It's in the nature of chess players to complain about anything and everything but actually do little to change the status quo. Take, for instance, the situation with FIDE. How many times do we hear complaints about FIDE? About their management, the bad organisation of tournaments and even downright arrogance.
Many, many times.
Yet on the eve of the Olympiad a record number of 160 teams from the world over are preparing to descend on Khanty-Mansiysk in Siberia. I think even those who declared support for Karpov are also going. Not to mention the journos who wield the usual anti-FIDE axe and who'll happily pack their laptops and tape recorders and head off to Siberia, too, for their biennial fix. All this despite the known complaints mentioned above as well as current worries over charter flights and hotel rooms.
Well then, it seems to me that if these players and their respective federations are really serious about taking a shot at FIDE, then they should do the obvious thing. Boycott anything the world chess body holds. At least the one big one anyway.
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I think the best action is to vote against the current administration, rather than asking the players to miss out on representing their country.
No, they shouldn't. The Olympiad isn't Kirsan's show, it's chess' show. And do you really want a new split in the chess world? How would that help?
Representing the country and all the good feelings that come with it are both an emotional and psychological experiences. They do not fulfill a political objective.
As for the Olympiad being chess' show, well, I don't know what that means. But the fact is, the event is very much a FIDE baby which, like many events under FIDE's aegis, are basically passed to their favourite hosts. By destabilising the Olympiad we destabilise FIDE and the murky decision-making that surrounds our much-loved tournaments as well as everything else related to the current politics of global chess.
If all that means another split, then so be it. Else, the alternative is the status quo. And how long exactly do we plan to tolerate that?
What does this mean in practice? I mean apart from the fact that any attempt to boycott the Olympiad is likely to be an embarrassing failure, all that "destabilising" would achieve is what it achieved in 1993-200, i.e. a murkier and more fractured chess world than the one that was already on offer.
I don't doubt that there are people who would like this - they're not people who I think can be trusted, and they have their own private agendas every bit as much as Kirsan at his cronies.
What's harder to believe, that Kirsam was kidnapped by ETs or that some people actually vote for someone involved in events which most people living in a democracy would call criminal behaviour? To be part of an organization governed by such a nuthead is disgraceful.
Anything is better that.
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