ChessBase: Malcolm, we cannot say we are completely surprised, given your role in the chess world. But the news did break suddenly: you are running for FIDE President?
Malcolm Pein: Well yes, although it was planned and organised for many months. And now we have announced it in the current issue of CHESS Magazine.
CB: So what drove you to this momentous decision?
The situation in FIDE is a mess. There is a major leadership battle in the headquarters in Athens, where they are trying to oust the current President. So it is appropriate to think about a worthy successor.
But you said you have been considering and making plans for months. The power struggle in Athens is just a week old. Were you in any way involved in the uprising against the current president?
No, of course not. Definitely not. I had nothing to do with it, at all.
Some people are saying you may have had a hand in the struggle, you may be pulling strings in the background. In fact there is a picture...
The FIDE Presidential Board meeting in Athens, after President Ilyumzhinov had left
Lies! Fake news! That is the corrupt media spreading false rumours. These media reporters are totally dishonest, believe me. Disgusting people, I'm telling you. Sad.
So who is financing your campaign, who will be supporting you?
I will not be disclosing any financial details until after the election. But I can tell you that a lot of organisations are supporting me. For instance the Russian Chess Federation...
The RCF? Really? We heard they would be supporting the candidacy of Anatoly Karpov. Why would they support you?
Well, RCF President Andrei Filatov recently discovered that I have Lithuanian ancestry. Such things can be decisive in chess politics.
Have you put together a team? Who will run the organisation when you are elected?
We have a team – the Presidential Board and the Executive Board are both in place, as are the General Secretariat, the Advisory Panel, the Development Directors, Ambassadors for Life, and of course the 64 Vice Presidents.
Can you give us some names?
They are all in this month's issue of CHESS Magazine, which was established in 1936 and is the leading chess publication in Europe. You can subscribe at a specially discounted rate for first timers here.
Just give us a few examples.
Well, okay: for the Office of FIDE External Relations we will appoint Nigel Short, who is known for his diplomatic skills.
So you have already spoken to potential office holders?
Oh yes, we have signed up a lot of interesting people. They are all specified in the April issue of CHESS, which by the way is the UK's most popular chess magazine. It keeps you up to date with news, games, analysis, features – delivered to your mailbox! Subscription for one year is £50, two years £90 and three years a bargain £125.
Can we expect big changes in the chess world?
Definitely. Yuge changes! For instance I will, on my first day of office, repeal and replace the stalemate rule. It's a disaster. A total disaster. I will replace it with something much better. Totally amazing. Something everyone will love. Believe me. Much better.
Where will the FIDE office be, if you are elected?
44 Baker St, London W1U 7RT. It's easy to reach: Baker Street Station: Jubilee, Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines. Five minutes walk away. Or bus lines 2, 30, 74, 82, 113 and 274.
We thank you for this breaking news information, Malcolm, and wish you luck.
We urge our readers to get full details of the Malcolm Pein run for FIDE President in the April 2017 issue of CHESS Magazine, the flagship publication, now over 70 years old. You get a discount on every order using the exclusive Subscribers coupon.
ChessBase Magazine 176
The latest issue of ChessBase’s interactive DVD is for “February/March 2017” and mainly covers the world championship match. Highlights include Fabiano Caruana’s explanation of Game 8 in that match when Magnus went behind, as well as Wesley So on his save against Aronian at the London Chess Classic. Daniel King and Karsten Müller also contribute, while the 10 opening surveys see a number of recommendations for White, including 4 Qd3 in the French Winawer and two lines of the Scotch.
The Stonewall Dutch: A Fighting Repertoire against 1.d4
ChessBase were certainly busy in the autumn and early winter months! Interestingly this DVD appeared during Wijk aan Zee, where L’Ami was playing and defeating Dobrov on the black side of a Staunton Gambit. Moreover Magnus Carlsen was seen on the black side of a Stonewall and deploying a move order advocated by L’Ami in his encounter with Eljanov (playing ...Bd6 before ...c6). Throughout this DVD, L’Ami’s presentation is very clear, as is his explanation of the key strategic motifs for both sides, and at the very least for the club player his recommended repertoire should be more than detailed enough.
The Modern Pirc
Another experienced ChessBase presenter makes a welcome return to the studio in the shape of the strong Moldovan Grandmaster, Viktor Bologan. His emphasis is firmly on playing for a win as Black, ideally while taking the opponent away from the main focus of their preparation. Moreover, viewers are informed that Bologan has long played the lines recommended and with some success in Open tournaments. The ‘modern’ part of the repertoire is the move order 1...g6, 2...Bg7 and 3...c6, after which Bologan sometimes follows up with 4...d6 à la the Pirc, but on other occasions is happy with a different approach, namely the Caro-Kann-like 4...d5.
How to Crack the Berlin Wall with 5 Re1
As the aforementioned Carlsen-Karjakin match demonstrated, the line 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 0-0 Nxe4 5 Re1 Ìd6 6 Nxe5 Be7 7 Bf1 Nxe5 8 Rxe5 0-0 does not look all that exciting from White’s perspective. However, if such a creative and attack-minded player as Alexei Shirov is happy to deploy it, we should perhaps sit up and reconsider. Shirov has faced the Berlin in a staggering 77 games according to the databases, so is surely well placed to be arguing a case for White. The modern-day Latvian wizard largely preferred 5 d4 Nd6 6 Bxc6 dxc6 7 dxe5 Nf5 8 Qxd8+ Kxd8 (and covered it on an earlier DVD) until 2014 when he began to alternate between that endgame and 5 Re1. In typical fashion, Shirov has uncovered new paths for White and seems happy enough at least while explaining them in a Hamburg studio.
Strengthen Your Chess Foundation
Last year ChessBase began a dedicated Indian chess news service, so it comes as no surprise to see an IM and member of the Indian women’s team in their studio. Mohota has a typically Indian delivery and appears well on top of her material, which is well summed up by the subtitle: ‘No sweating over basics anymore!’. Indeed, this DVD is aimed squarely at the club player with Mohota’s main emphasis on how to try and make good decisions, as well as how to read the pawn structure and so find the right plans accordingly.
The Art of the Positional Exchange Sacrifice
Tiviakov is a much more experienced ChessBase presenter and while his topic material is generally somewhat more advanced than Mohota’s, players of all levels should be able to learn from his 35 well-chosen examples. Unsurprisingly viewers get to see Petrosian in action, but there are also instances from the games of Botvinnik, Kasparov and Tiviakov himself, usually showing how he was inspired to play a certain exchange sacrifice by one of the famous encounters already shown. Positional exchange sacrifices are a handy dynamic attacking tool and can also help in some quite grim-looking defensive situations, as quickly becomes clear on this DVD.
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