USCF Home arrow Chess Life Online arrow 2014 arrow April arrow FIDE Congress Underway in Tromso
FIDE Congress Underway in Tromso Print E-mail
By David Mehler   
August 9, 2014
Melher450.jpg
Experts in every area of chess are gathered in Tromso, Norway, for the FIDE Congress, which started on August 5 and will conclude on August 15, 2014. USCF representatives include: USCF Delegate Micheal Khodarkovsky, Zonal President and Director of Events Francisco Guadalupe, President Ruth Haring, Executive Director Jean Hoffman, and Commission Member and Ratings Officer Walter Brown.  FIDE Vice President Beatriz Marinello, Commission Chairperson Susan Polgar, Commission Member Sevan Muradian, Commission Member and St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center Executive Director Tony Rich, International Arbiter Sophia Rohde, and I, the US Chess Center President, are also attending from the United States.  For me, this first FIDE Congress and Olympiad is a fascinating experience.

Before the General Assembly meets to elect a FIDE President and consider changes to the rules of the organization, many Commissions have held meetings to discuss their accomplishments for the year and to let the interested public know what they will propose to the General Assembly.

The Social Action Commission told Inspiring stories of Phiona Mutesi’s rise in Uganda, the beginning of an excellent chess program for Chilean girls, and the value chess might have in protecting against Alzheimer’s.
 
In the Development Commission, the discussion of resources for increasing the quantity of play throughout the world was quite lively.  Some speakers argued that countries interested in developing their talent should organize more round-robin tournaments in order to provide challenging games in every round of a tournament.  Others spoke about the great success some countries are having in attracting foreign players to compete in open Swiss events.  In some parts of the world, talented young players have a difficult time raising the funds needed to travel to distant spots to demonstrate their ability, hone their skills and earn international titles.  The Commission has created a system to financially encourage developing nations to send its promising players to major events.

The Chess in Schools Commission was a large packed room of players who recognize that today’s children are the lifeblood of a healthy chess community.  The Commission presented fascinating stories about the efforts in Turkey, China, India, Uruguay and many other countries to incorporate chess into school curricula for all ages of students.  USCF President Ruth Haring and I told stories of staging the largest tournament ever, the 2013 SuperNationals, and of the success of chess programs in our nation’s capital.

There was more good news from the Commission for Women’s Chess. The Commission discussed the extensive contributions made in promoting chess among girls and women all over the world.  In Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States, programs to create more women FIDE Trainers have been successful.  Other efforts to assist female players achieve greater success in chess have been bearing fruit, and they are confident that these measures will improve the retention rate of girls in the game as young girls see that older girls and women remain players and now serve as coaches.

Even in the hallways outside of the meeting rooms, there are interesting discussions.  A researcher described the work being done using chess as a tool for governments to address a variety of social concerns.  There was a spirited debate as to whether chess, as a language of its own, is more of a negotiation between the two players or instead is an argument.  Such discussions reflect the intellectual atmosphere that pervades the Olympiad.

Seeing the best players in the world, whether they are walking down the street, posing for photographs, or in the heat of the battle over the board, is a tremendous experience.  Meeting the leaders of chess organizations throughout the world provides the opportunity to arrange for future matches among the 177 nations in attendance.  I look forward to staying in touch with my new chess friends and arranging for our students to meet over the board in person or online.
 
Advertisement

April - Chess Life Online 2014

USCF Customer Service SurveyTales from Atlanta: Advait on a Perfect Score Qualifiers for 2014 Pan American Youth [UPDATED DATES] 12 Ranks of Pawns: Strong Turnout at Junior High Champs National Junior High Begins in Atlanta Li, Chor Headline 2014 ChessKid Online Championship Timur Gareev Wins in Reno World Chess Hall of Fame Inductions Set for May 7 182 Players Qualify for 2014 World Youth Bill Mason (1964-2014)Kamsky Tops Philly on Way to Saint Louis Quest to the First GM Norm Philadelphia Open Underway Texas Beats Poland in Friendly Match US #1 Nakamura Signs with Red Bull Four GMs and a NM Top Bill Wright Saint Louis Open Ellen Xiang Wins Top Section at Record Breaking All-Girls California vs. JerusalemField, Commentators Set for 2014 U.S. ChampionshipsGM-elect Kayden Troff: A Case Study by Kenneth Kiewra [EXCERPT] USCF Joins the Party, Supports Millionaire Chess Neil Falconer 1923-2014All-Girls Nationals Kicks Off Friday San Francisco Scholastic Attracts Hundreds Yang & Catalina Foothills on Top in San Diego Sixth in San Diego: Homidan on his Final Scholastic Levon Aronian Headlines Metropolitan Chess CampMillion Dollar Chess Tournament Makes First Move 2014 Scholar Chess Player Award WinnersWebster Wins Again: Final Four of College Chess Sunday in San Diego: Yang Leads Among Flurry of Upsets High School Champs in San Diego Draws Star PlayersFinal Four Underway in New York The Road to the Blind World Champs: Interview with Alex Barrasso Kostya's New Venture: Metropolitan ChessLenderman Wins Long Island Open Melinda Turns it to Nicholas: On the Way to San Diego Troff, Yang & Abrahamyan Earn New TitlesUSCF Obtains 501 (c)(3) Status Deepak Aaron Gives Charity Simul at Georgia Tech