit.

“Chess is all his life, and now it’s all my life,” said Maksym’s mother, Iryna Kryshtafor. “It’s like air for him because all the time he is playing.”

Chess has helped Maksym deal with the complex emotions of leaving his home and adjusting to life in Britain, which has not always been easy. Without a good grasp of English, he was placed with younger students for some of his lessons in school, and it has been hard for him to connect with other children, his mother said. He misses his grandparents, who lived with them in the Ukrainian city of Odesa and who stayed behind. Ms. Kryshtafor is estranged from Maksym’s father, who has not been a part of the boy’s life.

When the war broke out in February, Ms. Kryshtafor, 45, had scrambled to throw her and Maksym’s most essential belongings into a rucksack as they fled for the border.

Countless mothers across Ukraine were focused on how to save their children while maintaining a sense of stability, and Ms. Kryshtafor was no different.

While she forgot to bring a proper winter coat for herself, she packed the things she knew were the most important to Maksym: a chess book, a laptop for him to practice his games on, and the white polo shirt and red fleece that he wears for every competition.

They went first to Romania, where they stayed for weeks. Then Ms. Kryshtafor reached out to the English Chess Federation to see if someone would host her and Maksym so he could continue playing and return to school.

She was eventually connected with Mr. Townsend and his wife, Helen, who offered them an annex in their spacious house near York, under a program that allowed British families to host Ukrainians fleeing the war for six months. So far, despite procedural difficulties, more than 65,000 people have headed to Britain from Ukraine under the program.

Maksym has been enrolled in school, where he is beginning to make friends and is enjoying math, Ms. Kryshtafor said, because even without a strong grasp of English, he can understand it.

Even with hospitable hosts like the Townsends and the security of life far from war, Ms. Kryshtafor said she had found it difficult to adjust to humbling circumstances. She had spent most of her life in Odesa, and despite having two college degrees and a career as a journalist, she is now working as a hotel cleaner.

Maksym before taking part in a chess tournament in June in York.

“It’s not so simple,” Ms. Kryshtafor said as she described the anxieties of living in someone else’s home and having to rely on them for her and her son’s needs.

“I feel comfortable here,” she said, “but all the time I am thinking about what will happen in six months.”

Under British policy, families agree to host Ukrainians for six months, and their visas last for up to three years. The Kryshtafors will need to find a place of their own unless the sponsors allow them to stay beyond the initial agreement.

To ease the anxiety, mother and son have thrown themselves into chess, a focus of much of Maksym’s young life.

He began playing at 4 and has showed early promise.

Both have expressed hope that he can become a grandmaster before turning 12, eager to unseat the world’s youngest person to reach the prestigious ranking.

Maksym began playing chess at age 4.

But Mr. Townsend and other chess ‌‌aficionados say that goal is a long shot. Still, Maksym is clearly skilled, Mr. Townsend said.

“Does that mean he’s going to become a grandmaster ever, let alone at the age of 12? Not necessarily,” he said.

Still, Maksym is nothing if not determined. He wakes at 5 a.m. each day to practice online before school and until recently had regular online training sessions with a Ukrainian chess grandmaster through the Ukrainian Chess Federation.

So far, his lucky outfit and his hours of training have served him well as he wins competition after competition in England. In late July, he and his mother traveled to Greece for the European Youth Chess Championship, where he won in two categories — rapid and blitz — in his age group.

Like many former Soviet nations, Ukraine has a long tradition of strong chess grandmasters, Mr. Townsend explained, but often the expectation is of total dedication to the game from a young age.

Players watching a game of chess with Maksym.

“You would see it as a place where chess is taken a lot more seriously than it is here,” Mr. Townsend said. Parents put young children into rigorous training programs, and school is often second to chess.

“It’s such a massive, culturally different approach to chess playing,” Ms. Townsend said. As a diversion from chess, she has enjoyed showing Maksym how to cook, taking him on nature walks, and building with Lego pieces.

But much of Maksym’s time is still dedicated to chess, and Mr. Townsend has been keen to help him get involved in local tournaments.

