"FIDE should be encouraging chess, not discouraging it"

by Macauley Peterson
6/19/2018 – Nigel Short is in a four-way race for President of FIDE, to be decided in an election in Batumi at the Chess Olympiad on October 3rd. Until a few days ago, it was a three-way race with one of those being the incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. But now the Russian Chess Federation is poised to nominate someone else: Russian economist and politician Arkady Dvorkovich. Macauley Peterson spoke to Nigel for an hour in Leuven, during the first stop of Grand Chess Tour, to get his current thoughts on the race. | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour

Greatest Hits Vol. 1 Greatest Hits Vol. 1

Nigel Short takes us on an electrifying journey through a very rich chess career, which saw him beat no less than twelve world champions. His experience in tournaments and matches all over the world – Short has visited a total of 89 countries – can be seen in the narratives that precede the games which he annotates with humour and instructive insights.

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Nigel Short interview

Why is Nigel Short running for FIDE President? How does he expect to challenge the incumbent team of Georgios Makropoulos, particularly now that his countryman Malcolm Pein has joined the "Makro" ticket? Can FIDE be reformed, and what does Short consider it a priority to change?

These are some of the questions I hoped to answer in an hour-long interview with the former World Championship challenger and global chess ambassador. In collaboration with Ben Johnson's Perpetual Chess podcast, I sat down with Nigel in his hotel room in Leuven, Belgium, the morning before the fifth and final day of the "Your Next Move Rapid and Blitz" tournament, where Nigel provided live commentary for local chess fans at the Leuven City Hall.

Nigel Short commentating

Long stick, Short commentary in Leuven's City Hall | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour

During the tournament, news broke that the Russian Chess Federation is now supporting Arkady Dvorkovich, a former member of its board, for FIDE President. Dvorkovich, the son of International Arbiter Vladimir Dvorkovich, is the Chairman of the organizing committee of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. He previously served as Deputy Prime Minister in Dmitry Medvedev’s Cabinet from 2012 until 2018. And during that time he was also the Chairman of the organizing committee of the 2014 World Chess Championship Match in Sochi.

In the initial news report, Dvorkovich is quoted as saying that he was entering the race, “after consulting with the country’s leadership…” indicating that he will have the backing of the Russian government and its diplomatic core, which is widely seen as having played a role in Ilyumzhinov's previous electoral successes.

Below are some highlights of our conversation and you can also listen to the full audio or subscribe to the podcast.


Short summary and selected excerpts

Nigel Short refers to his opponent Georgios Makropoulos as the "continuity candidate" and argues that they if they really wanted to reform FIDE, such as by enacting term limits, they would have done so by now.

"All of the team, apart from Malcolm Pein, owe their positions to their fealty to Kirsan Ilymzhinov. They are the people — particularly Makropoulos — who have sat by Kirsan whilst he’s lied to the General Assembly with his false promises...After 15 years of Kirsan being in power, the Presidential Board — actually led by Makropoulos — vetoed a proposal of the Ukrainian federation. It was there before the General Assembly and the Presidential Board recommended to the General Assembly that they ignore that. Just because it’s politically expedient of him to present something new now doesn’t mean there’s a real change of heart."

Short believes that other ambitious members of Makropoulos' team have pushed for the adoption of term limits to ensure they have a chance to run for President in the next election cycle without an incumbent "in the way".

"Malcolm Pein has already been speaking about running in 2022 — that is assuming the Makropoulos team wins, which is very very far from being a foregone conclusion — but the idea that this group of people are just going to anoint Malcolm as their new leader, President, or whatever is absurd. There are very ambitious people in that group and there will be a hell of a fight. So my dear countryman I think is allowing himself to be used, and I think he is very naive, to be honest. He has been around in chess all his life, as a journalist and many many [other] things, of course, he’s been doing the London Chess Classic and all sorts of things, but as regards FIDE politics he’s relatively new...He's the only one there that is a fresh face and it's very important for them to try to distinguish themselves from Kirsan continuity. So they give him space and encourage him."

