Akagi Kayashima Print E-mail
By Joel Benjamin   
August 3, 2006
With the widespread dissatisfaction with FIDE, why is it not possible for the USCF, or another independently funded organization, to set up a parallel organization that will gather results, record them, then compute and publish international ratings identical to FIDE's rating system? This would make FIDE nearly irrelevant, or would greatly lessen the world's unhealthy dependence on an organization that is, at present, widely ridiculed and perhaps, is not reformable.

Akagi Kayashima
Newbury Park, CA

If FIDE only provided a rating system, member nations would have left a long time ago. FIDE organizes World Championships (and regional championships) both for adults and youths. They produce an Olympiad every two years as well as other team championships. These tournaments are vital to the interests of professionals and amateurs all over the world. A parallel organization would have to develop infrastructure and funding to hold these events, not to mention deal with turf wars when FIDE would inevitably fight their plans.

That being said, the idea has been floated in the West from time to time. Recently, Bessel Kok, a respected businessman and chess promoter, led a bold move to break FIDE clear of its corruption. He ran for FIDE President on the "Right Move" ticket, laying out a plan for coordinated international tournaments and approaching major corporate sponsors. Sadly, Ilyumjinov won re-election in a contest that left a bitter taste to many in Turin. One African representative was so disgusted with colleagues who sold their votes that he wanted to pursue corruption charges against them.

So we are stuck with a FIDE that holds the World Championship in Siberia, at best, and Libya, at worst. We have a FIDE that depends on the largesse of one man, with no consistent corporate sponsorship. Now that the Right Move has failed, what will the next move be?

Joel Benjamin