On a recent Saturday morning, he took Maksym and Ms. Kryshtafor to a Quaker school in York for a competition involving 120 youths ages 7 to 18. Boards were lined up on tables in a gym, filled with row after row of children tapping clocks and moving pieces.

Some of the children were so small that when seated, their feet swung above the floor. Maksym’s sneakers barely touched it.

In June, 120 youths ages 7 to 18 competed at the tournament in York.

He sat, fidgeting slightly, while the organizers rattled off the rules in English. He did not understand much of what was being said, but he knows how to play. His first match was over in under a minute.

He ran into the hall where Ms. Kryshtafor was waiting and embraced her. After the next match, Maksym again went running out to his mother.

“Too easy,” he said with a smile. “I made a checkmate.”

Before the fifth match, Maksym pressed his forehead against his mother’s and she whispered some words of encouragement. His opponent, an older boy, arrived just before play began.

Maksym rested his chin on his hand and smiled until, suddenly, he realized he had made a mistake. He pulled at tufts of his hair, twisting them around his fingers. He eventually lost to the boy, and after they shook hands, he wiped tears from his eyes.

Maksym eventually placed second in the competition. By the end, he seemed more interested in chatting with a group of children who had organized a game of tag outside.

His long hair flew behind him as one of the children chased him.

“He’s just a child,” his mother said as she watched him frolic. “He works so hard with chess that sometimes you forget he’s just a child.”

This post is dedicated to arguably the best Speaker of the House in the history of the United States of America, Nancy Pelosi, who did it all “For the Children”.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/01/25/for-the-children-nancy-pelosi-announces-run-for-reelection/

“Greatest Love Of All”

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs
A lonely place to be
And so I learned to depend on me

I decided long ago
Never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity

Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity

Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

And if, by chance, that special place
That you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/whitneyhouston/greatestloveofall.html

In addition, this post is dedicated to my friend and former roommate, Gary Allen Whitlock:

Gary Whitlock

Obituary for Gary Allen Whitlock

Mr. Gary Allen Whitlock, age 73, of Palmetto, passed away Wednesday, August 10, 2022. He was born January 3, 1949 to Harold and Dorothy Whitlock. Gary served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He was employed with the United States Postal Service in Palmetto, GA for 34 years. He is survived by his wife, Nara Denise Whitlock; his mother, Dorothy Allen Whitlock; his children, Micah Whitlock and his wife, Laura, Sarah Deck and her husband, Thomas, Anna MacIsaac and her husband, Barry, Mark Whitlock and his wife, Alyssa; his 10 grandchildren, Hannah, Jacob, Jordan, Hailey, Jadon, Isaiah, Raelynn, Garrett, Greyson, Owen; and his brother, Mark Whitlock. A funeral service will be held Sunday, August 14, 2022 at 2 o’clock in the Chapel of Parrott Funeral Home with Pastor Brian Hosmer officiating. Interment will follow at The Whitlock Family Cemetery in Peachtree City. The family will receive friends Saturday evening from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Parrott Funeral Home & Crematory, 770-964-4800. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Daystar Israel at www.daystar .com. (https://www.parrottfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Gary-Allen-Whitlock/#!/Obituary)

Gary was,, obviously, responsible for bringing many children into this world. During the pandemic an old friend and I discussed getting some of the old gang together when it ended. Susan called one day saying, “Hey Eggs, guess who just stopped by for a visit?!”

Gary Whitlock (R.I.P.)

Putin Has Weaponized Conspiracy Theories

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/25/opinion/putin-russia-conspiracy-theories.html

The Five Conspiracy Theories That Putin Has Weaponized
April 25, 2022, 1:00 a.m. ET
By Ilya Yablokov

Mr. Yablokov is a historian of Russian media and the author of “Fortress Russia: Conspiracy Theories in the Post-Soviet World.”

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is driven by conspiracy theories.