Short and Pein

Short conversing with Pein in Leuven | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour

Short outlines some changes and reforms to FIDE that he would like to see, beginning with the funding model for the organisation:

"The most important thing that I would like to do is to invert the model of how FIDE is run. In fact, the current model is basically the exact opposite of how successful sporting organisations are run. They attract commercial sponsorship to the centre, so [for instance] FIFA is a very wealthy organisation and then FIFA distributes funds outwards. The model for FIDE is the Federations support the centre, and it’s a rent-seeking model. They occupy the space, and they simply tax everybody for it. So if you want to organise a rated tournament, you pay for that. You pay a euro per player, getting the thing rated. If you want to be an arbiter then you’re paying for that. If you want to be a trainer, you’re paying for that. It’s a rent-seeking model. They’re not contributing, they’re actually detracting and inhibiting chess activity. So this is the fundamental thing — to attract commercial sponsorship — and you cannot attract commercial sponsorship unless you can restore the reputation of the organisation."

"We have a fraction of the budget of cycling, for instance, it is a tiny fraction of the annual budget despite the fact that we have a 189 member Federations and literally millions of people who know how to play the game and 650 thousand people on the Elo list. Just talking about the Elo list, by the way, a normal thing to do is to get commercial sponsorship for the Elo list. You don’t charge people for getting things rated. When you have a database of 650 thousand often quite intelligent people there, in a particular interest group, companies are delighted to be associated with things like that."

Short has travelled to around 120 countries in the world and says he has seen the effect of rating fees in discouraging tournament organisers from rating their events, to the detriment of players. He relates a recent example of a tournament room in Nigeria bursting into spontaneous applause when it was unexpectedly announced that a blitz tournament would be rated.

[Update June 21: Blitz rating fees have been waived by FIDE on an ongoing basis since 2012. Short clarified in response to a follow-up question:

Apparently I made a mistake — there is an amnesty on the charging of blitz tournaments (which clearly many people are unaware of). My basic point is more than valid, although I was wrong on that specific point of detail.]

Makropoulos has been delegated the powers of the FIDE President since the end of 2015, and Short wonders why it took so long to recognize the danger to FIDE's finances by continuing to have Ilyumzhinov as the nominal President. He could and should have been removed long ago to avoid the banking issues FIDE has experienced this year, Short argues.

"What they should have done is force a vote and to get Kirsan removed because it was clear this was an existential threat to FIDE. They could have done it, but they procrastinated, and you saw them up until April 30th, 2018 — they were scrambling to put in arrangements at the last minute — and not very satisfactory arrangements either — to prevent them having the assets frozen. So that shows a lack of planning, a lack of foresight on their part. They have allowed Kirsan to lie through his teeth. You will recall he stepped down in order to clear his name in the US, and you may remember he made a lot of headlines saying he was going to sue the US government for 50 billion dollars. There is no such case. There never has been such a case. It was obvious there was never going to be such a case because there were no grounds for this, and FIDE — by FIDE I mean Makropoulos and the rest of that group — they have stood by him and not contradicted Kirsan. They promoted a fiction that he was attempting to deal with this particular problem, and that is one of the issues with the body — they knew damn well he wasn’t going to court, but they were just happy enough to pretend to the world that he was trying to clear his name."

2014 headline In 2014, Ilyumzhinov announced to the General Assembly in Tromso, Norway, that he intended to invest $20 million into the FIDE accounts. An unbelievable claim that proved to be untrue.

"When he got up in the General Assembly, in 2014, and said ‘if elected I will put 20 million dollars into the FIDE accounts today’, Makropoulos sits there, applauds with the rest of the assembly, and then he admitted — the exact term he used was — this was 'bullshit'. So they are dishonest. Makropoulos is a beneficiary of these lies and deceit, and he’s quite happy to encourage it."

Makropoulos' exact words describing Ilyumzhinov's declaration were, "What Kirsan told him there, is, 'Garry, if you want to bullshit, I can bullshit better'." The implication was that a similar promise to invest $10 million on the part of Kasparov's would-be Treasurer, Rex Sinquefield was not sincere. Sinquefield's sponsorship of chess, already at the time, was vast and it has only grown in subsequent years. He also spends multiples of that figure to influence politics in his home state of Missouri, so there was no reason to doubt or ridicule the 2014 pledge.

