Sunday, August 17, 2008

KRUSH OUT OF CHAMPIONSHP!

I just saw it confirmed in this report at Chessbase: IM Irina Krush, one of three U.S. players who qualified for the upcoming Women's World Chess Championships (along with Anna Zatonskih and Katherine Rohonyan), decided prior to Russia's invasion of Georgia to withdraw from the event because the area is unstable and unsafe and the U.S. government has specifically warned Americans to avoid the Caucasus region because of banditry, terrorism and kidnappings. This brings the total number of withdrawn players to 7 thus far, more than 10% of the field. Good for Krush! She is demonstrating sound common sense and a refreshing lack of greed in bypassing the prize money promised at the WWCC (less FIDE's 20% cut, of course). I hope more players withdraw. This is the only way to send a message to FIDE, the leadership of which has rocks in its head, scheduling an important world championship event in such a dangerous area! It is a shame and a scandal that FIDE has refused to take any steps to reschedule the event in a safer environment. I guess we all know who's calling the shots at FIDE, and it isn't Fearless Leader Kirsan - it's the Kremlin.

4 comments:

Chessvine.com said...

I wrote an article about this same Chessbase article on Chessvine.com. I was extremely surprised that no USCF news venue has yet reported on Irina's decision. I think she made a good one and I think the other American players should do the same. In fact I think everyone should boycott the event ... including players, press, and sponsors. In my opinion not boycotting constitutes a crime against humanity.

Jan said...

I read your post at Chessvine and noted this final comment you made:

It also came to light that Irina Krush declined going in August because of the instability of Nalchik and the Ossetia region (prior to the attacks). I hadn't heard anything about this through the USCF ... what's the point of the USCF if not to inform its members? The USCF and FIDE have many thingsin common it would seem.


Either I'm looking in the wrong places or people aren't talking about this, which simply amazes me. Even if people in the US don't care about the safety of the Georgian chessplayers, they should care about one of the US's best chessplayers withdrawing from the World Championship! I don't get it - is it because they're women that it seems people are ignoring the issues? Lots of people read Susan Polgar's chess blog, where it was mentioned that an American player had withdrawn (although she was not named at the time), and I'm sure lots of people read Chessbase, so they have read the news by now. I fully agree with your comment about our USCF. Surely they can take a moral stand and issue a press release supporting Krush's decision to stay away from Nalchik for reasons of personal safety, and urge the other American players to do the same. I would have thought that by now ALL chess federations that aren't under the Russians' thumb would have done the same, urging their players to stay at home. Do the officers of those chess federations have no common sense? It's dangeorus to go to Nalchik - why are people even considering it for an instant? Why is FIDE's shameful behavior and the insulting, outrageous statements issued by the European Chess Union and the Russian organizing committee of the WWCC being accepted without comment except, evidently, for a few of us bloggers and the Georgian Chess Federation?

Jan said...

P.S. Since posting my comment above, I saw that on 8/16 Phil Innes a/k/a The Parrot over at Chessville has coverage on the withdrawal of the Georgian women chessplayers and Krush (although not named, as the Chessbase article naming Krush as having withdrawn from the WWCC wasn't published until 8/17): http://www.chessville.com/Editorials/AlekhinesParrot/Index.htm. Lots of people visit Chessville. Perhaps a chess official or two from USCF will now find out about one of its own players withdrawing from the WWCC because of safety issues!

Chessvine.com said...

I don't think you're looking in the wrong places ... because I'm looking in the same places. I was considerably fuming when Kirsan's response was basically, 'up yours and I don't care'. Judging by the political climate of the region why would Nalchik even be considered? I just don't get the advantage to Kirsan to keep the event there or even fathom holding it there in the first place.

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