For two decades, journalists and officials, in concert with the Kremlin, have merrily spread disinformation. However far-fetched or fantastical — that the C.I.A. was plotting to oust Mr. Putin from power, for example — these tales served an obvious purpose: to bolster the regime and guarantee public support for its actions. Whatever the personal views of members of the political establishment, it seemed clear that the theories played no role in political calculations. They were stories designed to make sense of what the regime, for its own purposes, was doing.

Not anymore. Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two months ago, the gap between conspiracy theory and state policy has closed to a vanishing point. Conspiratorial thinking has taken complete hold of the country, from top to bottom, and now seems to be the motivating force behind the Kremlin’s decisions. And Mr. Putin — who previously kept his distance from conspiracy theories, leaving their circulation to state media and second-rank politicians — is their chief promoter.

It is impossible to know what is inside Mr. Putin’s head, of course. But to judge from his bellicose and impassioned speeches before the invasion and since then, he may believe the conspiracy theories he repeats. Here are five of the most prevalent theories that the president has endorsed, with increasing fervor, over the past decade. Together, they tell a story of a regime disintegrating into a morass of misinformation, paranoia and mendacity, at a terrible cost to Ukraine and the rest of the world.

The West wants to carve up Russia’s territory

In 2007, at his annual national news conference, Mr. Putin was asked a strange question. What did he think about the former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright’s comment that Russia’s natural riches should be redistributed and controlled by America? Mr. Putin replied that such ideas were shared by “certain politicians” but he didn’t know about the remark.

That’s because it was entirely made up. Journalists at Rossiyskaya Gazeta, a state-owned newspaper, had invented the quote on the grounds that Russian intelligence was able to read Ms. Albright’s mind.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/25/opinion/putin-russia-conspiracy-theories.html

“Eye In The Sky”

Don’t think sorry’s easily said
Don’t try turning tables instead
You’ve taken lots of chances before
But I ain’t gonna give anymore
Don’t ask me
That’s how it goes
‘Cause part of me knows what you’re thinking

Don’t say words you’re gonna regret
Don’t let the fire rush to your head
I’ve heard the accusation before
And I ain’t gonna take any more
Believe me
The sun in your eyes
Made some of the lies worth believing

I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don’t need to see any more to know that
I can read your mind (looking at you)
I can read your mind (looking at you)
I can read your mind (looking at you)
I can read your mind

Don’t leave false illusions behind
Don’t cry cause I ain’t changing my mind
So find another fool like before
Cause I ain’t gonna live anymore believing
Some of the lies while all of the signs are deceiving

I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don’t need to see any more to know that
I can read your mind (looking at you)
I can read your mind (looking at you)
I can read your mind (looking at you)
I can read your mind

I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don’t need to see any more to know that
I can read your mind (looking at you)
I can read your mind (looking at you)
I can read your mind (looking at you)
I can read your mind

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/alanparsonsproject/eyeinthesky.html

For Valerie

The Kremlin Has Launched A Criminal Case Against FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich

Arkady Dvorkovich, who once served as Russia’s deputy prime minister and is currently chairman of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), criticised the war with Ukraine. Nevzlin said he is now subject to ‘criminal charges’ in Russia https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10718247/Putins-defence-minister-Sergei-Shoigu-massive-heart-attack-not-natural-causes.html

Nevzlin also claimed that the Kremlin has launched a criminal case against long-serving ex-deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich, 50.

Dvorkovich is one of the highest-ranking Russian officials to have criticised the war in Ukraine, saying in March that his thoughts were with Ukrainian civilians subjected to violence.

But he stepped down from his position as chairman of Russia’s Skolkovo science and technology founation just days after his statement, as Russian lawmakers labelled him a traitor.

‘[Dvorkovich] is expected to testify against his colleagues and friends,’ Nevzlin said.

‘Sources in the FSB say that if he does not make a deal with the investigation, he will be transferred to either the Matrosskaya Tishina or Lefortovo pre-trial detention centres.’

