According to Kirsan: A Billion Clever People Print E-mail
By Michael Khodarkovsky   
October 21, 2011
Michael Khodarkovsky and Ruth Haring, Photo Tony Rich (see full gallery on CCSCSL website)
“One Billion Clever People On This Planet” is Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s mission as FIDE President, announced in his report to the 82nd FIDE Congress in Krakow, Poland. He repeated the above line again and again, referring to his goal to reach as many as billion people who play chess. Frankly speaking, those who followed FIDE President’s speeches and statements throughout his 16 years of tenure at the helm of this organization, have gotten used to the dramatic passages or exaggerated numbers as well as to his passion for mysterious astronomy.

When Mr.Ilyumzhinov started to talk about pending legal issues many were taken by surprise that he dedicated a great deal of time to demonize Garry Kasparov, “who wants to bankrupt FIDE” and glorifying Anatoly Karpov, his opponent at the 2010 FIDE Presidential election, “who joined the newly formed political party by Vladimir Putin in Russia” (Putin, Prime-Minister of Russia plans to return to his former position as President of Russia in 2012).


The audience was mute until Tomasz Sielicki, President of the Polish Chess Federation and Deputy President of the European Chess Federation, asked for the microphone and said: ”We all came here to discuss chess issues and I don’t understand why should we listen a political speech for more than an hour, which has nothing to do with the agenda.”

He was supported by ECU President Silvio Danailov, who actually stood up for Kasparov (who was not in attendance) and said that “instead of bashing Kasparov we should thank him for his support.”  Danailov added, "Garry and I twice this year made presentations at the Commissions of the European Parlament to promote chess in the schools. He found a sponsor who contributed a hundred thousand Euros for the start of the project and I can assure you that Garry didn’t receive a single Euro for his valuable time and effort to help us.”

After a lunch break, we started to work on the chess issues as suggested without any interruptions. To the interest of US players, and Arbiters here are the titles recommended by Qualification and Arbiters Commissions and approved by the Executive Board:

International Master –

Banawa, Joel Cholo B., conditional on FIDE rating 2400
Zhao, Parker, Conditional on FIDE rating 2400

FIDE Candidate Master- Anna Matlin

International Arbiter – Guadalupe Francisco

FIDE Arbiter – Immitt Steve, Messenger Robert

The Events Commission received a total of 87 applications for International Organizer title (IO) from candidates from all over the world. The meeting unanimously agreed to grant the award to all applications. After January 1st, 2012, all candidates for the IO title shall be required to attend and pass an examination in the Seminar of Organizers. There will be established fees for the seminar, title, and license. However, for the last time, it was agreed to extend the deadline for direct application to January 31st, 2012.

GM and FST Adrian Mikhalchishin, Chairman of the FIDE Trainers’ Commission, presented annual awards and reported to Executive Board about the plans of increasing number of seminars for trainers so they will be able to obtain titles and licenses, which will be required by FIDE to all trainers/captains who will be working at the official World and Continental Championships and World Olympiads.

I would like to thank Tony Rich of the Saint Louis Chess Club, who contributed the following report by the FIDE Medical Commission.

The FIDE Medical Commission is responsible for ensuring FIDE is in compliance with the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and the IOC (International Olympic Committee). By enforcing anti-doping regulations, FIDE hopes to gain acceptance for chess within the Olympic community, which may increase funding to national federations from their National Olympic Committees (NOC). In addition, FIDE receives $20,000 per year to perform testing both in and outside of events.

FIDE has been drug testing members of the chess community since 2008, while the WADA standards and the current FIDE Anti-Doping Regulations went into effect in 2010. Every July, the FIDE Medical Commission selects 15 players rated over 2500 (men) or 2400 (women). These players remain in the "testing pool" and may be called upon at any time to submit samples for testing. While the list of players in the testing pool is kept confidential, some may remember the incident at the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden, Germany, in which Vassily Ivanchuk failed to submit to a drug test after losing to Kamsky in the final round. 

Due to the broad nature of testing WADA performs, chess players are subjected to the same bans as participants in other sports including cycling and other Olympic sports. Despite a request by FIDE and other "mind sports" organizations, WADA is unlikely to create a separate banned list for mind sport athletes. However, there are many misconceptions about things like caffeine and Sudaphed, neither of which are on the banned substances list.

This year FIDE has performed 20 tests thus far, all of which have come back negative for any banned substances. Testing can be targeted, as in the aforementioned case with Ivanchuk, or random, both during competitions and outside of them. Surprisingly, team captains and coaches of players in the testing pool may also be required to submit to testing in FIDE events. And the penalties are harsh. Anyone that tests positive for a banned substance without a prescription from a doctor and a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) from FIDE may be stripped of any prizes, medals, and rating points earned during an event and could be banned anywhere from 1 year to life for violations.

FIDE has urged national federations to perform their own anti-doping testing and to share those reports with FIDE. However, since chess is not considered a sport by the American National Olympic Committee, it is unlikely they would even accept testing requests from the USCF. FIDE plans to share more information on the efforts of the Medical Commission and their anti-doping regulations on their website and to hold seminars at events like the 2012 Olympiadin Istanbul, Turkey to educate national federations and players.