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Russians! Chess! Kremlin in control! 2010-May-27 at 18:04 PDT

Posted by Scott Arbeit in Blog.
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Russian Knights Joust to Control Chess World, by Michael Schwirtz and Dylan Loeb McClain, 26-May-2010

The conflict has pitted an alliance of two former world champions and onetime enemies, the anti-Kremlin activist Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov, against high-ranking Russian officials. Mr. Karpov shocked Russia’s demure chess world this year when he declared his intention to seek Russia’s nomination for president of the World Chess Federation against the officials’ handpicked candidate.

The players have accused the officials of corruption, incompetence and, in the case of Kirsan N. Ilyumzhinov, a Russian provincial leader and the current president of the federation, mental instability. Mr. Ilyumzhinov, who has also been linked to the murder of at least one journalist, is supported in his bid to continue in the job by several top government officials, including the head of Russia’s Olympic Committee and a senior Kremlin adviser, Arkady V. Dvorkovich.

It’s true… the FIDE has screwed up royally in the last couple of decades.  The behavior by the Kremlin in this spot, though, is beneath it, really.

Letting chess be run by professionals can only look good for Russia… for some reason they don’t see it that way.  Too bad, and a sad commentary on the level of control being exercised there right now.

As they say about China:  Russia… three steps forward, two steps back.  They’ll get there eventually, and sooner if Medvedev lasts at all.

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