Saturday, October 12, 2013

PRELUDE TO OUR CHESS FUTURE?

On October 9, at the FIDE Congress in Tallinn, a voice none other than ex-World Champion Garry Kasparov once again makes another effort to rejuvenate the world of chess today.

He gathers a team spanning the continents from the Americas to Asia, a conglomerate of business leaders, activists, plus organisational experience. In preparations for the next FIDE elections in Tromso next year, Garry is mindful not to repeat the lessons in Khanty-Mansisk 2010 where the key issue was money. This time, with the help of Jan Callewaert and Rex Sinquefield, he was ready with the funds, plus building links with the corporate tycoons such as Peter Thiel and more.

Garry has an important card in his hand - the Chess in its Role in Education that many on his team saw value. The use of chess in improving the learning experience for children in this century comes even more critical, more than the theoretical novelties created out of the outputs from the current top players. As he correctly pointed out at his presentation (and even back when he visited us 2 years ago), chess is played worldwide but receiving less attention than it should mainly due to the inward-looking FIDE policies which sought to cloister the community from the world at large. Chess is probably the only organised sport that currently does not receive sponsorship from corporate giants like McDonalds or Google or Coca-cola, as he observed. Should he succeed, he will rally and unite the forces of the chess organisations whose main aim is to popularise the game in children. This impact will  certainly see the same renaissance that the world experienced at the end of the 1972 Fischer-Spassky match.With the increase in numbers of players, the possibility of sponsorship will improve and thereafter fund future collaborations for the support of new talent.  Hence, with the changing political landscape, SCF should now work closely with Garry, leveraging on his platform to raise the profile of chess in Singapore amongst Singaporean parents and who knows, possibly capture the attention of our MOE to relook at their current view of chess?

Those interested in watching the views of Garry and his team should tune into the following links:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfl67YlKp85bT785Y6ZvowQ?feature=watch

For chess players, the following video would be interesting as Kasparov explained the events from 1990-1995 on how chess took its turn for the worse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZGO_TDcmZI

Is this the prelude to our chess future? Time will tell.

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