Wednesday, 26 September 2012

ECF elections: A servant of the click-on empire.

Further to my post of 13th September in which I decried the decision of an Ilyumzhinov loyalist to stand against England's Nigel Short for the position of ECF delegate to FIDE. I see that both candidates have published addresses. Grandmaster Short's prose is lucid and to the point. Some may take exception to Papua New Guinea's Rupert Jones being described as an opportunist, but what word can one use for someone who, not content to be labelled a useful idiot, has made it plain he is more than willing to dance to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov's tune? Indeed, the former school teacher, in so far as one can make sense of a file that looks to have been knocked together by a landing party of Ilyumzhinov's aliens, who then proceeded to click on the send icon, has the greatest difficulty in distinguishing between FIDE and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. To oppose Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, in effect proclaims the man from Papua New Guinea, is to oppose FIDE!

The challenger writes:
I also feel the negative attitude towards England in the wider developing world also needs to be addressed especially if we want to make friends & influence people.

Yes indeed, a claque is unlikely to look kindly upon those who seek to take the money away. The objection goes that this negativity will have unfortunate consequences, England will become a pariah. Such consequences have included part of the FIDE Grand Prix being staged in London. May there be many more such consequences. The reality is that Mr Jones's fears are groundless, sponsors dictate the venue for major contests, local competitions don't need a central body, there's not much FIDE can do. The pettiness of refusing to accredit arbiters from England and other federations is to be expected from a bully and his gang. One stands up to such types. There's strength in numbers, other federations have many members who oppose Ilyumzhinov.

The challenger is thunderously silent, almost acting the dunderhead, on things that concern the ordinary player, such as inappropriate time controls or being properly seated when Lord Kirsan, a very superior person, is present. One thing he does mention is: Another area that needs to be addressed is getting more FIDE qualified trainers … Are our titled players to be subjected to fees such as those vexing many a modestly remunerated arbiter? Kirsan's got to obtain revenue from somewhere. No wonder Jones can't name a single English GM backing his candidacy. Does he even have an IM?

And that is to ignore the utter immorality of backing this gentleman (see entry number 68 on the link). Instead, the challenger rants on about the hypocrisy of the alleged moral superiority of the West: So one thing I learnt from that was not wanting to hear about the moral superiority of the supposed western chess nations. I don't know what the supposed adds to Mr Jones's argument, Britain is a Western nation, England has a long tradition of chess playing. I don't pretend that Garry Kasparov is an angel; however, to put it mildly, Garry Kimovich has never killed anybody: there is a difference, unless one is Mr Jones.
Bizarrely, the challenger boasts of his connections: In that time I have built up good contacts. Some of them we can well do without. As to recognition, the average man in the street is unlikely to have heard of either, but if he does identify a name, it will be Short's. In the chess world this disparity in recognition will be still more pronounced.

There may be some misguided personal loyalty to Jones from those purportedly representing the various Yorkshire chess bodies, nobody else has any reason to back him.


Anonymous said...

Nigel Short, 40, an English grandmaster who is ranked 32nd in the world, is an "arbiter" on the chess beauty site. While he could not really define that role, he said the site was meant to be good-natured. On a page with a photo of Ms. Manakova covered in soap taking a bath, Mr. Short wrote: "Lovely bathroom tiles. Where can I buy them?"

Mr. Short also said that the site was meant to help promote women's chess. "How many women can play chess at a high level?" Mr. Short said. "There is precisely one, Judit Polgar. If you want to promote women's chess on its own, then you have to do something like this."

Is this a reason to vote for Mr Short?

Simon Spivack said...

Thank you for taking the trouble to post this note.

It is possible the grandmaster would be flattered to be described as aged forty. He was born in 1965.

More seriously, it is not clear to me that the background to the electoral process is understood. There are only three possible outcomes: a win for Short, a win for Jones or a "win" for "none of the above". I cannot recall "none of the above" ever receiving the greatest number of votes, although I have been told it happened once. In my opinion, it is a certainty that one of Short or Jones will win.

It is sadly the case that one on one contests all too often are reduced to comparing the demerits of the two candidates, for there is no third party to profit from the mudslinging.

I presume the adverse comment is derived from an old article at or somewhere similar. I have never read it in its entirety. I certainly wouldn't want to be involved in such a contest, in any capacity. I can say, too, that I was dismayed by what Short wrote about Tony Miles in the Sunday Telegraph. I wouldn't have boasted to anyone of sleeping with another man's girlfriend while he was alive, never mind in a national newspaper so soon after his death. Short, too, offended many people in the north of England, particularly around Manchester, when he snubbed the bid from his home region to stage the world championship in 1993. Nonetheless, the Greater Manchester Chess Association are supporting Short in his contest against Rupert Jones, even though Jones is another candidate from the north, albeit from Yorkshire. As a Londoner, I am not privy to how the discussions went in Manchester, nonetheless, one is entitled to ask, how come?

From the negative side, I have to say that judging a beauty contest and making sexist remarks pales into insignificance when contrasted to what Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has done. Ilyumzhinov, who would be delighted to see Jones elected at the expense of Short, has been accused of murder, corruption, fraud, ... Jones has been disingenuous when describing how the monies available to FIDE, the governing body of world chess, have been disbursed. I have already discussed this on .

Many reluctant Short supporters will share the sentiment behind a famous quote of Churchill's: If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons. Short has made it abundantly clear that he will stand up to Ilyumzhinov, he has been as good as his word.

On the positive side, some of Short's most inveterate opponents have conceded that he has been a good delegate. He has an excellent grasp of the laws of chess and is listened to with respect when speaking at FIDE meetings. Short, too, came close to an apology for his words about Miles: this was in his speech delivered at the commemoration held one year after the funeral of international master RG Wade.

I have heard accounts of what Jones was like when he was the ECF's International Director. Regrettably, none of my sources wish to go public. I shall just say that no supporter of Jones has gone public either.