From the article:

Putin’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu has had a ‘massive heart attack not from natural causes’ and TWENTY generals ‘have been arrested’ over bungled invasion (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10718247/Putins-defence-minister-Sergei-Shoigu-massive-heart-attack-not-natural-causes.html)

Play Go for Ukraine!

https://goteachers.org/

Support the European Go Journal: As reported previously, European Go Journal editor Artem Kachanovskyi,

Artem Kachanovskyi (https://www.usgo.org/news/)

a resident of Kyiv, has posted movingly on Facebook about how the Russian war on Ukraine has affected the go community and his own life and work as EGJ editor. When the war started, Kachanovskyi had to leave Kyiv and was forced to stop printing and distributing physical copies of the journal. He plans to continue producing the journal and distribute it digitally as a PDF until he is able to distribute hardcopies again. He takes subscriptions through Patreon and has about 235 subscribers right now. It’s $6.50 a month for a personal subscription to the monthly PDF version of the journal, and he offers a $3.50 per-person club subscription to groups participating in a Go club.
– Spencer Rank

Vishy Anand Dances With The Devil

Evidently former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has lost his mind. This writer was stupefied after seeing this headline at Chess24: Vishy Anand joins Dvorkovich’s bid for second term as FIDE president (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/vishy-anand-joins-dvorkovich-s-bid-for-second-term-as-fide-president). Since the article was dated April 1, 2022, April Fools’ Day, I assumed it was some kind of sick April Fools’ joke. Unfortunately it was not a joke.

Of all the living former World Champions, Vishy, as he is known in the Chess world, had the best reputation of the small, select group. That reputation has been incontrovertibly tarnished. Russia has become a pariah country. Russia has committed, and continues committing, unimaginable atrocities in Ukraine, and will continue so doing until Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is deposed. The aftereffects of the needless war will linger for decades, if not centuries, especially when the truth of what kind of monster is the Russian state is revealed. Why would Vishy Anand smear his own reputation by aligning himself with FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich? What’s in it for Vishy?

Who is Arkady Dvorkovich?

Arkady Dvorkovich once served as a deputy prime minister and is currently chair of the International Chess Federation, or FIDE. He criticized the war with Ukraine in comments made to Mother Jones magazine on March 14 and came under fire from the Kremlin’s ruling party. (https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2022/03/chess-grandmasters-putin-russia-ukraine-war/)

“Wars are the worst things one might face in life. Any war. Anywhere. Wars do not just kill priceless lives. Wars kill hopes and aspirations, freeze or destroy relationships and connections. Including this war,” he said.

Putin shakes hands with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich during a meeting at the Kremlin in April 2018. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/The Associated Press)

Dvorkovich added that FIDE was “making sure there are no official chess activities in Russia or Belarus, and that players are not allowed to represent Russia or Belarus in official or rated events until the war is over and Ukrainian players are back in chess.”

FIDE banned a top Russian player for six months for his vocal support of Putin and the invasion.

Two days after Dvorkovich’s comments, a top official in the United Russia party demanded that he be fired as chair of the state-backed Skolkovo Foundation. Last week, the foundation reported that Dvorkovich decided to step down. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/prominent-anti-war-russians-1.6398505)

In an article at Chess24, Vishy Anand joins Dvorkovich’s bid for second term as FIDE president, one reads: “Indian great Vishy Anand has made a dramatic entrance into chess politics by joining Arkady Dvorkovich’s campaign to be re-elected as FIDE President, it was announced today. The five-time World Champion was pictured alongside Dvorkovich at an event in Delhi today to sign the contract for the 2022 Chess Olympiad, which will start in Chennai this July. Dvorkovich later said India’s most decorated chess player will be a “huge part of our team”. It follows FIDE’s decision to strip Russia of its flagship international team event on February 25, one day after Russia invaded Ukraine. The Olympiad was subsequently awarded to India at a meeting of the FIDE Council on March 15, following a swift bidding process. (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/vishy-anand-joins-dvorkovich-s-bid-for-second-term-as-fide-president)

No doubt former World Chess Champion Anand will “…be a “huge part of our team”. The Russians will use Vishy Anand as a “showpiece.” Vishy will become the “face” of FIDE. Everyone admires and respects Anand, so what’s not to like, especially if you are a Russian.

