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FIDE's Ill Communication

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With apologies to the Beastie Boys. FIDE has a knack for press releases that make things less clear. They've really raised it to an art form. The latest is a report on the Presidential Board Meeting (apparently these things are capitalized) held over the last few days in Krakow. There were some important, or at least impactful, items on the agenda but there are many tea leaves to be read to figure out what's actually going on and what was decided.

The recent back-and-forth on changing the K-factor used in calculating the rating list has been booted to some nameless committee to "clarify all aspects and consequences of a possible change." That's what was supposed to happen already. So no change right now, unfortunately. Actually it's only really worth changing the K-factor if you also update the frequency of the list. Quarterly lists will look jarringly random otherwise. (For those who don't want to bother reading up on it, the short version is that K is how many rating points change hands in each game. The higher it is, the more dynamic the list.) The core of this debate is the point of a rating list. Historical strength or recent performance? Of course we can track both trivially enough, and we should. Chessplayers are fascinated by ratings and FIDE's perpetual squandering of the value and interest of the rating lists and data is ridiculous.

Of more pressing interest, but even more cryptic, is the announcement that FIDE has accepted the "new regulations" for the ongoing world championship cycle. By this I assume (and assume is all I can do since they don't actually specify) they mean adding Ilyumzhinov's new candidates tournament to further slow things down and give a few reliable donors a chance to sweeten the coffers.

Speaking of coffers, David Kaplan's name makes another appearance, this time joined to "Chess Lane," the latest imaginary company concocted by Ilyumzhinov and his buddies to facilitate the shell game that has long been the business development [sic] branch of FIDE, going back at least to the Artyom Tarasov days. Chess Lane and Kaplan have eaten most of Global Chess after Bessel Kok came to his senses and bailed out of the sinking Grand Prix ship. Kaplan was named "Development CEO" of FIDE in Nov. 2007 and though we know little about him, to come out of nowhere to take such an obscure position you have to have money, want money, or want to clean money, or all of the above. Or maybe he's just another selfless "industrialist" with a thing for chess. Of the fewer than one dozen mentions of his name on the FIDE site since that time, this nice one from April 08 when Kaplan gave "a presentation on the progress that Chess Lane has been making, which included many original ideas." Period! Is anything actually being developed? What progress?

Yesterday's press release says the PB "acknowledged and discussed the proposal of David Kaplan, FIDE Development CEO, about the establishment of a new Internet portal centered around chess activities and the creation of a Chess News Agency. In relation to these developments, FIDE will enter into negotiation with Chess Lane company."

Gee, a chess web portal and a news agency, how 1994. Sarcasm aside, of course these are things FIDE should have done -- and actually has announced in various forms -- long ago. Professionalizing coverage, first of official FIDE events and then offering coverage packages and establishing minimum standards for elite events. The hodgepodge of coverage, or lack thereof, from event to event is disgraceful. The Grand Prix series coverage has moved in the right direction, although another thing the PB press release hints at is the demise of the GP. Skip the hackneyed "portal" concept though, and explain what this new site will be beyond what FIDE.com already provides, or could provide.


I'd like to see the impact of the K factor on Ivanchuk's live rating. Can MR Hans Arild Runde put both rating calculations in his list? That would be quite funny to see Ivanchuk's rating move between 2600 and 2900.

Dump FIDE.

Don`t we know since Alfred Hitchcock`s "North by Northwest" that Mr. Kaplan is just a fake?

I can only conclude that "the progress that Chess Lane has been making" is adaquately summarized by perusing the robust content of the link you provided.

This must be the best description of an institution I've ever read:

"Pro Chess Academy supporting its programs with respectful, educated and professional staff at each of the Academies it sets up by creating and maintaining state-of-the-art facilities to fulfil our mission and maintaining a management team that is cohesive, productive, professional and socially responsible."

Ok, let's digest.

1) The staff is "respectful, educated and professional" - i.e. "they" show respect, have some education and get paid (pros are pros because they get paid). Elementary school is education. And they accept the money in a respectful way. Very well.

2) "Pro Chess Academy supports its programs"

- with staff, even at "each of the Academies it sets up"

- "by creating and maintaining state-of-the-art facilities to fulfil our mission"

That is, PCA supports its programs by facilities that fulfill their mission.

That leads me to conclude that the mission of the facilities is to support PCA's programs. I'm still not sure how, though. Anyway, back to how PCA supports its programs:

- by "maintaining a management team that is cohesive, productive, professional and socially responsible"

Ok, so they've got

a) programs
b) facilities
c) staff
d) management team

Everyone is professional, so I guess everyone must be paid. The staff and the team are "respectful" and "socially responsible" - so I guess this must be good. That the management team is "productive", does that mean that they produce a lot of something? Money for themselves, maybe? They are also "cohesive", so I guess they stick together quite tightly.

At least we can rest assured that the programs are supported by the facilities, whose mission it is to support the programs.

Oh, did I forget? The facilities are "state-of-the-art" - but which art? Comedy? Tragedy? Fraud? Or are we simply talking about buildings and the art of architecture?

"continuation of the Grand Prix series can be approved only if all the contracts with the organizers of the 2010-11 GP events will be in place for approval before the Executive Board meeting to be held in October 2009. Otherwise, the GP series shall be eliminated from the cycle."

What does the above mean ??
it looks like the one scheduled in Yerevan in August is likely not taking place. wonder what the fide will tell those players who are currently in the gp if its eliminated from the cycle.