Rules and reforms

Among Short's other views, some of which are controversial, he makes clear that he has no plans to lobby for the alteration of the stalemate rule, despite advocating such changes seriously in the past.

"I have quirky views on things like stalemate — there is not going to be a rule change introduced — I just want to kill that one — because I've heard people discussing such things."

However, he is critical of the current blitz rules. He also wants to see more stringent qualifications and training requirements for FIDE Arbiters, suggesting that far too many are unqualified.

"They have used arbiting as a way of rewarding people. We see this at the Olympiad — we actually have lower quality arbiters at the Olympiad than we do for regular events because [while] some of them are there on competence grounds, a large number are there on political grounds, and they barely know the rules. The quality is very low. There are people who don’t know how to set the clocks. That is very much a minority, but there are a huge number of people who wouldn’t recognise a three-fold repetition if it occurred in front of their eyes. Just as in football you wouldn’t have some 120-kilogram 65-year-old guy appointed as a referee trying to keep up with the ball, in the same way with chess you ought to have people who can follow the game — at high speed, by the way — and make correct decisions."

Penalties for players found guilty of cheating should also be increased, says Short.

"I think there has been very little willingness to deal with measures like this…If you’ve got two cases, let’s say, during the course of your career, that should be a lifetime ban. And in fact, cheating in chess is much more serious than it is in many other sports, because — you know Lance Armstrong had all his laboratories and blood doping and all of that. You could give me all the same and I will never ever win the Tour de France — at least the guy could actually cycle. But with chess, you don’t actually need any real ability at all. I could teach my dog to win a tournament like this using a computer."

Short in Leuven

In his element | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour

Pre-arranged draws have been in the news lately, and Short says, he's strongly in favour of Sofia-Corsica rules (forbidding agreed draws), but that eliminating pre-arranged draws is difficult and, in fact, he has himself made them in his career. He doesn't consider it a pressing concern.

Short's complete ticket has yet to be announced but he stresses that he's primarily looking for people of integrity.

"Basically, chess has been used by people conducting their own business affairs, and that’s got to go. That whole thing has got to disappear. Chess should be paramount...In chess the officials consider themselves to be more important than the players. You don't get this in other sports, or at least they try to disguise it much better. The players are the stars and the players should be the stars."

On the entrance of Arkady Dvorkovich

Short now expects Ilyumzhinov to drop out of the race.

"I would be very surprised to see Kirsan running, with this latest announcement. It’s not impossible but it would be exceptionally foolish on Kirsan’s part to run against the will of the Kremlin. And I think we’ve had indications over the last month or so anyway — Kirsan has gone incredibly quiet. He’s been invisible. He’s been as invisible as Glen Stark...I am at least 90% sure we will not see Kirsan [continue running]."

RCF meeting

Dvorkovich (second from right) with RCF head Andrey Filatov and Ilymzhinov in 2015 | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili, Vladimir Barsky.

"We know already that Russian embassies have been active in contacting federations to support ‘our candidate’ [laughs]. We now know who their candidate is — Dvorkovich — but that has been recent, so we can expect that on a grand scale around the world. And this will also be a question for federations, whether they wish to give their vote to, basically, an agent of the Russian government, and to play along with Russian soft power, to allow them to control this body in perpetuity. It’s clear that this is their intention."

Short's basic message is one of change. In addition to term limits, which Short is in favour of, he would also like to see the rules around voting by proxy tightened substantially to prevent abuse.

"Things have been wrong, they've been rotten, for far too long, and this is a golden opportunity to bring in real change, real ideas. There are so many reforms which are required."

He is not in favour of proposals to change the one-country-one-vote policy but he does suggest instituting minimum requirements that federations have elections, internal statues, and financial accounts. The details can be unique from case to case, but these criteria should ensure at least a modicum of democratic processes within federations, with ancillary benefits to FIDE's governance. He cites the chess federation of Japan as an example.

