Thursday, 29 July 2010

Pay for play?

Over at Chessvibes is an open letter from Arkadij Naiditsch concerning the non participation os some leading German players at this years Olympiad. His initial concern is about the remuneration offered to the players on the German team, but it then goes on the bag out a number of German Chess Federation officials.
What mainly interests me is the notion of being paid to represent your country. I know some countries do pay their players at the Olympiad, but I suspect that a majority of countries do not, simply because they cannot afford to. I also suspect that their are a number of federations who cannot even pay the full travel expenses of their selected players (eg every federation in Oceania).
For most European players the expense of playing in the Olympiad is minimal, as accommodation and meals are provided by the organisers. And even with this years event being played in Siberia, travel by plane from Munich/Prague/Milan is also free.
So I wonder whether the basis of the complaint is entirely valid. Is everything about money, right down to the fact that by not receiving what you demand, you are somehow being disadvantaged? And will it get to the point where teams will be picked, not on skill, but on a federations budget, and a players willingness to accept a lower payment?

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