• Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Round Six Press Report

    From samsloan@21:1/5 to All on Sun Sep 30 12:10:20 2018
    Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Round Six Press Report
    Azerbaijan virtually wiped out the Czech Republic 3-1 so Azerbaijan takes the lead and seems well on their way to winning the gold. Poland beat the Ukraine 2.5-1.5 with Duda of Poland beating Ivanchuk on top board. The USA almost wiped out Bosnia 3.5-0.5
    but the Bosnian team was low rated. In the woman's event, on top board, the USA tied India 2-2 which was good for the USA as the Indian women out rated them by a hundred points on every board. Russian women lost badly again 1-3. Ukrainian women tied the
    Chinese women 2-2. Azerbaijan women beat the Latvian women 2.5-1.5. I keep wishing I could break my devoted daughter Julia out of the lunatic asylum and get her over to Latvia where she is easily strong enough at chess to make the Latvian woman's team
    and she would qualify, as her mother Anda was born in Riga, Latvia.
    Yesterday I reported that almost country of the world had a team here except for North Korea.
    I was mistaken. Surprisingly, Bulgaria is not here either. This is shocking because of their bid to hold this Olympiad in Albena, Bulgaria. I cannot imagine why they are not here.
    In addition, Daaim Shabazz, author of The Chess Drum, reports that there are 54 countries in Africa. However, only 47 of them are members of FIDE and have teams here. So, there are seven African countries who are not members of FIDE.
    In the 2016 Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan, 11 African countries arrived late and forfeited their first round match. This was a big error by the organizers because those 11 teams were paired and their opponents given forfeit wins. This messed up the whole
    This year, four teams came late including Nigeria, but they were not paired so there was no problem. Presumably this keeps happening because of visa and travel problems.
    But I spent almost the whole day attending FIDE meetings at the Sheraton Hotel where some shocking facts came out.
    First was a meeting for the Social Action Commission chaired and founded by Beatriz Marinello. It is devoted to bringing children into chess to help with their intellectual development.
    One of the members is Robert Katende of Uganda who taught and trained Phiona Mutesi, whose life was made into a Hollywood Movie, The Queen of Katwe. Phiona is here at the Olympiad but she took a rest day today.
    Then the FIDE Verification Commission met. Their job is to verify the FIDE financial accounting. Turns out there are a lot of problems, more than we could imagine. FIDE is almost broke.
    Those who attended the 2016 FIDE General Assembly in Baku will remember the presentation of Andrew Paulson of Agon who promised to pay 500,000 Euros immediately if he was given the right to organize the World Chess Championship.
    After much debate and discussion, it was voted to give him the World Championship.
    Later Andrew Paulson died and today we were informed that FIDE never got the money, so it has been carried as a bad debt.
    But that is only the beginning. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov promised to give FIDE two Million Euros. FIDE never got that money either.
    We have always been told that Kirsan was an extremely wealthy man, a millionaire.
    But it turns out that FIDE has been supporting Kirsan, not the other way around.
    Worse than that, Kirsan is on the US Sanctions list and this has put FIDE itself on the USA Watch List.
    This means that FIDE cannot open a bank account anywhere in the world. Nobody will take our money.
    In a mad scramble to get the money out of the existing bank accounts before it was lost completely, the FIDE lawyers set up a trust without FIDE's name on it that is now hiding the money so that the US State Department cannot grab it.
    In two days, an election will be held and a new president will take over.
    It is hoped that the sanctions against FIDE will be lifted soon after the election so that FIDE can have a normal bank account.
    However, there is another problem. One of the candidates for election is Arkady Dvorkovich of Russia who is running for FIDE President and as an economist was Deputy Prime Minister in Dmitry Medvedev's Cabinet. Arkady Dvorkovich is on the pre-sanctions
    list, so it is far from certain that the US State Department will lift the sanctions if he is elected.
    The FIDE balance sheet carries an accounts receivable of EU 839211. This is money due from member federations who are behind in their dues.
    Most are expected to pay up soon but some have not paid for years, including Bhutan.
    The question is whether these member federations who are in arrears can vote in the election to be held two days.
    The decision on this will likely determine who wins the election because we assumed that those members who have paid their dues will probably vote for Short, but those that have not will probably vote for Dvorkovich.
    I was surprised at the amount of EUR 209,503 in legal costs. Almost all of this pertains to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov because at first he resigned and then tried to take back the presidency. So lawyers were consulted and this was their bill.
    I was surprised to see that Jorge Vega received EUR 30,000 for travel expenses as Americas President and Geoffrey Borg received EUR 25,251 as CEO for travel allowance.
    I was surprised that Grandmaster William Lombardy was given money for “Veterans Support”. FIDE apparently did not realize that Lombardy also received $10,000 US from the “Professional Chess Players Health and Benefit Fund”.
    There is a report that Lombardy had nearly $100,000 in the bank when he died homeless last year, from donations he had received, but he had refused to pay his rent in New York out of pique.
    The big meeting was the Ethics Commission meeting. The subject of the meeting was a complaint by the Arkady Dvorkovich essentially that Georgios Makropoulos had stolen money from FIDE and therefore should be barred from running for FIDE President.
    The meeting was closed tight as a drum so we have no news about what happened but it seems unlikely that any meeting could prohibit Georgios Makropoulos from running. Georgios Makropoulos has been in a top leadership capacity in FIDE since at least 1982.
    Many consider him to be the favorite.
    Sam Sloan

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