"The problems are not confined to a particular region. It’s all over. People sometimes say — I’ve heard the comment — that having statutes, that is discrimination against poor countries. Rubbish. Absolute rubbish. That’s just a bare minimum. You’ve got Japan, one of the richest, largest economies in the world, [yet it is] completely and utterly unrepresentative. And that sort of abuse must be stopped, and there’s been no willingness whatsoever — the system has been rotten for so long and it’s been encouraged to be rotten for so long."

The case of Gabon in 2014 is an instance of voter disenfranchisement, which Short hopes will not repeat itself this year.

"It’s the same principle like that of the school ground bully. A school ground bully, he goes there, and he beats up some small kid in plain view of everyone else, and he makes sure people see that he’s beating up the kid. And the message is very clear: ‘You mess with me, the same thing can happen to you’. And that is how these guys have been operating, Makro and Kirsan. So that has been the way things have been done.

What’s going to happen this time? We’ll see, we’ll see."


Listen to the full interview


Greatest Hits Vol. 2

Nigel David Short is generally regarded as the strongest British grandmaster of the 20th century. Born on June 1st 1965 he started out as a chess prodigy, first attracting media attention by beating Viktor Korchnoi and Tigran Petrosian in simultaneous exhibitions at the age of ten and twelve years respectively. At the age of 14 he became the youngest IM in history, breaking Bobby Fischer’s previous record, and at 16 he came second (to Garry Kasparov) at the under 20 World Junior Championship in Dortmund.

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A further conversation with Malcolm Pein about the FIDE politics and the Grand Chess Tour will follow shortly...

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Macauley is Editor in Chief of ChessBase News in Hamburg, Germany, and producer of The Full English Breakfast chess podcast. He was an Associate Producer of the 2016 feature documentary, Magnus.
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jsaldea12 jsaldea12 6/27/2018 05:50
PROPOSAL TO FIDE:

"FIDE should be encouraging chess, not discouraging it"

Thru enchess base, please permit me to propose modification to FIDE Code on chess compositions. The following rules, Art. 14 & Art. 10, below should be deleted as both rules contrict, cripple, diminish the beauty of chess composition/PUZZLE, so that chess PUZZLES should/must be universally and uniformly applied whether in FIDE chess composition contest or recreational chess contest
Article 14 – Legality of Positions
(1) A position is legal if it can be reached by a sequence of moves from the initial array [17]. Otherwise, the position is illegal. (chess puzzle with 9 queens? Allow it)
Article 10 – Dual
A dual is said to occur if, after the first move, there is more than one method of satisfying the stipulation. (example: actual white first move: Pg5 x f6 or Pg5 x h6 is considered illegal move!!!

The article of Macauley Peterson, Chief Editor of enchess. is very timely "FIDE should be encouraging chess, not discouraging it"

Jose S. Aldea
6.27.18
HollyHampstead HollyHampstead 6/26/2018 11:37
It would be tragic for FIDE and for Chess if having Malcolm Pein and Nigel Short on different tickets were to lead to a third party being elected FIDE President. Both of these have given so much to Chess, and there is so much good they will do for Chess in the future. At some point between now and the election they should work out a way to prevent a third party from being elected, so that their own combined capabilities can help to reform FIDE for the good of Chess.
Ali Nihat YAZICI Ali Nihat YAZICI 6/23/2018 03:03
Dear Readers!

You see what happens in chess?

We make comments with our names, and traditional SHORTLY way, they attack us with pseudo names.

This is exactly what happens in the chess politics.

You may have your appreciation...

