I have no regrets about writing an open letter of support for Bessel Kok...Unfortunately, Bessel was preaching ideas that simply don't exist in the chess world. Commercial sponsorship, television coverage, all these elements of a professional sport - without any examples, it was a coalition of dreams. Now our dreams will have to be put on hold yet again.
Well, Kirsan's PR machine are doing everything it can to dispel such thoughts.
In this interview (original here) with Russian journo Yuri Vasiliev, football and the Olympic Games are nicely "name-dropped". ("Football players use many-step combinations, resembling chess combinations"; "the Chinese [Olympic Games] Organisers support us 100%".)
And now notice this unfortunate remark by our Russian interviewer: "Football is the last sport in need of propaganda…"
That's right Yuri, not football, however - your mate Kirsan certainly does. But gentlemen, no more talk of sorcerers please! It's hardly the sort of talk that encourages CEOs to sponsor chess, you know.
And what is with this new found love between Turkish Chess Fed boss Ali Nihat Yazici and Kirsan? "Bravo Kirsan! Welcome and thank you. I wish you good success for your dreams to be realised", Ali writes in Chessbase.
My God, that just about makes me cringe into giving up chess completely. I mean, this Ali guy once took a phone call from Kirsan's 2IC Georgios Makropoulos (who is Greek, by the way) who rang in with, "We will fuck you!" (in response to Ali's and Bessel's announcement of their Right Move campaign).
That's chess politics for you, eh? All we need now is for Sweeney and Gletsos to kiss and make up. (Sorry international readers. Couldn't help myself).