Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Just the Ticket

| Permalink | 9 comments

Dutch businessman Bessel Kok and Turkish chess federation president Ali Nihat Yazici have formed a ticket for the May, 2006, FIDE presidential elections. (More info on them at ChessBase here.) It's certainly a well-qualified team, and they provide a list of initiatives instead of just saying (note to A. Karpov) "Ilyumzhinov sucks," which, while true enough, is not the best platform.

I'm not in the "anyone but Ilyumzhinov" camp, especially since FIDE has done a few decent things in 2005. Unfortunately, those things were mostly made up of undoing harmful policies started by Ilyumzhinov in the first place. (Disposable champions, semi-rapid time controls) And FIDE has lost interest in commercial sponsorship since the horribly mismanaged FIDE Commerce debacle. To aid your memory, that's when they put a buddy thug in charge of rustling up money and he promptly attacked traditional tournaments.

That I would vote for Bessel and Ali isn't relevant since I don't have a vote; only federations do. If I could vote perhaps I could score some of the boodle the current administration is supposedly laying out around the globe. Sources in Argentina say deals were made all over Latin America in exchange for delegate votes around and during the San Luis championship. Vote buying in FIDE elections is hardly new and wasn't invented in Kalmykia. Nor is it limited to the poorer federations or done purely in cash. Caviar and vodka have proven effective in the past. So can Bessel Kok rally up enough votes to end the Ilyumzhinov era? If yes, you can bet the next world championship won't be held next to a toilet-paper expo in Vegas.


I'm afraid I have to disagree with you on this one Mig. I'm not just in the Anyone but Ilzhyuminyov Campaign... I'm the Chairman. And a former customer. And the treasurer, if you know what I mean. Are you listening Anatoly?

You're only saying that because someone even more corrupt and bizarre hasn't decided to run yet. Now if only I could think of anyone on the planet who fits that description...

Sadly, the long awaited Bessel Kok ticket has appeared to late for 2006. That election has already effectively happened. The question is, will a failed try in 06 be a springboard for a serious effort in 2008.

too, that was a typo not illiteracy. Mig, is the disappearance of the preview feature a recent improvement?

Yah, I was trying to fix the templates here and still haven't had time to put them back. They were all reset, as you can see from the ugly pages on the search results and such. I'll have a free day some time this week, I swear. I keep saying that...

Got any dirt on the electioneering, Nick?

Sorry no dirt, it just seems obvious. Also, I have been reminded by a better informed compatriot that the next election year after 2006 is in fact 2010. Given the current fashion for producing a totally new WC format every few weeks, by 2010 we could find the title decided by a best-of-nine celebrity pinball match.

Sorry no dirt, it just seems obvious. Also, I have been reminded by a better informed compatriot that the next election year after 2006 is in fact 2010. Given the current fashion for producing a totally new WC format every few weeks, by 2010 we could find the title decided by a best-of-nine celebrity pinball match.

not sure why that happened

Once in a while, somebody says something that gives one a pause, even a shock. I'd like to thank Nick Faulks for "Sadly, the long awaited Bessel Kok ticket has appeared too late for 2006. That election has already effectively happened. "

Looking back to November 11th, we see that countries can decide to go to war in a day, and men can decide to fight in minutes, thus changing both history and personal destiny. Yet six months is too little time to decide on the far less consequential matter of the leadership of a chess organization?

I can see many reasons why the ticket of Kok/Yazici might not win. For example, the most glaring weaknesses of FIDE are in the areas of credibility, public relations, consistency, and relations with the top players. Some federations might be happy that the ratings are produced on time. Or they might be satisfied with the devil that they know, rather than the devil that they don't. Or they might be happy with the money, wherever it might come from, that Kirsan brings into chess.

Another way for the Kok/Yazici ticket to be defeated might be obfuscation. We all remember that a motion of non-confidence was supposed to be submitted in Calvia. What happened? A senior FIDE official spent all day raking the Calvia organizers over the coals for what really were minor drawbacks. Who knows, maybe there will be so much rhetoric in Turin about who should or should not receive free olympiad bulletins that there won't be time for elections.

Another way for the Kok/Yazici ticket to fail is if some member of the ticket (I believe that five people must be on the ticket) defects to the establishment. That happened in two recent FIDE elections.

But the thought that six months is not enough time is astounding. Is this an example of Parkinson's Law? It states that, in an organization, the amount of time spent on a matter is inversely proportional to its importance. Minutes on whether to move the head office, weeks on paper clips. The Presidency of FIDE must, on that scale, be of infinitesimal importance.

It could be that commitments have been made. But a new, interesting ticket has appeared. Cannot anybody change their mind? Kasparov changed his mind with no better reason than: that was yesterday, this is today. Here a national federation might think that a better candidature has come forward, or that they offer a better deal. Is that not reason enough? If gifts have been accepted, let's not forget that in the grand old days of the IOC, delegates accepted gifts from all bidders. A gift, gasp, could even be returned.

I remember that things were good for chess (and seeming to get better) in the days of the GMA, under the aegis of Bessel Kok. Then the GMA negotiated what we might find in retrospect to be a pretty good agreement, an agreement that could be built upon, with FIDE for the world championship (it would be interesting to have a link to that agreement). But Kasparov repudiated that agreement and then blew away the GMA by refusing to take part in its tour. He also said nasty things about the chairman of the GMA. No wonder that Kok's actions in the chess world have been of a back room nature while Kasparov reigned. For all of those years while he was active, whether as World Champion or ex-champion, Kasparov's cooperation was essential for anything positive to happen at the top of the chess world. Remembering the old saw: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me," it is clear that Kok could not have come back into the public eye sooner than this.

If the elections of a chaotic FIDE are already sewn up six months in advance, we need to reconsider the options. Do we perhaps need a world chess organization, constituted on a different basis, which does *not* accept FIDE as the supreme body of chess? If. But, frankly, I don't believe that things must be that way.

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 15, 2005 11:09 AM.

    Go Karpov! was the previous entry in this blog.

    Serve, No Volley is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.