FIDE needs to be  more flexible and  conciliatory towards its players


  This is from Chess today - issue CT(36) 1185- Thursday 2/6/2004

How do you assess the situation in chess? When shall we get one World Chess Champion? In the last two years Anand won several super tournaments, could he be included in the process of the unification of the WCC title?

 Ignatius Leong (FIDE Vice President)

- I don't wish to be dragged into the WC script. But, the only way to go is for FIDE to tighten up its rules, include everyone. Those who don't play may do so. Players who play in the FIDE cycle and also play in another should be expelled from FIDE. Players who play in events which involve the expelled players shall also be expelled. I'm not a dictator, but if a player doesn't love FIDE, I don't see any reason why FIDE   should be so sympathetic towards him. By these, I also mean stripping off titles and ratings. Of course, FIDE should also amend its title/rating regulations to provide for suspension of the title/rating. If one group emerges to be an alternate to FIDE, so be it.


Hangin's response:

      After reading Ignatius comments in chess today issue CT (36) 1185, I am not surprised that not a single move has been made in the name of reunification in over 1.5 years. FIDE needs to strike a more conciliatory tone when addressing issues.  Talk of banning players and stripping titles is not the sort of thing that encourages reunification.  Federations or organizations are only as valuable as the talent they represent. Chess needs  more flexibility. 

As far as running out side the cycle, I recall comments made by former FIDE President Max Euwe after the Spassky vs. Fischer match. Bobby had said he would want to defend his title every year and that he also wanted to allow Spassky a rematch. Euwe supported Fischerís position; Euwe's only condition was that the winner must still defend the title in the regular Fide cycle. Well Fischer retired from chess for 20 years. However this is the kind of flexibility that chess needs.

      Also talk of banning players who play in tournaments with banned players is a dangerous stance.  Chess is a simple game to play in terms of material. All you need is a table, board, and the pieces.  In fact the players that FIDE represents donít even need that. Fide should drop its rhetoric and take a more conciliatory stance. In order for this relationship to last, it requires mutual respect and flexibility. Dictatorships can only control and restrict, they can't organize. In order to build you need to organize.

  PS. Ignatius to his credit has backed away from his comments of banning players. See issue ct(50) 1199 - 2/17/2004