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Bad math and FIDE's Disappearing Players

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I've spent a few days trying to get a straight answer about FIDE's latest excursion into the twilight zone, but so far without success. One of my favorite admonishments in the White Belt training newsletter is "DO THE MATH!" Many amateurs are afraid of complications and shy away from lines that require calculation, so they never get better at it. It appears FIDE needs to do the math as well. Even more troubling is the impression that the breakthrough of Libya accepting the Israeli players (see 28/4) might be a sham.

FIDE published a new list of players for the 2004 FIDE KO world championship to be held in Tripoli, Libya. They removed those who didn't send in their player agreement forms and added reserves. They gave the list of the 13 players removed and the 113 who qualified. Umm, that makes 126, not the 128 they need. The two who disappeared are Israeli Emil Sutovsky and American Alexander Goldin. FIDE now says that 115 have signed, so they seem to feel free to add new players to the main list without touching the reserve list. This gives them room to negotiate behind the scenes with marquee names like Anand and Svidler despite being past the signing deadline.

GM Sutovsky posted below: "Hi Mig, thanks for raising an issue. In fact, I signed the contract conditionally (''my confirmation is valid only if I am allowed to play all my matches in Malta''), but FIDE added my name to the list of confirmed players. I protested, they removed me from that list but didn't add to the list of those who refused. Suddenly, my name is just absent at all... But you could confidently enlist myself among those who refused to play in Libya :) Basically, according to the laws of Israel, I'm just not allowed to go there... So, Israeli players (Gelfand, me and Smirin - who is second reserve and would definitely get a place) are just ignored by FIDE and left out of KO. Quite an issue, isn't it?

This means that before FIDE announced that Libya would accept Israelis, they knew no Israelis had submitted signed agreements. Ouch! As Woody Allen put it, "No matter how cynical you are, you can't keep up." Just when I thought FIDE had done something decent and achieved something, it turns out they may have told the Libyans "don't worry, there aren't any Israelis on the list anymore so go ahead and welcome them. You'll get positive PR without having protests, security problems, or ticking off your Arab neighbors." Ow ow ow. There's no way to know this for sure, but the timing is very suspicious.

FIDE puts their event in a country to which it is illegal for one of their member federation's players to travel. They arrange an alternative venue for those players. Then they pull that venue out from under the players' feet. All in all this highlights the insanity of holding an event like this in such controversial location.

1 Comment

Right to the point,Mig!

Many top players didn't sign the contract.

I understand them,of course,but,at least it

was THEIR choice.

As for Israelis- we just couldn't go

without violating the laws of Israel.

I don't think FIDE targeted us purposely,

but they just didn't care(Quote from

the top FIDE official:''We can't cancel the

World Championship because of 3 players who

can't come'').Indeed,the situation is a shame...

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 3, 2004 9:27 PM.

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