regards
Bobbyfozz Bobbyfozz 6/22/2018 06:36
I've never agreed or liked everything Nigel has said over the years, but he works at what he does and says and he has been all over the chess world. Pein knows a lot about organization as such with his partnerships with Michael Basman. But if one looks at the representatives, now in the past of certain countries, there has been lots of problems and they all seemed to have aligned with Kirsan, the guy who has met aliens. Greece has for years been involved in buying Grandmaster titles, as have some others I am sure. A country can state they have a democracy without actually behaving like one. Try someone or something west of eastern europe for a change. Try Nigel and have term limits. And that Ali Nihat guy spews, over and over, stuff in such quantities as if that means he know what he is talking about. Garry can be very selfish too but because of Kirsan, he had no chance. Hoffman's book King's Gambit reports how Kasparov obsesses over bottled water. Unbelievable and brash. And we should get ourselves a decent FIDE Vice Pres. too. Even in the USA the highest offices have been rampant with craziness. I have maintained for 30-40 years people want to be president because too many have felt like they are "owed" for all they have "done" for chess. Legends in their own minds. Stalemate has been around forever. Does is seem fair? Obviously the "winning" side couldn't checkmate, could they?
fons3 fons3 6/22/2018 12:31
First of all the criticism from Ali Nihat Yazici has no substance.

Second I would find it strange that he is defending a bunch of crooks, but then you realize he used to be part of that gang when he was FIDE Vice President.

Defending crooks seems to be a habit of his. He defended Zurab Azmaiparashvili when he got "dragged off to the police station" after getting into a fight.

https://en.chessbase.com/post/scandal-in-calvi-fide-vice-president-arrested

https://en.chessbase.com/post/ali-nihat-yazici-on-the-azmaiparashvili-scandal

Also Ali Nihat Yazici is no stranger to scandals:

"About ten days ago chess World was shocked by New York Times allegations of the Turkish Chess Federation (later TCF) president Ali Nihat Yazici buying votes of the delegates in order to win chess OL 2012 in Istanbul."

https://www.schach-welt.de/BLOG/blog/winningdemocraticelectionsinfide

Later he had to resign as FIDE Vice President after arbiters from seven federations were not admitted at the Olympiad.

http://www.chessdom.com/ali-nihat-yazici-resigns-as-fide-vice-president/
Ali Nihat YAZICI Ali Nihat YAZICI 6/22/2018 02:31
IStohl, sorry I am not able to write like you SHORTly

Whatever I have written is the sole truth, sorry...
IStohl IStohl 6/21/2018 09:50
I'm number 3 writing in my own name and I'm curious. Why, apart from the praise of his chess prowess (difficult to deny, as he has played for the world title), all these insults & abuse against Short (thousands of words), if he has supposedly no chance to win anyway?
Ali Nihat YAZICI Ali Nihat YAZICI 6/21/2018 07:43
part 2 (because of 4.000 words)


When we come to the candidacy of Makro, he committed his life to chess, and to FIDE. He has made great achievements in Greece and in FIDE for our eminent sport. I know that since I have known and watched him closely for 20 years. I have never seen Makropoulos lies! Even this is enough to throw the answers of Short to garbage.
Makro is an excellent politician but his priority is a) chess, b) FIDE c) politics. Short promises bullshit respecting to 650.000 names on FIDE rating list, but why he does not appreciate who has made it. Makro is doing his best for peace, he had tried till now. He opens his arms for rigid opposition. I am so happy to see Mr.Pein joined his ticket. And hope he will run in 2022 for the president post. Please check the federations in PB. Spain, Germany, Switzerland... FIDE was always accepting opposition to management under the co-leadership of Makro as Dep.President.

Did you hear any critics from those opposition? It is so meaningful for me that Prof.Dr.Siegel defending FIDE versus disgusting allegations made by Nigel Short. Please do not forget that in 2010, Switzerland was one of 5 federations sued FIDE.

What I am trying to say follows: As in Europe under Azmaiparahsvili's leadership we found peace and excellent level of management, We will find peace, unity, and raising of chess under Makro's mandate as president.

FIDE, today, does have very healthy revenues, fund for the worst case. FIDE funds are more than 1.7 millions € as far as I know and this would be enough for a global crisis to survive 2 years without any revenue? Who did succeed that? Short? Don’t short me : )

Indeed one of the main sources of all those fake allegations on Makro is Short. Whatever he says on the contrary Makropoulos is an honest person. I may give you many examples for this.

One of the examples is auditing committee. I have asked him once in Bled 2002, why he invites those western members who are against to him and Kirsan to “FIDE Auditing Committee”. His answer was “If they audit us they will see that we are financially very correct”. The reality is this. FIDE Auditing Committee was always from opposition. Never criticized anything unethical related with Makro.

