Sunday, February 10, 2008

Miscellaneous Chess News

From McClain's "Gambit" chess blog, February 9, 2007, at The New York Times:

Last week, the World Chess Federation (also known by the acronym FIDE, which stands for Fédération Internationale des Echecs) began collecting fees for its newest titles: FIDE trainers. What are FIDE trainers? They are essentially people certified by the federation to teach and train chess players.

There are three different levels of trainers: Instructors, trainers and senior trainers. The requirements for each title mostly seem to boil down to what each prospective trainer’s rating is (a rating is a measure of playing ability) and how much experience he or she has as a coach or teacher.

The cost of the titles, which are listed on the Web site, are on a sliding scale from 100 to 300 euros. Trainers who wish to maintain their titles will have to pay additional “licensing” fees every two years that are also on a sliding scale of 60 to 180 euros. Other titles, such as grandmaster, do have registration fees, but once they are awarded, there are no continuing costs. Rest of article.

An obvious "gambit" (pun!) to force money out of chess teachers, trainers, etc. Tell me, FIDE, will Ms. Jones, a volunteer who teaches chess to kindergarteners at the Greenfield Public Library on Saturday mornings have to pay almost $600 USD to obtain FIDE certification in order to be considered "qualified" to teach chess to beginners? How will you PUNISH people who teach chess without obtaining certification? Will I - horrors - be sanctioned somehow for giving chess pointers to my young grand-newphews (they range in age from 7 to 10)? Will you garnish my bank accounts? Blacklist this blog? Attack Goddesschess?

What a bunch of schmucks!

Fischer's death and it's aftermath continue to be news - there's nearly a new (or rehashed) story every day. Dick Cavett has a sentimental look back at Fischer's appearances on his television show. Fischer's putative daughter, who is 7 years old, has or will file a claim against the Fischer Estate as the sole "legitimate" heir (says Jan, tongue firmly planted in cheek). There is also a putative wife who may believe she is entitled to the entire Estate, and there are Fischer's nephews, the sons of his deceased sister, Joan, who have also filed or will file a claim or interest for a share of the Estate. Not mentioned is IRS, which will or perhaps already has filed a claim for what it is owed. No one in the general public really knows except, perhaps, the lawyers for the Fischer Estate (who always get paid first, trust me, I know) just what is left.

From The, February 8, 2008
A Chess Teacher in Secaucus, New Jersey
I think the greatest lesson I can give anyone, especially anyone that is new to the game, is patience," Moss said. "More games are lost by moving too fast than almost anything else."

"One of the first things I try to teach is, if you touch a piece you should move it," he continued. "It's like in life, when you make a decision, whether it's good or bad, you have to suffer the consequences."

Study after study has confirmed the benefits that learning how to play chess confers upon students - life lessons that continue with them as they mature into adults, even if they no longer play chess. So it's good to see an African bank making a substantial contribution to purchase 1,000 chess sets in Namibia.

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