Tuesday, June 3, 2014

CONSTRUCTIVE POLITICS IN THE CHESS WORLD

I lament at the way the current chess politics are conducted by the incumbent to intimidate, smear and mug-sling. Despite spending 19 years at the helm, the current FIDE regime has failed to popularise the game to the masses and indeed it is time for change - for the better I hope.

Much of the turmoil surrounding the World Chess Championship has been the doing of Kasparov since his breakaway from FIDE in 1990-1, But he has admitted his mistake in the chess.com interview and is now wanting to redeem himself by advocating chess in education. As a player, it is not easy to forgive 22 years of chess turbulence but being a chess teacher, I am eagerly awaiting the developments that can bring light to the darkness that our game is shrouded in.

I am much in agreement of Kasparov's view that the chief way of revolutionising chess lies in its educational and other values to the young - the opening of minds, the stress on concentration and thought behind each decision, the ability to overcome adversity under pressure and most importantly, acccountability for one's decisions. Hence it is in this frame of mind that I chose to renew my faith in the man that once nearly destroyed the chess world with his introduction of Kirsan to the scene.

Hence, back home, it is also important that we re-examine what is currently needed to give the local chess scene a boost. Rather than focus on the shortcomings of the current SCF adminstration, I would think we should look at the big picture by supporting the cause to launch chess education into the Singapore education system. This can only happen if Kasparov succeeds in Tromso in August.

So no matter how deep emnity that can be among rivals and friends-turned-foes, we would need to repair fences and forge new alliances if we truly love our game and see it grow in the right direction. Let us not waste time in answering to people who are committed to misunderstand us. I am supporting the cause and not the person, for that my conscience is clear.

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