Friday, June 30, 2006

I failed to make the chess team because of my height

Wherein that's a Woody Allen joke

Speaking of corruption, in an earlier World Cup post, Icepick left a comment that is utterly fascinating. I was unaware there was so much intrigue in the chess world:
I didn't realize FIFA was screwed up. Still gotta be better than FIDE (Federation Internationale d'Echecs, the World Chess Federation). For the last ten years it's been run by a man named Kirsan Iljumzhanov, who is the billionaire leader of a small semi-autonomous Russian Republic, Kalmykia. He's a third world dictator who has political opponents (in his republic) killed, has destroyed the Chess Championship (imagine the World Cup being held every year, with 128 participants, and decided ONLY by penalty kicks and you will get an idea of what he's done to the Chess Championship), has run the finances of the federation into the ground (it is now solely dependent on his largesse), AND claims he has been abducted by aliens with a secret plan to evacuate the Earth to save us from ourselves.

FIDE just had a new election for the presidency. Running against Kirsan was another billionaire patron of the game from Europe, who has had much experience running successful businesses and chess endeavours in the past. Naturally, Kirsan pasted that guy. (The opponent was Bessel Kok, on of the founders of SWIFT, recently in the news because of the bank monitoring, BTW.)

It's so bad some of us chessplayers wish that Chess was run as well and as corruption-free as professional boxing.

The Democracy of Nations sucks. :(


Blogger Icepick said...

I realize I made a mistake in the earlier comment. Kirsan has actually been the President of FIDE since 1995. For a little more about this guy, see this link. That site also links to a lengthy piece from The New Yorker. It's too depressing to quote anything from it.

6/30/2006 04:51:00 PM  

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