"Chess Lane is a company which was set up in 2007 to work on developing innovative commercial ideas and propositions, mainly using the game of chess as a vehicle."

Is that corporate jargon for money laundering?
Vehicle indeed. Well they got the plane already, that's a start.

"What does the above mean ??"

It refers to the NEXT version of the Grand Prix series. The event in Yerevan in August will very likely take place. The current Grand Prix cycle is 2008-2009, not 2010-2011.

The elimination is similarly from the NEXT cycle, not the one leading to the infamous Candidate event that recently was invented to make sure the right players would challenge the winner of Anand/Topalov.

And who would be in your opinion those ¨right players¨? , because i believe we may agree on that.

And since we are talking about comunication:
Anyone noticed that (english)chessbase didnt report on the Ruy Lopez tournament?
Of course they arent biased , its just that a tournament with Caruana , Cheparinov and Adams is too weak for them.

The report is just awkward. Probably journalism in North Korea is like that.
Priority one: Make sure the first name mentioned is the name of the Dear President.
Priority two: Make sure everyone currently in the Dear President's favor is mentioned by name.
Priority three: Make sure no one currently not in the Dear President's favor is not mentioned by name.
Priority four: If that makes the whole thing a wooden listing of "A did that, the PB did that, the PB did that, B did that, ..." it's okay. Don't care if the decisions don't seem to make sense. They are made elsewhere anyway. Just make sure about the names.

Another event that received relatively little coverage is the Capablanca Memorial (category XVII, Ruy Lopez is 'only' XIV because it includes Pia Cramling and two Spanish IM's). In the former case, this might be because it included a lot of short draws, and it seems that the organizers did a poor job (or made little effort) to promote the event.

But generally, of course Chessbase is 'biased' like any other site is ... meaning they don't cover everything. Chessdom covered Ruy Lopez (logical as Cheparinov was participating) but not Capablanca ... .
I think only Susan Polgar's site and TWIC cover virtually everything. Susan Polgar is 90-99% Copy-Paste from other sources, and TWIC reports mostly results and game scores - no criticism to Mark Crowther, but more in-depth coverage (reports, photos, game analyses, ...) costs more time.

Anyway, in the present case it is odd to imply that Chessbase is biased against certain players, because Ruy Lopez (and Capablanca) are covered on the Spanish pages (logical) as well as the German pages. At the most, one could ask why they "neglect" their English readers - well, apparently they set priorities and translating articles also takes part of the finite time available.

Final provocative statement: I wonder why Manu still follows Chessbase at all, really only to complain every now and then ???

Chessbase is a giant source of information , i never questioned that , and because of that i find very unpleasant to see how they allow their disputes spoil their product.
They had many years of a quasi monopoly on chess journalism,but things have changed , and every time they neglect or distort data to their readers they are sending them to other sources of information.

On topic : It is very interesting to see everybody complaining about FIDE corruption but yet nobody seems to care about who is this corruption helping , only frogbert touched the subject briefly.
Kirsan is someone´s employee , no doubt about it.

Manu - It is utterly irrelevant who FIDE corruption is helping and I don't believe that anyone is missing who that is (i.e. Kirsan). The point is to help chess by taking action and dump FIDE. Problems solved.

And what will take FIDE's place?

Someone who understands they can be overthrown.

Yes, "professional" can mean "gets paid", but it has other meanings in other contexts, esp.:
i. highly skilled; and
ii. ethical, reliable, and trustworthy.

FIDE is certainly professional in the 0th sense, not especially professional in the 1st sense, and decidedly unprofessional in the 2nd sense.

Noyb> It is not " utterly irrelevant" , and like i said Kirsan is not the end of the chain of command in this situation.
Finding who is profiting from this situation is understanding the direction of FIDE 's corruption and maybe one of the ways to force them to act like a real and democratic organization.
FIDE could start a major and relevant change by adopting the simple and democratic rule that no president should be re elected more than one time.

"Priority three: Make sure no one currently not in the Dear President's favor is not mentioned by name."
Makes the list huge.

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Manu - Wake up and smell the coffee!

I don't know how hold you are but try reading Larry Evans litany "This CRAZY World of Chess". FIDE has been corrupt a long time and it's well known who benefits and why. It's not ever going to change.

Wait a minute. Kasparov is retired, Karpov rarely plays. That leaves only Kramnik as a factor. I think the K-factor should be reduced by 2/3

You forgot Korchnoi.

And Kapablanca ...

Does anybody know when and where the remaining 2 events of the grand prix will be held ?

Both events will be replaced by a nice hopscotch on Kirsan´s backyard (more widely known as Putinland ), if the budget allows it.

I don't know for sure, who does? But I can mention rumors circulating around:

The 5th edition will (may?) be held in Yerevan 8th to 24th August.

The 6th edition may take place in Grozny, in Oman or somewhere else - see an interview by extratime.az [from +- early May] as quoted by Chessdom ( http://www.chessdom.com/news-2009/fide-grand-prix-grozny-oman ):
"Extratime: Besides Grozny, who else is in the race for this event?
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Oman still holds aspirations, and they should soon make an official offer. In addition to Grozny and Oman, there are some other options. All this should be clarified soon."
"December 2009" is mentioned as date - huh?? doesn't this collide with the World Cup?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on June 19, 2009 1:16 AM.

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