Sunday 5 June 2016

A few million Short

Interesting couple of articles in the Guardian on Friday about Kirsan, FIDE, the Panama Papers and the generally murky business relationships that this involves. It's worth a little bit of your time to look at them.

Well mostly it is, until it gets round to giving Nigel Short's opinion. Funny how often this happens.

What has English chess's Mr Motormouth to say this time?

The game is played by hundreds of millions of people around the world.
This blog looks forward, neither in hope nor in expectation, to hearing what evidence Nigel has for this claim, which looks just a little too much like a claim we've seen too many times before.


Anonymous said...

The articles don't really reveal anything "new", unfortunately, at least to those who've followed the story. So X and Y who are somehow FIDE-related (or at least were) got involved with an off-shore scheme. So what? The real endgame, is what happens to Kirsan.

Laar said...

Flash from Shaun Press! (Papau New Guinea),

25000$ moved from Global Chess to Oceania in "lead up to the 2014 FIDE elections"

The Guardian has traced the transfer of shares in the firm Global Chess CV to another firm, Chess Lane. Both firms are connected with FIDE event marketing rights and online chess services, although the ownership of the companies were never quite clear. Certainly Global Chess has been operating in recent years, as it made a grant of $25,000 towards the Oceania Chess Confederation (OCC) in the lead up to the 2014 FIDE elections. (Full disclosure: I am and was the treasurer of the Oceania Chess Confederation and although the money paid to an intermediary party, it was then transferred to the OCC)
Certainly the issue of what Global Chess actually does apart from hand out money, and who actually owns the company, has been discussed in the past. Even people I know in FIDE aren't all that clear on what the arrangements are, but at the same time seem happy not to find out either. The attitude seems to be that as long as the money gets spent on chess (in some way or other) then where it came from does not really matter.

Anonymous said...

The Guardian also suggests that the rights to World Chess are "lucrative". Given the overstated estimates as to the worldwide interest, is it not the case that the rights to world chess are just a licence to give money to elite players and FIDE? You could imagine a major world brand or even one with ambitions in that direction supporting chess to get its name everywhere, but a one-man offshore company?


Anonymous said...

"Chess is a very significant sport"

To whom? Besides Nigel Short?

Chess is more of a "game", somewhat beyond checkers for children, that supposedly increases brain potential, imbues moral character, etc. Or at least that's what the Social committee(s) of FIDE seem to prefer.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, Mr. Press mentions (yet another) "intermediary party" in the mix. No wonder financial investigations involve reams of agents.

Po said...

What the ..??!!

Originally, the messenger was to be named "Buddha" ... but the product engineers persuaded Ilyumzhinov ... that his own name [Kirsan] would serve as an appropriate brand for the application.

Not exactly usually the scope of product "engineers" per se, but maybe I can buy that the marketing analysts (paid for by Kirsan himself) might have suggested it.

And of course:

There is one more peculiarity to be mentioned in light of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s passion for chess. The World Chess Federation (FIDE) chief intends to launch an online platform for playing the game which will subsequently merge with the Kirsan application.

Why don't we rename "Chess" as Kirsan also?

Anonymous said...

I've flown from Asia to Frankfurt twice in the last 2 months, and both times on the redeye, as we approach Frankfurt at 5am, a guy next to me has started to play chess on his smartphone. First guy was a 40-ish intellectual-looking guy, this time was a 25-ish athletic guy. But whether they would want to spectate chess is a differing matter.


AngusF said...

Just this minute (toward the end of round 6 of the rapidplay section), for the Paris leg of the Grand Chess Tour, Chess24 has 2858 viewers of its video and the official site has 5527 viewers. Both sites using dailymotion transmission (which show live viewer counts).

Anonymous said...

Thankfully, Merenzon only said "countless" many at the FIDE site when venue was announced.

“This is going to be the first Championship Match contested by two Grandmasters of the smartphone generation – a battle of two of the finest minds on the planet - and witnessed and enjoyed by countless chess fans who play the game online everyday.”

Ocho said...

Kirsan says 600 million in latest commentary.

А так как Международная шахматная федерация является одной из самых крупных и многочисленных спортивных организаций, мы объединяем 187 стран, в год проводим более 100 тыс. соревнований, под эгидой ФИДЕ играет более 600 млн. человек в шахматы или знакомы с правилами игры...

So 100 thousand per year under the auspices of FIDE, and 600 million know the rules (if I interpret correctly).