I will ask kindly to readers don’t believe the short stories you hear!

3rd October will be a new age with Makro’s mandate!

Gens Una Sumus!
Ali Nihat YAZICI Ali Nihat YAZICI 6/21/2018 07:43
I have read the interview of Short being asked apparently his favourite possible questions. I have read also the comments under the interview. I guess except Petersons’ comments, I am the only one making a comment with my name.

I am so sorry to tell for those readers supporting Short that he does not have any chance winning FIDE elections. I am sorry for their good will and I realise their support is based on their love and passion for chess. Please do not misunderstand me I am very happy that Short can not be the president of FIDE. Since it would be a disaster for the World chess and for the FIDE if we had such as president.

Why?

When you follow him as a chess lover, analysing his games, being witness with his great chess career, sure you think it would be so excellent to see such as player as FIDE president. Personally, as I have been close to him in the past on many occasions, I may tell that the answers in this interview, the words of dignity, fairness, honesty do not match with this gentleman.

I could not say I was a very good chess politician, although nobody could refuse my achievements in Turkey and in the world. I am not a candidate for any post in the next elections. But I make this comment since I love chess and want to wake up people.

I have seen many short (!) things with Short. 2006 we were on the same political camp, I remember how he was trying to create stories for opposition.

2005 we were together in Istanbul during World Junior Championship, I remember his daily activities!
There are more. Sorry but this is a hero on scoresheet, do not hope too much for the sake of chess from this gentleman except his excellent moves. He only moves for himself.

Short is short. I resisted not to make such a comment almost for the last 2 months since I read his candidacy. I am not going to make what ever his answers to this comments.

Why I do make this comment?

To stop these disgusting allegations of typical Short against to Makro. Makro may take out 100s Short from his pocket as a manager. Does Nigel have any experience in his life as manager? For example did he have manage even a club? Did he chair any organisation any club - and sorry - but any person in his life? Is there any one can mention any success story for him as manager of anything? And… I am not talking about his insult to children, women, people in chess!

The reality Nigel is jealous of Makro since he can not be so excellent chess person in his life. This is it! Nothing else. I am telling frankly with my heart that if you know Short closely you would appreciate my comments. That is the reason he does not have more chance than getting 20 votes (meaning he will get maximum 10% of the 187 votes).

to be continued
geraldsky geraldsky 6/21/2018 05:09
Women chess has no place for Nigel Short. Stalemate is always a draw.
turok turok 6/21/2018 04:03
what I find interesting about the draw issue is that this is just an issue for top level players. Rarely at the lower levels of play, where I would say is where the majority of players are do not have this issue like at the top levels. In fact draws can help a lower raise their rating. Pre-arranged is for those elite players and not the common folk. Leave it alone please.
fons3 fons3 6/21/2018 12:51
@ KrushonIrina, lajosarpad, KevinC: read the article.

RSS page with links for easy download of the podcasts:
https://www.perpetualchesspod.com/new-blog/?format=rss
jrcapablanca4ever jrcapablanca4ever 6/21/2018 12:51
If you have noticed comments on forums or below other interviews, or even in chessbase, there are people even amongst those who believe that Nigel Short is the lesser of three evils, who are still extremely sceptical regarding his ungentlemanly way of expressing himself and many more are appalled by comments he has made in the past. It would be something new if we would hear how Nigel Short believes that he can gain the trust and the sympathy of these people and run a federation avoiding such ill-mannered declarations in the future (or it would be also interesting to know if he plans to keep expressing himself that way, even if he would become FIDE President).

It would be extremely interesting to know which candidate would Nigel Short support in the very probable case that he doesn't get through in the second round of the elections or if he will seek another candidates support in case he manages to get through the second round.

It would be extremely interesting to know if Nigel Shorts will get, or he believes that he will get the English Chess Federation support (actually this is an interesting question towards Malcolm Pein too, who is currently the ECF delegate).

By following some other interview or statements of Nigel Short you would notice how he has mentioned that he believes that many federations in FIDE shouldn't have the status of a federation (he said recently in an interview either in chess.com or an African website) and how he has been for years against Scotland, Wales, etc, having their own federations (although it is quite convenient or even crucial for him to deny this now).

