World Championship in Sochi

Jun 14, 2014, 11:19 AM |

Peter Doggers reports that 2014 World Championship will be held in Sochi.

This does little to lessen the perspective that FIDE president Ilumzhyinov is a dictator of a small country propped up by a major power (Putin).  The fact that this announcement occurs concurrently with the announcement that Kasparov may be disallowed from competing in the upcoming FIDE election, and that Kasparov is a well known political opponent of Putin, makes this even more disconcerting. 

Add this to the fact that potential EU sanctions against Russia for its illegal actions in Ukraine could prevent Magnus from actually attending.  Anand is likely enough of a sportsman to share any embargo with Magnus, he is past the point in his career where is willing to be declared champion by default.

To put it bluntly, as long as Ilumzhyinov is in charge of FIDE, these issues will continue to occur.  What was supposed to be happy news about the location of a highly anticipated rematch turns into a political discussion about sovereignty and corruption.  Still, despite prognostications about the awful conditions in Sochi for the Winter Olympics, it went fairly well, so there's a chance this could go off without a hitch.  I won't believe it until I see it.