Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Women's World Chess Championship

The ridiculousness and obscene farce of FIDE leadership continues to play out on the world stage for all chess fans to see. Chessbase and Susan Polgar's blog have published a new letter by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov that - ONCE AGAIN - totally ignores the thrust of the initial open letter written by the Georgian women chessplayers, which is their personal safety. Fearless Leader Kirsan has chosen to act the part of an ostrich and keep his head in the ground. For shame! Shame, shame on Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. He has once again chosen not to do the right thing, the brave thing, the honorable thing. August 19, 2008 Dear chess friends! During last several days I have received a number of letters, including an open letter from six Georgian chess players in respect of a possible change of a venue and dates of the World Women's Chess Championship. As you know, the championship is scheduled to take place from 28 August to 18 September in Nalchik, capital of Kabardino Balkaria. I have already expressed my opinion several days ago. I reiterate: we should not mix sports and politics, and should not involve FIDE into various disputes and arguments. Once again I express most sincere condolences to all victims of the humanitarian catastrophy. As a response of the Georgian Chess Federation I would like to note that there are not any grounds for such a change. The Organisers have undertaken all necessary steps and carried out a good preparation and are ready to host all the guests. It is not their fault that blood was shed. We can't help taking into consideration interests of other participants, who purchased the tickets and are practically on the way to the venue of the tournament. But, first and foremost, the interest of lots of admirers of the talent of chess players should not suffer, as they are looking forward to the start of the Championship. I fully realise all complexity of this situation, I call on all participants, trainers, officials, guests and journalists – all without any exception – to come to Nalchik and show in fact, and not in words – that we are one family. Gens Una Sumus Kirsan Ilyumzhinov President Let's say it all together now - GAG! To it's credit, Chessbase has published a sampling of emails it has received about the issues. While a few are obviously trying to inflame political passions - not even addressing the issue of personal safety raised by the Georgian chessplayers - most are supporting of the players' request to move the location of the championship because Nalchik IS NOT SAFE. I also learned the following today - also from Chessbase: Dear ChessBase, I would like to remark that when FIDE and the Organizing Comitee write that the open letter was written by Georgian chess players they never say that it was later signed by eight more players from different countrys. They all agree with us 100%, that this champioship should be moved to another place. Here are their names: Irina Krush, USA Claudia Amura, Argentina Monica Socko, Poland Iweta Rajlich, Poland Anna Gasik, Poland Ketino Kachiani-Gersinska Tea Lanchava-Bosboom, The Netherlands Marie Sebag, France These are playes whom we were able to contact. I'm sure that if we had the emails of others they would suport us as well. So, please, if you have a chance, ask them to contact us at one of the following addresses: Many thanks and best regards IM Maia Lomineishvili, Georgia IM Lomineishvili, I'm not an invitee to the WWCC, but I do support you and all of the other players who have grave concerns about playing chess in Nalchik. Let us not forget that during the recent Grand Prix in Sochi, there was a terrorist attack - though not at the chess venue, thank Goddess! The entire region is a powderkeg. Why put chess players needlessly at risk?

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