In an article by Peter Doggers, at Chess.com, Dvorkovich To Run For 2nd Term, Supported By Anand,

Dvorkovich (left) and Anand on Friday in New Delhi. Photo: FIDE. (https://www.chess.com/news/view/dvorkovich-to-run-for-2nd-term-supported-by-anand)

one finds: GM Viswanathan Anand is supporting FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich in his bid for a second term as FIDE President. Both were present at a press conference in New Delhi on Friday, where Dvorkovich announced that he will be running for re-election.

The decision to run for a second term is somewhat controversial in light of Dvorkovich’s recent statements on the war in Ukraine and his background as a Russian politician. Initially, the FIDE President seemed to be holding an anti-war point of view, saying to the American website Mother Jones on March 14: “Wars are the worst things one might face in life… including this war. My thoughts are with Ukrainian civilians.”

A day later, however, a different and rather nationalistic statement was published, and Dvorkovich said he was “sincerely proud of the courage of our soldiers” and that there is “no place for either Nazism or the dominance of some countries over others.” He made the latter statement as the chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, a position Dvorkovich no longer holds.

The Ukrainian Chess Federation and some Ukrainian top players have called for a full ban on Russia and expressed a desire for a new FIDE leadership, but they seem to have received little support for their—however understandable—point of view.

“Yes, I am committed to run for re-election and Anand will be a huge part of our team,” said Dvorkovich today.

Anand said he would be actively supporting the FIDE President, but at the moment it’s not exactly clear how. “We have had a good discussion, but we haven’t decided yet in what role or capacity I will be involved,” said Anand.

“I am willing and determined to work with this team. It is a wonderful team led by Dvorkovich, and they have done a lot for the sport. As and when a decision is taken, I will let you know.” (https://www.chess.com/news/view/dvorkovich-to-run-for-2nd-term-supported-by-anand)

Reading the above almost caused me to hurl…especially the part about there being “no place for either Nazism or the dominance of some countries over others.” It is more than a little obvious Dvorkovich will say and/or do anything to stay in power at FIDE. The Dork, as he is known in the world of Chess, talks out of both sides of his mouth. It is difficult for Dvorkovich to express what Anand will do because how does one say, “We want to use the good reputation of Vishy Anand because the recent damage done to the Russian reputation is irreversible.”

In another article, Statement by Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation Arkady Dvorkovich,

https://sk.ru/news/zayavlenie-predsedatelya-fonda-skolkovo-arkadiya-dvorkovicha/

which had to be translated by Google translate, one reads:

“Today, Russia continues to live under harsh but senseless sanctions. But we will rise to this challenge. We are ready to respond with technological breakthroughs and our own development. It has always been so.

While working in the government, I did everything to ensure that sanctions were not an obstacle, but an opportunity to create our own economy. And the results of this work in many sectors have made it possible to create the springboard for ensuring national security that we have today – in agriculture and construction, in energy and petrochemistry, in infrastructure development.

I cannot respect foreign companies that have left the Russian market. Some of them lost him for a very long time, perhaps forever. Our main task is to get rid of technological dependence. This can only be achieved through teamwork, in which everyone who is capable of being a leader will be involved – each in his own place.

Skolkovo has always been at the forefront of innovation in Russia, and today it is ready to make every effort to build its own competitive economy in our country.” (https://sk.ru/news/zayavlenie-predsedatelya-fonda-skolkovo-arkadiya-dvorkovicha/)

The Russians in Chess are like termites in the woodwork of the House of Chess. They, and all of their fellow travelers, like Vishy Anand, must be eradicated from the Chess House, known as FIDE. The Russian infestation of Chess must end and it must end NOW! All Russians, and those who support them, must be cast out of the House of Chess for the good of the game. To allow the nefarious, genocidal Russians to remain involved with Chess will end the recent Chess boom and send it to where one now finds Checkers, if Chess is fortunate. It will be ironic if a former World Chess Champion began the down hill slide into oblivion for Chess. What the hell could Vishy Anand have been thinking? Maybe Vishy will attempt an explanation in the near future. Vishy, my man, if you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.