On a final note, we can find Nigel Shorts program when he decides to publish one. But he won't answer there those questions which you had as a journalist the power and the duty to make - apart from those that I have already mentioned. I share with you my thoughts below.

What has Nigel Short done for English Chess Federation or worldwide chess voluntarily? Has he ever even run a chess club? Has he ever organised a large tournament? Has he ever brought to chess any significant sponsors (apart from any case of personal benefit)? Is he having any sponsors for his election campaign besides the Kasparov Chess Foundation? Does he believe that he can win the elections without money, when Kasparov who spent millions last time lost with such a big difference? Why does he believe that although two world champions (Karpov and Kasparov) lost with huge numbers quite recently, he has better chances than them? Does he consider that breaking the western block votes might lead to another Russian Fide President in the end? Does he consider that there has been done anything good in the last 20 years in FIDE or has everything been rotten?

Of course, I trust that you may be able to find even better ones. Of course, you also have every right to even give (to anyone you like best) your website, for 3 months, so they can make their propaganda, but it would then be insulting to baptise this as an interview. I hope that in the case of Malcolm Pein, you will give him a harder time than to Nigel Short. Because at the end of the day, a smooth interview doesn't benefit but harms a candidate in a political race.
jrcapablanca4ever jrcapablanca4ever 6/21/2018 12:50
On a first note, if you look into the basic principles of journalism (provided we consider that chessbase.com tries to have such a role as well, besides the other indeed valuable chess related aspects) you would see that an interview must be something more than just a space for the interviewee to express his opinions. That he can do in his own website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

An interview has to pose questions, even (or especially) questions that the interviewee might dislike, but then again are regarding issues which are important to people and which the interviewee avoids to give any satisfactory answers. This applies even more when the interview is related with an election procedure.

For this reason, usually, a journalist does his homework, grasps the main points of criticism that the interviewee faces and although he also gives with some questions the chance to the interviewee to promote his/her agenda, the journalist must also assert to get some answers on those issues which I have mentioned above.

In regards to which is my small federation, seeing the way Nigel Short bullies all his opponents (even Malcolm Pein!!), and knowing how Kasparov team threatened many federations in the previous elections, same way that Kirsan does now, I would prefer not to give any (additional) clues concerning my identity. I would thus deeply appreciate if you could show the appropriate sensibility.
macauley macauley 6/20/2018 10:27
@jrcapablanca4ever / Peter R. - Thanks for your feedback. The interview audio with questions is available in full. The text is a summary, not a complete transcript. Curious what you mean by "obsolete, old-fashioned elitism". Also would be interested in references to Short's record on "voting right according to chess power", since he expressly says the opposite here with regard to one-country-one-vote.

Short's record of controversial remarks has been well covered on ChessBase, and barring something new on that score, it didn't seem sensible to re-litigate them here. But I take your point and appreciate the critique. For the record, ChessBase does not "support" any candidate, and we'll have an interview with Malcolm Pein appearing on Friday.

Also, may I ask, what is your (small) federation, and would you care to put some numbers to your assertion that there are an increasing number of tournaments held there due to positive intervention of FIDE?
nimzobob nimzobob 6/20/2018 05:37
I think Mr. Kasparov is a little mistaken in his tweet. Russia doesn't have a totalitarian regime since that implies an ideology and I am not sure pure greed qualifies. It is a Mafia state. I think what Mr. Kasparov meant to say is that Dvorkovich was made an offer he couldn't refuse :-)
jrcapablanca4ever jrcapablanca4ever 6/20/2018 03:17
A slight hypocrisy, calling this an interview. This is a public declaration (of a rather not so slight hypocrite). An interview should have questions, and actually critical ones which take into account the opinions of those opposed to the interviewed person.

Nigel Short has repeatedly advocated opinions of an obsolete, old-fashioned elitism. He has been for years a supported of countries having a voting right according to their chess power (an analogy would be people having voting power according to the size of their pocket!). He has made unimaginable insulting comments for women, he has shown incredible disrespect to legends of chess such as Miles or to people he calls friends such as Malcolm Pein (and who similarly to others in FIDE and unlike Short, has helped voluntarily his own federation and chess in general).

