It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Recently it has become fashionable to criticize FIDE. Indeed, some of the FIDE inventions could be featured in the "you cannot make this up" column. But they definitely managed to achieve one goal: chess is 'rediscovered' by the media. Whether it is a plan to hold the World Championship in Iraq defying the UN sanctions or the latest 'dress code' for chess players, we are back on the first pages of newspapers and TV!
Here is my list of winning FIDE ideas:
#3. The doping test. People argue that this test is pointless since there are no known drugs that enhance human ability to play chess. That might be true, but probably FIDE had a different idea. These days the main threat to chess is computer cheating. FIDE has realized that even though the computers are very smart they still have something to learn from humans. We still can do something the computers can't! Of course you already realized what I am talking about. Computers cannot pee and this is how they can be caught. So if you can provide a sample of your urine, then you are definitely not a computer! I just have a hard time imagining the old classical chess players in this situation. What would Capablanca say if he was approached by a Tournament Director and asked to pee? On the other hand I have a pretty good idea what Fischer would do in this ridiculous situation.
#2. "Zero tolerance rule". So, you are late for the game (even if just by 5 seconds) and you get a forfeit. I don't even know where to start. So you don't know how to beat Kasparov? Don't you have friends? A couple of guys with strong arms or a buxom girl with a nice smile could stop the mighty Garry on his way to the game. Remember, all you need is just a couple of seconds delay!
#1 And the winner is... FIDE's crusade against draws. Don't get me wrong, I am for fighting chess too, but what about simple common sense? Besides, if a player gets thousands of dollars in appearance fee to play in a closed round robin tournament, then the organizers can tell him all the do's and don'ts. Or the way Vincent Benedict (from Twins) eloquently put it: "Money talks and #$@& walks!" (Of course I totally agree with his brother Julius' question: "How can #$@& walk?") But when a player pays for the airfare, hotel, meals as well as the tournament entry fee, he has the right to quote the good old Vincent, and since now it is the chess player who is paying, he'll be absolutely right!
In the last European Championship two players got a double forfeit for agreeing to a draw after a three fold repetition of the position because it was still less than the 40 moves required by organizers for a draw agreement. As a result, in the next round the following game was produced which I would call "Do not mess with chess players!"
Maybe people who hate all draws (and especially short ones) should look at the next game. No one in his right mind would ever call either player a 'Drawmeister', it is rather just the opposite. But what can you do? Sometimes when you gotta draw, you gotta draw!
I'll use this beautiful game as a test, so try to play like these two giants.