Short's hypocrisy is even more clear, when he says he cares about FIDE which he has been trying to destroy since the famous match he had with Kasparov. But FIDE has helped small federations like mine - we wouldn't exist without FIDE - has helped organisers and this is proven by the raising numbers of tournaments every year (unlike what the lies of Short imply), has given the greatest prize funds to top players.

It is such a shame that chessbase not only supports the horse that will lose the election, but that it does that without any willingness to at least provide a good interview, with substantial questions - scratch that - with questions.

Respectfully,

Peter R.
KevinC KevinC 6/20/2018 12:42
While I am not a fan of Short's since he has always been a primadonna, I have no question that he is the best candidate because he will not be corrupt.

And, I agree with the others: A stalemate is a draw, and I do not want that changed.
Jarman Jarman 6/20/2018 12:19
I think Short would be a good fit for the position of FIDE president, but I still believe he should not have made those infamous disparaging comments about women as they now might come back to haunt him and possibly derail his candidacy. He can expect his opponents to bring them up at any and every opportunity ahead of the election, that's a given.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 6/20/2018 11:58
Stalemates are draws and should be draws. I hope Short will not want to change that as president. I understand that he denies it here, but hey, he is a politician now :)

Also, the Sofia Rules are disrespectful for chess players and chess in my opinion. We should not force players to play on and we should trust their decision of making a draw at any move if they want to do so. If we need to have a show at tournaments, to ensure sponsorship, there are better alternatives than messing with the rules of the game. For instance, players having the obligation to participate at a press conference, or the commentators can make a good show in compensation for those, who bought a ticket and seen quick draws. I understand the reasoning of Sofia Rules, but disagree with this method.

Nevertheless, Short seems the be the best candidate here. Will he beat his old rival, Kasparov in chess politics by becoming president, succeeding where Kasparov failed? We'll see.
Marselos Marselos 6/20/2018 10:59
What is development?
One thing.
The cheaters are against chess.
We will create a group of 20, 50, 100, engineers, and technicians.
They will study a system of sensors, cameras, etc., against the cheaters and respecting the privacy.
So we will play great tournaments on line.
tony aguirre tony aguirre 6/20/2018 08:25
Go for it Nigel!!!
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 6/20/2018 05:25
Have to agree. Short seems the best of the candidates.
chessbibliophile chessbibliophile 6/20/2018 03:55
We want Short.
jaberwocky jaberwocky 6/20/2018 03:48
Thanks for a very interesting article.
KrushonIrina KrushonIrina 6/20/2018 03:42
I would vote for Short if he just dropped that damned insistence that stalemates shouldn't be draws.
decredico decredico 6/20/2018 02:13
Loving Chess Player v. Russian Oligarchs.

Good luck Nigel ..... stay safe.
Talhaunted Talhaunted 6/20/2018 01:14
Cannot believe how low it is getting... That Nigel can legitimately state that "FIDE should encourage chess not discouraging it" is already a shame. But that the chess community can put up with such mediocre alternatives to that positions is disgraceful. Will the chess community, i.e. those who care for chess (unlike any of the candidates offered except for Nigel) stand up and realize the importance for chess to have a leader who understand chess AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL. Are people so dumb that they do not the understand this basic principle that you have to nurture the elite and beware of the self appointed officials?
SeniorPatzer SeniorPatzer 6/20/2018 12:44
I don't get a chance to vote. But if I did, I would vote for Short. No matter what criticism folks want to lobby at Nigel Short, the other guys are THAT MUCH WORSE!! So by comparison, it's so easy a decision. Vote for Nigel. Why? Because the other guys are so much worse.
CATofJAZZ CATofJAZZ 6/20/2018 12:31
Seems to me Short has some common sense and decency. To vote for him as president or some of the other political puppets, I´d give it to him in a heartbeat - best try of the choices. #MAKE CHESS GREAT AGAIN !!
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